CARTS was jointly managed between Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA), while CPCAD will now be managed solely by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

CARTS History 

The CARTS project was a response 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 provided 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 contained data from all federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions, which updated their protected areas data to CARTS on an annual basis.

CARTS had many applications. It contributed to Canada’s national reporting on protected areas, which was led by Environment and Climate Change Canada through Canadian Protected Areas Status Reports and Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI).  It also facilitated Canada’s response to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity through ECCC, and to the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), through the Canadian Parks Agency. CARTS also supported Canada’s protected areas program, through the design and expansion of 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, benefited from having a single authoritative source of national protected area data and maps.

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, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs  Canada). The Canadian Parks Council, composed of 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.

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.

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.

CARTS is no longer a CCEA initiative.  See the link to CPCAD.

The Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS) has evolved into the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database (CPCAD) database. The new location for CPCAD is found here:

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