From 3-9 February 2023, the 5th International Marine Protected Area Congress (IMPAC5) will take place in Vancouver, Canada. The UNESCO World Heritage Marine Programme will chair the symposium on empowering local communities to adapt to climate change, bringing together practitioners from across the 29 coral reefs on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Held every four years, IMPAC is an important opportunity for the global community of marine conservation managers and practitioners to exchange knowledge, experience, and best practices to strengthen the conservation of marine biodiversity and to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the ocean. IMPAC5 will be a hybrid in-person and virtual conference to accommodate participants globally.
Marine World Heritage related events will focus on empowering communities and fostering a strong global network of marine protected areas to build resilience in a rapidly changing ocean.
The following events are highlighted:
This symposium will bring together leading figures from the Resilient Reefs Initiative - a 6-year, AUD$ 14 million project within which climate adaptation strategies are developed across World Heritage coral reefs in Palau, Belize, Australia and France. The symposium will feature best practice examples of how community engagement can be leveraged to design a climate adaptation strategy that works for people and nature, deepen understanding of community values and help navigate a joint course forward in a rapidly changing ocean.
The symposium will also highlight the benefits of UNESCO’s investment to build a global network across the 50 marine World Heritage managers over the past 10 years, in collaboration with practitioners and scientists and reflect how it has helped marine protected areas to be more resilient to the effects of climate change.
Led by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and an international consortium of public and private partners, the Resilient Reefs Initiative is a ground-breaking new partnership that is transforming the way we plan for the future and secure resilience for people and nature. The project is currently being piloted in four UNESCO World Heritage coral reefs - the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau), Lagoons of New Caledonia (France), Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize), and Ningaloo Coast (Australia) World Heritage sites.
Amélie is an environmental engineer graduating from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). After several experiences from the Red Sea to the Caribbean via the Arctic and Canada, Amélie now works as the Chief Resilience Officer for the Resilient Reefs Initiative in New Caledonia. Her role is to facilitate and support the development of a resilience strategy for the Lagoons of New Caledonia World Heritage site, through extensive community and stakeholder engagement.
Lolita is Program Manager of Conservation and Protected Areas for Palau Conservation Society. For the past 12 years her focus has been working with Palau communities to identify important land and reef areas to set aside for conservation and protection, as well as working with community planning teams to develop protected areas management plans and fisheries management plans. Lolita is also serving her first term in the IUCN Council from Oceania.
Chantalle is the Chief Executive Officer at the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) in Belize. She has over 15 years of experience in the coastal and marine management field in Belize, with specific expertise in the areas of ecosystem services valuation, habitat risk modelling, marine spatial planning, integrated coastal zone management, marine policy synthesis and analysis and climate change adaptation.
As the Executive Director of Projects and Partnerships for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Theresa's role combines overseeing the delivery of the Foundation's AUD$700 million global conservation portfolio with building collaborative and enduring partnerships with indigenous peoples and local communities, donors, the science community, industry and government.