SAMPAA 7 – The Evolution of Protected Areas: Renewing our Passion and Purpose at the Banff Centre, Banff National Park, 17-22 April 2011

Abstract submission deadline – November 1, 2010

Over the last century, Canada has built an inspiring system of parks and protected areas. SAMPAA 7 falls on the centennial anniversary of the Dominion Parks Service (Parks Canada) as well as on the centennial for establishment of the first provincial park in British Columbia. These centennials offer a special opportunity to reflect on the evolution of protected areas as a concept, and to explore the relationship of society with protected areas in the future.

Since 1950, the human population has almost tripled to the point that we are now driving global change. Changing demographics, patterns of development, and societal trends have created competing demands for land and resources. With more of the world’s population living in urban centres, we are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature. As a result, landscapes and seascapes surrounding protected areas are being more intensively used, and protected areas are at risk of becoming lost in the din of competing human interests. In the face of these realities, what roles should protected areas maintain and what new roles should they adopt? How do we more effectively build protected areas into integrated plans for larger sustainable areas, and how do we ensure that these special places continue to have meaning in the hearts and minds of citizens?

SAMPAA 7 will examine the evolving roles of government, Aboriginal peoples, non-government organizations, industry, the science community and the public in establishing and managing protected areas for the future. It will explore the roles and connections of urban parks to larger protected areas, and it will focus on how to build support to ensure that parks and protected areas remain relevant for the next century. It will also look beyond protected areas, focusing on other ways to achieve large-scale sustainability of landscapes and seascapes. It will span the social and ecological sciences, local knowledge, education theory, and the arts.

Please submit abstracts for oral presentations and posters on-line through SAMPAA’s website at

If you are interested in proposing a workshop, panel or other special event for SAMPAA 7, please contact Michele Patterson, SAMPAA 7 Conference Chair, on behalf of the SAMPAA 7 Organizing Committee at: michele.patterson (at)

Conference registration information, and accomodation reservations for the Banff Centre, in Banff National Park will be available in early fall 2010.