10 Aug 2017 - This year, Chile will host the Fourth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4), and Patagon Journal has the honor of being a media partner of the event, which will take place between September 4 and 8 in La Serena. In addition, at the event we will distribute a special “marine conservation” edition of the magazine.
At the conference, among other topics, they will review the progress achieved up to now by signatory countries of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in protecting 10% of their marine and coastal ecosystems by the year 2020 (Aichi target 11) through marine protected areas (MPAs). Today, at the global level, just 3 percent of the oceans are protected, with approximately 13,600 MPAs diverse management categories.
Chile, with more than 8000 kilometers of coastline, is one of the countries with the greatest marine biodiversity in the world. It also has the fifth most marine protection areas in the world, with more than 30, and this year the government announced the creation of a major marine park in Cape Horn and the Diego Ramirez Islands, and the expansion of a MPA at the Juan Fernandez Islands. With these new additions, the country will now protect a million square miles.
IMPAC4 is expected to feature more than 2,000 participants and organizations from more than 80 countries who will share their knowledge and experiences toward strengthening management of MPAs and achieving effective conservation of marine biodiversity. It will be one of the last marine conservation conferences before 2020, the deadline for meeting the Aichi biodiversity targets.
The first version of the IMPAC was held in Geelong, Australia in 2005, followed by Washington, D.C. in 2009, and four years later in Marseille, France. This year’s conference motto is “Marine Protected Areas: Bringing the people and ocean together," and focuses on the “intricate nature of ocean-human relationship and the benefits of marine protected areas (MPA) and the ocean for millions that depends on their ecosystem services.”
The conference commences on Monday, September 4, then on Tuesday the sessions will center on MPAs and global change, the next day the session are about the role of coastal communities in MPAs, on Thursday the topic is effective management of MPAs, and the meeting concludes on Friday with the theme of MPAs & shared future visions.
The stellar group of speakers include, among many others: Ernic Sala, marine ecologist and National Geographic Pristine Seas explorer; Jon Day, Australia Protected Area planner; Yolanda Kakabadse, international president of WWF; and Sylvia Earle, renowned oceanographer from Blue Alliance.
IMPAC4 is organized by Chile’s environmental ministry, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).
Marcelo Mena, Chile’s environment minister, says hosting the conference is “related with the efforts of the Chilean government to increase their marine protected areas, recognizing that they are good for the ecosystem but also to achieve sustainable fishing, as these areas help spur ecological protection and recovery.”