In this task, a database of Arctic MPAs was set up based on the World Database of MPAs in combination with a number of other databases. Each MPA was assigned to a IUCN category.
Table 1. IUCN Categories (for details, see the IUCN classification)
|Ia||Strict Nature Reserve|
|III||Natural Monument or feature|
|IV||Habitat/species management area|
|VI||Protected area with sustainable use of natural resources|
|Not Reported||For protected areas where an IUCN category is unknown and/or the data provider has not provided any related information.|
|Not Applicable||The IUCN Management Categories are not applicable to a specific designation type. This currently applies to World Heritage Sites and UNESCO MAB Reserves.|
|Not Applicable also applies to a site that does not fit the standard definition of a protected area (PA_DEF field = 0).|
|Not Assigned||The protected area meets the standard definition of protected areas (PAF_DEF = 1) but the data provider has chosen not to use the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories.|
IUCN Classification: 492 MPAs were included in the database and classified according to the IUCN classification (Table 1). This includes 57 MPAs that were added during this project . These additional MPAs lacked an IUCN classification (‘blanks’). Classifications were assigned to each new MPA based on their specific characteristics. The classifications assigned were mainly CAT IV (8 OSPAR MPAs), CAT VI (38 NOAA MPAs near Alaska: a lot of fishery measures.) and ‘Not Applicable’ in case of the 11 CBD EBSAs.
In addition, 71 MPAs within the World Database of MPAs had been classified as ‘not applicable’ or ‘not reported’. In this project, we attempted to classify these as well. For example, the UNESCO-MAB Biosphere reserve (one site, covering about 40% of Greenland) was classified as ‘1B’, and the RAMSAR Sites (35 sites) were classified as ‘VI’. World Heritage Sites (4 sites) were classified as ‘IA’ and ‘IB’. A number of different Norwegian sites (15 sites) are still under consideration, and another group is classified under different categories (see individual sites in the map viewer). RAMSAR definitions were consulted to translate to IUCN categories. This was also done for MPAs from other sources.
Of the total number and surface of MPAs, Norway has most areas assigned (206; Table 2), while the total surface of MPAs (km2) is highest for the USA (Figures 3, 4; Table 1). Per data source, most areas were assigned to only one IUCN category (Figures 5, 6; Table 2).
The World Database of MPAs contained eight MPAs that were removed from the 2015 database (one Russian and seven USA). These areas are shown on the map below (Figure 7).
Figure 7. MPAs in the Arctic classified according to the IUCN categories (final results, July 2016). The IUCN categories are: Ia - Strict Nature Reserve, Ib -Wilderness area, II - National Park, III - Natural Monument or feature, IV - Habitat/species management area, V - Protected landscape/seascape, VI -Protected area with sustainable use of natural resources (for details, see the IUCN classification). Not Applicable: the IUCN Management Categories are not applicable to a specific designation type. This currently applies to World Heritage Sites and UNESCO MAB Reserves. Not Applicable also applies to a site that does not fit the standard definition of a protected area (PA_DEF field = 0). Not Reported: For protected areas where an IUCN category is unknown and/or the data provider has not provided any related information.
Figure 1. Pie-chart showing number of MPAs per IUCN category.
Figure 2. Pie-chart showing coverage % (km2) of MPAs per IUCN category.
|IUCN category (reviewed)|
|Country||Ia||Ib||II||III||IV||V||VI||Not Applicable||Not Reported||Grand Total|
|Svalbard & Jan Mayen||22||7||1||5||35|
|US of America||5||1||21||7||44||78|
Table 3. MPAs per source
|IUCN category (reviewed)|
|Source description||Ia||Ib||II||III||IV||V||VI||Not Applicable||Not Reported||Grand Total|
*These MPAs were in not in the WDPA 2015 version, but were included in our database.
- WPDA: http://www.protectedplanet.net/
- Norway - Miljødirektoratet.NO http://www.miljodirektoratet.no/no/Tjenester-og-verktoy/Database/ and http://kartkatalog.miljodirektoratet.no/Map_catalog_Dataset_overview.asp
- USA - NOAA: http://marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov/dataanalysis/mpainventory/ Download links: [Date accessed: 20151222]
- Canada - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
Webpage with an overview of MPA and Areas of interest [Date accessed: 20151222]
- Greenland - Naalakkersuisut = Government of Greenland (website) [Date accessed: 20151222]
http://naalakkersuisut.gl/en/About-government-of-greenland/Travel-activities-in-remote-parts-of-Greenland/Publications has downloads for PDFs for National Parks, Protected Areas and Ramsar Areas.
- Iceland - Umhverfisstofnun or Environment Agency of Iceland (http://www.ust.is/the-environment-agency-of-iceland/. [Date accessed: 20151222]
- Russia: Wild Russia [Center for Russion Nature Conservation]. [Date first accessed: 20151222]
- OSPAR MPA Network - http://mpa.ospar.org/home_ospar
- RAMSAR sites - http://www.ramsar.org/sites-countries/the-ramsar-sites
- UNESCO MAB-sites (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/biosphere-reserves/europe-north-america/)
- World Heritage Sites (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list)
- EBSA (Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas) (https://www.cbd.int/ebsa/about)