President Clinton's executive order places the US in a group with Australia, New Zealand, the Bahamas, and a small number of other nations, with each having stated its intent to create a "representative" national network of MPAs.
The word "representative" regularly appears in protected-areas planning, and designation of representative networks has long served as a goal in terrestrial land management. Building a network of protected areas representing a variety of ecosystems is intended to ensure protection for biodiversity.
But at what scale should planners implement such representativeness? And what does "representative" really mean? For guidance, MPA News consulted the literature and queried some experts.