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Scientific guidelines for designing resilient marine protected area networks in a changing climate

These guidelines, jointly developed by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), are intended to provide general guidance to scientists, planners and managers in their efforts to design, connect, manage, assess and adapt marine protected areas (MPAs) and MPA networks to be resilient to climate change at national and continental scales. The area covered by the guidelines extends from the Western Tropical Atlantic, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, northward to the Labrador Sea; specific focus is on MPAs in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The guidelines are broken into four sections on protection of: species and habitats with crucial ecosystem roles or those of special conservation concern; carbon sinks; ecological linkages and connectivity pathways for a broad range of species; and biodiversity within the target biogeographic area.