North American Marine Protected Areas Network (NAMPAN)

NAMPAN is a network of resource agencies, marine protected areas (MPA) managers, and other relevant experts from the United States, Canada and Mexico. NAMPAN aims to enhance and strengthen the conservation of biodiversity in critical marine habitats and help foster a comprehensive network of MPAs in North America. It is a network of both important marine places and the institutions and people connected with those places.


Canada, Mexico and the United States have taken significant steps in developing and implementing MPAs and MPA networks to protect marine ecosystems and biodiversity and contribute to thriving coastal communities and economies. We recognize that effective implementation of MPA networks requires transboundary cooperation and complementary conservation and management actions.

In response to this challenge, the North American Marine Protected Areas Network (NAMPAN) originated in 1999 under the umbrella of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), a tri-national government organization, through which the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States collaborate to protect North America’s environment. After working periodically through the CEC to implement projects to enhance our knowledge and tools for more effective MPA management, NAMPAN is establishing itself as an independent regional MPA network, collaborating with other regional MPA networks to support the contribution of MPAs to marine conservation and sustainable development through capacity building.


NAMPAN aims to:

  • implement complementary, integrated conservation efforts;

  • enhance collaboration to address common challenges to marine biodiversity; and

  • increase regional, national and international capacity to conserve critical marine and coastal habitats by sharing information, new technologies and management strategies.