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Background

France is hosting the third edition of the International Marine Protected Areas Congress, after Australia in 2005 and the United States in 2009.

In October 2005, The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Parks Victoria initiated the very first International MPA Conference in Geelong, Australia. It sought to define a typology of Marine Protected Areas and to review the state of marine ecosystems.

Then in 2009, IMPAC2 was hosted in Washington, D.C., by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (NOAA-ONMS). It witnessed the rising relevance of public agencies in creating and managing MPAs.

Today, the French ministry in charge of the environment has commissioned the Agence des aires marines protégées to co-organize, together with IUCN, the next edition of the Congress, in two symbolic Mediterranean locations: Marseille and Corsica.

IMPAC3 aims to reach out beyond the circle of MPA management agencies and involve all stakeholders, whether governmental, non-governmental or corporate. Protecting 10 percent of the Ocean’s surface by 2020, as required by the Conference on Biological Diversity (CBD), necessarily involves transnational, cross-sector cooperation.

 

IMPAC1 (Geelong, Australia, 2005)

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Jon Day, IMPAC1 Manager, in Geelong, Australia, October 2005. © GBRMPA - Parks Victoria
Aboriginal musicians at the opening of IMPAC1, Geelong. © GBRMPA - Parks Victoria

IMPAC2 (Washington, D.C., 2009)

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NOAA stand at IMPAC2, Washington, D.C., May 2009. © NOAA
Passing of the torch between IMPAC2 and IMPAC3 organizers, Washington, D.C. © NOAA
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