The Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA) was incorporated in 1982 as a national, non-profit organization with a mission “to facilitate and assist Canadians with the establishment and management of a comprehensive network of protected areas representative of Canada’s terrestrial and aquatic ecological natural diversity”. It became a registered, charitable organization in 1995.
Protected Areas are areas set aside through legislation or other effective means that are managed to protect selected ecological values through to whole ecosystem protection of Canada’s terrestrial, aquatic or marine diversity. They range from areas that are undisturbed by humans to areas that have been modified by human activities but still retain significant ecological importance.
The CCEA’s objectives for establishing, protecting and managing a representative and scientifically sound system of protected ecological areas are:
- to inform and to educate Canadians about the importance and roles of protected areas;
- to guide the design and completion of a network of Canadian protected areas including the full range of terrestrial and aquatic environments;
- to determine the ecological requirements and institutional arrangements needed to secure the integrity of protected area networks;
- to advance sound stewardship, management, monitoring and reporting of protected areas;
- to promote the environmental, social and economic values of protected areas in an ecosystem context; and,
- to facilitate the exchange of relevant information among interested partners through regional and national forums.
CCEA has also achieved success by providing advice and assistance to international, national, provincial/territorial and local agencies on matters dealing with protected areas and ecosystem conservation. Refer to the current strategic plan to see how CCEA will continue to provide essential products and services to agencies and organizations involved in the conservation of protected ecological areas.
CCEA works in partnership with many agencies and organizations across Canada and throughout the world in order to reach these objectives. CCEA regularly holds its meetings in different Canadian jurisdictions to discuss common issues and to address particular regional issues and achievements. CCEA often takes the unique role of threading together diverse regional viewpoints to achieve a larger cohesive ecological picture of relevance to all jurisdictions.
With increasing emphasis on globalization, CCEA’s international portfolio is of ever-increasing importance and highly relevant to regional and national Canadian efforts to fulfill international obligations such as those contained in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. CCEA’s unique inclusive structure and mandate enable it to address many large-scale issues relevant to all Canadian jurisdictions.