15 February 2023
IMPAC5 Explores Linkages Between Ocean, Culture, and Human Well-being
Photo Credit: Leighton Lum
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IMPAC5 participants discussed linkages between the Ocean, culture, and human well-being, and advancing conservation in the blue economy.

The congress concluded with the Leadership Forum, which convened on 9 February.

Participants at the fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) contemplated ways to use the impact of the Congress for continued progress towards ocean preservation. Convening immediately after the Congress, the Leadership Forum focused on multilateral cooperation to reach global marine conservation targets.

Day 5 of the Congress centered around linkages between the Ocean, culture, and human well-being. Hinano Teavai-Murphy, Tetiaroa Society, called for protecting the Ocean from harm for the sake of future generations. Sean Russell, IMPAC5 Young Professionals Committee, invited participants to sign the IMPAC5 Youth Call to Action.

Sessions focused on, among other topics:

  • How world heritage-listed reefs empower communities to adapt to a changing climate;
  • Youth engaging youth;
  • Connecting communities to conservation;
  • Addressing challenges in marine protected area (MPA) management; 
  • Young professionals using transformative change to build a better tomorrow; and
  • Gender and marine conservation.

On the final day of IMPAC5, delegates discussed advancing conservation in the blue economy. Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, underscored that funds dedicated for achieving SDG 14 (life below water) are the lowest among the 17 Goals.

Cloy-e-iss Judith Sayers, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, criticized some of Canada’s practices that harm sustainable development, such as licensing oil pipelines, low environmental standards for cruise ships, and overfishing. She said “you can’t have a blue economy unless you have the involvement and consent of Indigenous Peoples.”

Among other issues, participants addressed:

  • Sustainable fisheries management;
  • Mobilizing a youth-led movement to support 30×30;
  • Social equity and marine conservation; and
  • Sustainable finance for MPAs.

In closing, participants acknowledged IMPAC5 as the first international gathering since the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Bruno Oberle, IUCN, drew attention to the opportunity to address “a sea” of commitments on oceanic conservation with different stakeholders, and recognize and support the custodians of the Ocean.

Brett Sparrow, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam Nation, thanked participants for listening and learning about their country.

The congress concluded with the Leadership Forum, which convened on 9 February

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 from 3-9 February 2023.

Read Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) daily coverage of IMPAC5 here. ENB is also producing a summary report of the meeting. [IMPAC5 Website] [IMPAC5 Curtain Raiser on SDG Knowledge Hub] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on IMPAC5 Opening] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on IMPAC5 Days Three and Four]

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