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AbstractThis framework for a pan-Arctic network of marine protected areas (MPAs) sets out a common vision for international cooperation in MPA network development and management, based on best practices and previous Arctic Council initiatives. This framework aims to inform the development of MPAs and networks of MPAs that are located within the national jurisdiction of Arctic States, and chart a course for future collaborative planning, management and actions for the conservation and protection of the Arctic marine environment. This framework offers guidance; it is not legally binding. Each Arctic State pursues MPA development based on its own authorities, priorities and timelines.
The purpose of the pan-Arctic MPA network, composed of individual Arctic State MPA networks and other area- based conservation measures (see definitions in box below) , is to protect and restore marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and special natural features, and preserve cultural heritage and subsistence resources for present and future generations. Individual MPAs and MPA networks can strengthen marine ecosystem resilience that underpins human wellbeing, including traditional and current livelihoods and ways of life. A network of MPAs can fulfill ecological aims more effectively and comprehensively than individual sites could alone by providing spatial links needed to maintain ecosystem processes and connectivity, as well as improving resilience by spreading risk in the case of localized disasters, climate change and other hazards (IUCN-WCPA, 2008). Development of the pan-Arctic network of MPAs can also contribute a major conservation element to and benefit from marine spatial planning (MSP) and ecosystem-based management (EBM) in the circumpolar region.
This framework aims to inform the development of MPA networks under the national jurisdiction of the Arctic States. While the principal aspects of the framework are relevant for the entire Arctic Ocean, the framework does not pursue MPA approaches specific to Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ).
Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME), 2015. Framework for a Pan-Arctic Network of Marine Protected Areas. Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME): Iceland.