IMPAC5 brought together Ocean conservation professionals, high-level government officials, Indigenous leaders, youth, and others, to chart a path towards the 30 by 30 target.
Participants sought to advance Ocean protection through support for MPAs, OECMs and marine spatial planning, Indigenous-led Ocean conservation and knowledge, sustainable finance solutions, and technological innovations.
Events included keynote addresses, interactive in-person and virtual sessions, and arts and cultural elements.
The fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) concluded with a call for accelerated progress on SDG 14 (life below water) and increased efforts to achieve Target 3 of the Global Biodiversity Framework, to conserve 30% of marine and coastal areas by 2030 (‘30 by 30’), in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to enable Indigenous-led conservation.
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting highlights the critical role of a stable and healthy Ocean for the lives of billions of people around the world. Representing 90% of the living space for species on the planet, it: generates oxygen; provides food security, climate resilience, and storm protection; preserves biodiversity; and creates cultural and economic opportunities.
The ENB summary acknowledges marine protected areas (MPAs) and other designations, such as other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMS) and Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, as some of the most effective tools for protecting and restoring Ocean health. Today, it notes, over 13,000 designated MPAs cover an estimated 7.65% of the world’s Ocean, and 52 countries and territories have protected at least 10% of their marine areas.
IMPAC5 brought together Ocean conservation professionals, high-level government officials, Indigenous leaders, youth, and others, to chart a path towards the 30 by 30 target. Participants sought to advance Ocean protection through support for MPAs, OECMs and marine spatial planning, Indigenous-led Ocean conservation and knowledge, sustainable finance solutions, and technological innovations. Events included keynote addresses, interactive in-person and virtual sessions, and arts and cultural elements.
At the conclusion of the Leadership Forum on 9 February, ministers issued the Chairs’ Statement, declaring their “continued commitment to protect and restore the world’s ocean and sustainably use marine resources.” In the lead up to 2030, they call for the establishment of MPA and OECM networks that are, inter alia, well-connected, equitably managed, ecologically representative, and integrated into national plans for environmental protection, sustainable development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. They also call for: sustainable long-term MPA and OECM financial support for developing countries; capacity building; access to and transfer of technology; and innovation and technical and scientific cooperation.
In the near term, ministers call for the timely conclusion of negotiations for a new treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
These actions, ministers urge, should be underpinned by partnership with Indigenous Peoples to enable Indigenous-led conservation and the establishment and management of MPAs and OECMs in a manner consistent with principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
In her concluding remarks, Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, reiterated her thanks to the First Nations hosts in welcoming all participants into their territories. She highlighted the importance of the Congress for sharing best practices and building trust, underscoring the importance of Indigenous leadership, science, and Indigenous knowledge.
Jointly hosted by the Host First Nations – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-waututh Nation) – together with the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), IMPAC5 took place in Vancouver, Canada, from 3-9 February 2023. [ENB Coverage of IMPAC5] [IMPAC5 Website] [IMPAC5 Press Release on Outcomes] [IMPAC5 Chairs’ Statement] [SDG Knowledge Hub IMPAC5 Curtain Raiser] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on IMPAC5 Opening] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on IMPAC5’s Recognition of OECMs] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Linkages Between Ocean, Culture, and Human Well-being at IMPAC5]