We are packing up our bags, computers, maps, and brochures and flying to Chile.
No, we are not fleeing the current political regime in the U.S. We are going to the beachside city of La Serena-Coquimbo for the 4th International Congress of Marine Protected Areas (IMPAC4). Every four years, the global conservation community gathers at IMPAC to share ideas and experiences with other conservation scientists, policymakers, managers and practitioners. By talking to, working with, and learning from each other during the week of September 4th through 8th, we can all do a better job of safeguarding biodiversity in the sea and maintaining other aspects of natural and cultural marine heritage around our shared ocean. The IMPAC conference is focused solely on helping people achieve lasting marine protection around the globe through equitable and effective means.
Marine Conservation Institute staff are energized and ready to engage with our peers. Will you be there, too? Then come join us at our interactive exhibition space in the convention center lobby!
You can’t miss us right in front of the ballrooms and meeting rooms. Come try our MPAtlas.org interactive map of marine protected areas and other conservation tools on a giant screen. Command an immersive Liquid Galaxy display and fly through underwater scenes from around the world or explore information on top of the 3D globe. Step up to our Ocean Voices media booth and share your hopes and vision for the ocean and its marine life with the world. Engage with our live reporting throughout the event and join us for happy hour recaps on conference activities and important announcements and developments. We might even have some fun team trivia events with prizes to give away! And, best of all, don’t miss the ceremony where we will inaugurate the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) by announcing the first marine protected areas to be awarded Global Ocean Refuge status. Please check the GLORES website the week before IMPAC4 for the timing of the announcement and celebration.
If you can’t be at the congress in person, we’ve got you covered. We are collaborating with MPA News and OpenChannels.org to bring live reporting from the floor of the exhibit halls, ballrooms and meetings to your social media streams and your desktop. Follow us on Twitter at @savingoceans, watch MPAtlas.org for major marine protected area announcements and statistics, and stay tuned for more blog posts summarizing key activities at IMPAC4.
See you in La Serena!
For more information about IMPAC4, visit http://impac4.org.
The Global Ocean Refuge System
The Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES) is a bold and innovative strategy to safeguard marine biodiversity around the world by accelerating the rate of marine protected area (MPA) implementation and improving their quality. GLORES uses up-to-date science to set high standards for MPAs. The result of the Global Ocean Refuge System will be a world-wide network of refuges safeguarding marine wildlife. MPAs that meet GLORES’ science-based standards receive GLORES awards. Governments will implement MPAs to meet GLORES standards because Global Ocean Refuges will attract tourists, local support, and investors, while bringing a sense of pride to political leaders, managers, and communities. The strategic framework that GLORES creates will support MPA efforts around the world and complement the advocacy of conservation groups working to implement MPAs.
The Marine Protection Atlas
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an important tool for recovering, revitalizing and sustaining marine ecosystems. Yet, despite current efforts to safeguard the ocean, only 3% is secured globally within protected areas implemented as of early 2017. Only about 1.6% of the ocean is actively designated as no-take reserves — the highest conservation standard for MPAs — largely due to recent very large and remote MPA designations. The Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Target 11, UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 and other agreements and regional challenges call for 10% or more of the ocean’s ecosystems in MPAs by 2020. Yet many scientists and conservation experts advocate for a more rigorous goal of 30% of the ocean in strongly protected reserves in order to adequately protect marine biodiversity in place.
Using existing data from official and unofficial protected area inventories, along with staff research and data collected from local sources and non-governmental partners, MPAtlas.org puts forward the world’s most complete map and interactive database focused solely on MPAs. Showing progress towards conservation targets, MPAtlas.org helps conservation advocates, scientists, policymakers, industry and the public see how well governments are doing to protect oceans and meet commitments. It closely tracks MPA designation campaigns, documenting grassroots efforts and high-level government pledges to create new or strengthen existing protected areas. MPAtlas.org enables the conservation community and global citizens to form a nuanced view of promises and real actions towards meeting conservation targets. At IMPAC4, we will showcase the tool’s utility and engage experts to contribute their conservation stories and knowledge of MPAs.