The CARTS project is responding to a longstanding need to track and report on the status of Canada’s protected areas in a consistent, standardized and authoritative manner. The CARTS website provides access to summary reports, geospatial data, data visualization files, and commonly requested maps in PDF format.
The CARTS (Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System) geodatabase contains data from all federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions, which update their protected areas data to CARTS on an annual basis.
CARTS has many applications, it contributes to Canada’s program on protected areas, which is led by the Canadian Wildlife Service. It also facilitates Canada’s response to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and national reporting to the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), a Canadian Parks Agency responsibility. CARTS will also support the design and expansion of new protected areas networks for species at risk, critical habitat, and integrated conservation planning. Numerous other users, such as other government departments (OGDs), environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), resource managers, industry, and the Canadian public, will benefit from having a single authoritative source of access to national protected area reports, data, and maps.
Click HERE to download the CARTS Procedure Manual and Database Schema
Initial CCEA collaborators in the development of CARTS include protected area experts from each of Canada’s 10 provinces, three territories and four federal agencies that manage protected areas (Parks Canada Agency, Canadian Wildlife Service, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). World Wildlife Fund Canada has also been a major collaborator. The Canadian Parks Council, representing Directors of parks from federal, provincial and territorial agencies, has supported the development of CARTS which has fostered jurisdictional cooperation. Future partners will include ENGOs, who have land stewardship responsibilities, and other levels of government who manage protected areas. CARTS is endorsed by the Canadian Parks Council and the Canadian Council of resource Ministers.
Terms of Reference for CARTS
The broad terms of reference for the project include the following:
- The CARTS website and its related products are created through a partnership between Environment and Climate Change Canada and the CCEA.
- Coordinate the evolution of CARTS to address current and future legislative, policy, science, technology, and information requirements as identified by the protected area community.
- Develop strategies to maintain and expand the endorsement and support of government agencies, intergovernmental protected area bodies, and political bodies.
- Have the CARTS manager work closely with the CCEA on matters related to the content, uses, data provision, and marketing of CARTS.
- Enable CARTS to realize its full potential as a source of seamless, standardized, national protected area geospatial data
CCEA recognizes that the manager of CARTS must be accountable to all protected areas agencies who have shared their data. The CCEA also recognizes that it must be especially accountable to those government agencies that fulfill key national reporting roles, especially Parks Canada Agency (who report to IUCN on behalf of the Canadian Parks Council) and the Canadian Wildlife Service (who coordinate and implement the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) program of work on protected areas for Canada.
The CCEA leads in the application of IUCN protected areas categories to Canadian protected areas. It is also responsible for the development of the IUCN guidebook for Canada. Now completed, this information will be incorporated into the CARTS schema to allow further analyses and generate authoritative statistics.
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