Blue Pangolin at IMPAC5

Earlier this month, the Blue Pangolin Consulting team (Francis, Tom, Anna) was in Vancouver, Canada, for IMPAC5, the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress – the global conference bringing together ocean conservation professionals from around the world to advance the global ocean protection agenda.

IMPAC5 brought together Ocean conservation professionals, high-level government officials, Indigenous leaders, youth representatives, and others, who participated in a multitude of events, across five core themes: building a global MPA network; advancing conservation in the blue economy; actively managing MPAs and human activity; conserving biodiversity and addressing the climate crisis; and connecting Ocean culture and human well-being.

The Blue Pangolin team have extensive experience with respect to marine protected areas, their sustainable financing and effective management for biodiversity and people, and IMPAC5 provided the ideal platform to showcase this experience, share knowledge and generate connections for future Blue Pangolin actions.

Takeaways from the Blue Pangolin team
  • Francis presented the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit, across two sessions, developed under the Marine Mammal Twinning as part of the EU Ocean Governance 4 MPAs, led by GOPA Worldwide Consultants, to over 50 MPA managers and decision makers.
  • Tom was one of the leading youth voices at the Congress, as part of his role in the IMPAC5 Young Professionals Committee. Tom represented youth at the opening & closing ceremonies, moderated the welcoming event for the #NatureForAll Youth Pavilion, and was invited to speak on the conservation finance Round Table at the Leadership Forum emphasising the need for diverse funding for the ocean. Tom also had the honour of meeting with the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
  • Anna supported the Marine Mammal Twinning, and the wider EU Ocean Governance 4 MPAs project, showcasing the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit. Anna had the opportunity to connect with key partners, MPA managers and science experts working with a clear goal to effectively manage marine mammals all around the world to expand the usage of the Toolkit and promote the newly launched Community of Practice.

The team also took the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues & friends, igniting exciting discussions, from MPA management to efforts for marine mammals, expanding MPA coverage in the Mediterranean, global ocean governance and area-based management in West Africa.

Blue Pangolin also sponsored Youth Attendance at the Congress – learn about Grace Melchers here!

Takeaways from the Congress
  • A bridge from decision to action: IMPAC5 was the first stepping stone to achieving the goals set by the ocean agenda of the Kunming-Montreal Framework, adopted last December at #COP15
  • Discussions powered by and centred around youth & indigenous voices: the Congress saw the participation and representation of diverse voices of indigenous peoples, first nations, and young people from around the world
  • The host country, Canada, made announcements on commitments for ocean conservation, including new funding, a moratorium on deep-sea mining and new & expanded protected areas

The Blue Pangolin team recognises, and thanks, the Host First Nations – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ(Tsleil-Waututh) – for welcoming us to their traditional territories for this Congress.

Finally, the end of the congress saw Canada pass the paddle to Senegal – the newly announced host nation for IMPAC6! We are highly excited by the announcement given Blue Pangolin’s extensive experience in the region and wish Senegal the best of luck in its preparations.

More information on takeaways from #IMPAC5 can be found here.

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