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A plan of action to save the high seas

Published on Thursday, 17 July 2014 20:14

On 24 june 2014, in New York, the Global Ocean Commission, issued a groundbreaking new report that charts a course forward to save the high seas. The report advocates 8 recommendations to stop the plundering of the high seas, including the ban of state fuel subsidies by 2020.

Created in February 2013 to understand and analyze the threats to the high seas which covers 64% of the total ocean surface, the Global Ocean Commission is composed of former heads of state, ministers and business leaders.

The report emphasizes the need for global governance, increased protection of vulnerable areas, eradication of illegal fishing, the elimination of energy subsidies and reduction of marine waste and the scheduled ban on fuel subsidies.

The report also recommends strengthening and universal ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ratified by 166 countries, and the UN Agreement on Fish Stocks.

This recommendation is another major milestone, praised by the IMPAC3 team, because “urgently entering negotiations to reach and implementing agreement of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea geared at the conservation of the high seas” is one of the 6 major conclusions of IMPAC3.

Click here to learn more or to download the report.

OSPAR commits to reducing Marine litter and protecting vulnerable species and habitats in the north east Atlantic

OSPAR Commission
Published on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 19:13

On June 27, 2014, OSPAR adopted its long-awaited Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, designed to promote concerted action to reduce marine litter in the North East Atlantic. The plan also includes measures to protect 16 vulnerable species and habitats.  The Plan will address litter from both land and sea based sources and will result in a reduction in marine litter on coasts and beaches.

The Plan supports the global effort to achieve significant reductions in marine debris by 2025 as agreed by Heads of States at Rio+20. It provides a regional contribution to the European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive. It also invites international organisations, the private sector and the non-governmental organisations to cooperate in its implementation.

It is a major milestone celebrated by the organisers of IMPAC3, 3rd Marine Protected Areas. One of the six major conclusions of the congress was an emphasis on the necessity of regional approaches for devising solutions, particularly with respect to governance. The commitment made by OSPAR reflects this approach and the recommendations for waste reduction illustrates the willingness of countries in the OSPAR area to protect marine biodiversity in the region.

A biologically diverse North-East Atlantic is vital for the proper functioning of marine ecosystems as well as supporting human health and the millions of livelihoods that depend on it. The measures agreed today demonstrate OSPAR countries’ willingness to take active steps to protect biodiversity in the region.

The 16 marine habitats and species protected in these recommendations bring the total list to 34 species and 14 habitats including those agreed at previous OSPAR meetings. 

To learn more download OSPAR’s Press Release. 

Creation of the World’s largest Marine Protected area in French New Caledonia

Coral Sea natural parK
Published on Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:53

The creation of the Coral Sea natural park was announced on April 23, 2014, according to the government of New Caledonia’s decision headed by Harold Martin.

Read more: Creation of the World’s largest Marine Protected area in French New Caledonia

French Announcements at the Ajaccio Conference

Philippe Martin © Agnès Poiret
Published on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 16:46

On Oct. 26, the French Minister of Ecology announced several significant environmental initiatives at the Ajaccio Ministerial Conference for Ocean Conservation.

Philippe Marin, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and H.S.H. Albert II of Monaco jointly dislosed the creation of a Trust fund for marine protected areas in the Mediterranean.

Read more: French Announcements at the Ajaccio Conference

Ajaccio Ministerial Message for Ocean Conservation

© Agnès Poiret / AAMP
Published on Saturday, 26 October 2013 20:03

Immediately after 5 days of debates in Marseille, Mr. Philippe Martin, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, gathered in Ajaccio 19 ministers of nations representing the world's oceans.

This Ministerial Conference, held in the presence of numerous representatives of governments, international institutions and NGOs, was structured around three roundtables, on the following subjects: the benefits and urgency of conserving the oceans, promoting the regional scale as the appropriate framework for effective action, and international initiatives needed to protect the high seas.

Read more: Ajaccio Ministerial Message for Ocean Conservation

Day 5 Intro: Regional Approaches

Published on Friday, 25 October 2013 09:29

On Friday, Oct. 25, participants work on regional approaches. Carole Martinez (IUCN), who together with David Johnson (Seascape Consultants) is facilitator for this final day in Marseille, tells us why.

Read more: Day 5 Intro: Regional Approaches

Day 4 Wrap-Up

Jessica Sanders (FAO) and Julie Ritz (UNDESA)
Published on Friday, 25 October 2013 01:39

At IMPAC3, the keywords for Day 4 were Governance, Partnerships and Industry Involvement.

Facilitators François Simard (IUCN) and Christophe Lefebvre (French MPA Agency & IUCN) categorized the outcomes of Friday, Oct. 24, into five broad sets of issues.

Read more: Day 4 Wrap-Up

Conserving Straits Without Putting Them in a Cage

Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 22:21

Driven by Pas-de-Calais Département (France) and Kent County (U.K.), which are separated by the Strait of Dover, the European Straits Initiative brings together 15 local authorities whose shores are bathed by 8 European straits, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, with the North Sea and the Channel along the way.

Read more: Conserving Straits Without Putting Them in a Cage

Day 3 Debate: Assessing the MPAs' Impact on Fisheries

Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 20:43

On the occasion of Day 3, focusing on industry involvement, we talked about how MPAs and fishing interact with Serge Michel Garcia of IUCN's Fisheries Expert Group and Catherine Piante of WWF France. WWF provided momentum for the setting up of the Mediterranean network of MPA managers (MedPAN).

Read more: Day 3 Debate: Assessing the MPAs' Impact on Fisheries

Involving stakeholders in MPAs

© Magali Mabari / MedPAN
Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 20:39

Involving stakeholders for efficient MPAs is crucial. One of the workshops held on Tuesday, Oct. 22, devoted an entire day to explore the question with over 15 speakers that presented examples from around the world.

Chaired by Laurent Sourbès, Director of Zakynthos Marine National Park in Greece and vice president of MedPAN, the network of MPA managers in the Mediterranean, as well as by Charlotte Karibuhoye of the Fondation Internationale du Banc d’Arguin in West Africa, the workshop fostered dynamic and passionate exchanges.

Read more: Involving stakeholders in MPAs

Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas And Aichi Target 11

Purificacio Canals (MedPAN) and Jihyun Lee (CBD) © Magali Mabari / MedPAN
Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 20:27

1.08 % of the Mediterranean is now set aside in Marine Protected Areas.

This what guests learned at an Ocean+ Evening Event held on Tuesday, Oct. 22, and devoted to how regional MPA networks contribute to implementing the CBD Aichi targets, based on the Mediterranean experience

Read more: Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas And Aichi Target 11

Kite Aerial Photo Above Pharo Palace

Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 16:30

This afternoon, a steady breeze over Marseille harbor allowed En Haut!, a Mauritania-based association, to demonstrate the capabilities of their remote-controlled cameras.

The angle of the camera can be changed from the ground, allowing for both vertical and slanting views.

Read more: Kite Aerial Photo Above Pharo Palace

Day 3 Wrap-Up

Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 10:03

Today we've been looking at tools for management and enforcement.

According to Day 3 facilitators Olivier Laroussinie (French MPA Agency) and Dan Laffoley (IUCN), today's exchanges demonstrated the real value of bringing everyone together. From one congress to the next, surprising new tools keep being invented. This can be a double-edged sword: technological advances provide a much clearer image, but at the same time require much more accurate data. So while processing capabilities increase, they induce a need for ever-larger amounts of information, which take time and resources to collect.

Read more: Day 3 Wrap-Up

Te Vaka, the twin pirogue

Présentation de Pascal ERHEL ATUUKU, chef de projet UNESCO
Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:01

Pascal Erhel Hatuuku, Unesco project leader, explains the symbolic value of the ancestral twin pirogue to enhance environmental communication and awareness in the Pacific.

Going back in time to consider the origins of Polynesian peoples, scientists examined archeological, ethnolinguistical, ethnobotanical and genetical evidence. Their conclusion: Polynesians arrived from Southeast Asia, probably from Taiwan.

Read more: Te Vaka, the twin pirogue

Understanding Humans to Conserve Nature

Jon Day et David Obura
Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 19:43

On the occasion of Day 2, dedicated to science and knowledge, an MPA manager (Jon Day, Great Barrier Reef) and a scientist (David Obura, CORDIO) discuss to what extent science can help make sound decisions.

Read more: Understanding Humans to Conserve Nature

Day 3 Intro: Tools for MPA Management and Enforcement

© Julie Gourvès / AAMP
Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:41

Management tools encompass all measures implemented inside a protected area to ensure conservation objectives are well defined and then effectively met.

The overall theme for today's presentations is introduced by Olivier Laroussinie, Director of the French MPA Agency, and Dan Laffoley, Vice-Chair of IUCN WCPA-marine.

Read more: Day 3 Intro: Tools for MPA Management and Enforcement

Day 2 Wrap-Up, Part 2: Panelists’ Comments

Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:29

After François Gauthiez and Patricio Bernal finished summarizing workshops, guest speakers gave their own take on the topic of the day: Science and Knowledge in the Service of Effective Management. Below are a few excerpts.

Read more: Day 2 Wrap-Up, Part 2: Panelists’ Comments

Day 2 Wrap-Up, Part 1: Syntheses

François Gauthiez (French MPA Agency) and Patricio Bernal (Global Marine and Polar Program)
Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:23

Moderated by François Gauthiez (French MPA Agency) and Patricio Bernal (IUCN Global Marine and Polar Program), a panel of experts wrapped up the day's workshops, devoted to Science and Knowledge in the Service of MPA Management..

Read more: Day 2 Wrap-Up, Part 1: Syntheses

Workshop in Focus, Day 2: Ecosystem Service Assessment and Valuation

Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 21:20

Ecosystem services are things produced by nature that benefit to people. Some of those benefits have a well-defined economic value: a healthy ocean produces fish and attracts tourism, for instance. But the sea also produces a sense of wellbeing, which is less easily circumscribed.

Read more: Workshop in Focus, Day 2: Ecosystem Service Assessment and Valuation

IMPAC3 Program Coordinator François Simard Explains the Congress

François Simard
Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 20:54

François Simard is Deputy Director of IUCN's Global Marine and Polar Programme. He was instrumental in defining the aims, scope and program of the congress.

Why is IMPAC3 special?

After Australia and the United States, this is IMPAC's third edition. The congress is now mature and widely recognized, with over 1,000 participants.

Read more: IMPAC3 Program Coordinator François Simard Explains the Congress

Spotlight on Day2: Science and Knowledge in the Service of Effective Management

 François Gauthiez (French MPA Agency)
Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:32

Today, Oct. 22, François Gauthiez (French MPA Agency) and Patricio Bernal (IUCN) tell us how science interacts with MPA management.

Each day of the Congres is dedicated to a specific topic, under the coordination of two facilitators.

Read more: Spotlight on Day2: Science and Knowledge in the Service of Effective Management

Day2: Introductive Plenary

© Yann Souche / AAMP
Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:00

This day is dedicated to science and knowledge in the service of MPA creation and management.

Facilitators: Patricio BERNAL, IUCN; François GAUTHIEZ, AAMP

Read more: Day2: Introductive Plenary

Opening Day - The Voices of Organizers and Decision-Makers

H.S.H Prince Albert of Monaco (middle) and French Minister of the Sea Frédéric Cuvillier (right) arrive at Pharo Palace. © Yann Souche / AAMP
Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 00:03

On Monday, Oct. 21, in Marseille, organizers and major partners warned that protecting the oceans was a daunting yet vital task. They urged participants to tackle it head-on with new solutions.

Jean-Claude Gaudin, mayor of Marseille, stressed that protected areas are not necessarily forbidden sanctuaries: they usually allow for human activities such as fishing – and may even, in some cases, save them from collapse. He speaks from experience: Calanques National Park includes densely populated areas.

Read more: Opening Day - The Voices of Organizers and Decision-Makers

An Auspicious Beginning

© Yann Souche / AAMP
Published on Monday, 21 October 2013 23:48

From Sunday to Monday, Oct. 21, the exhibition hall inside Pharo Palace transformed overnight from a bare hall cluttered with boxes, tubes and jumbled chairs into a (relatively) orderly, welcoming and colorful space.

The dominant tone is yours to guess!

Read more: An Auspicious Beginning

IUCN Press Release: Better Management and Funding Needed to Save the Ocean

© IUCN
Published on Monday, 21 October 2013 16:40

Effective management and more funding for marine protected areas are urgently needed to secure a longer life for our oceans and the vital services they provide, urges IUCN at the 3rd International MPA Congress (IMPAC3), which opens today in Marseille, France.

A target of at least 10 % of the world’s marine and coastal zones to be protected by 2020 was agreed by most of the world’s governments in 2010.

Read more: IUCN Press Release: Better Management and Funding Needed to Save the Ocean

CBD Opening Statement: IMPAC3's Role in Meeting International Commitments

COP10/CDB
Published on Monday, 21 October 2013 15:58

Statement by Mr Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, read by Ms.Jihyun Lee, Chief Environmental Officer for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity on the occasion of the opening of the Third International Marine Protected Areas Congress.

Note: In 2010 in Nagoa (Japan), the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity defined Aichi Target 11 -- Covering 10 percent of the oceans with a comprehensive, ecologically representative network of marine protected areas by 2020.

Read more: CBD Opening Statement: IMPAC3's Role in Meeting International Commitments

Watch Plenaries Live on Oceanplus.tv

Published on Monday, 21 October 2013 13:57

Tune in Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 21-24, to watch three daily plenaries: 8:45-9:45am, 2:30-3pm and 5-6pm.

Read more: Watch Plenaries Live on Oceanplus.tv

Hope for the Oceans

© MissionBlue
Published on Sunday, 20 October 2013 15:24

Join Dr. Sylvia Earle on Tuesday, October 22, 6:15-8pm inside the main auditorium, for a special session to unveil MissionBlue's new global Hope Spot map.

Also appearing will be speakers from IUCN, Marine Conservation Institute, Google Earth and The Sargasso Sea Alliance.
Dr. Earle will announce 50 new Hope Spots. Which one will you support?

Read more: Hope for the Oceans

Corsica: Marine World Heritage site managers share solutions to marine conservation issues

Rock islands Southern Lagoon © Jerker Tamelander
Published on Saturday, 19 October 2013 11:28

Managers of the 46 marine sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List will meet in Ajaccio (Corsica, France) from 18 to 20 October to explore ways to advance the interests of marine conservation worldwide.

Marine World Heritage sites, often referred to as “the crown jewels of the oceans,” represent one quarter of all protected marine areas in terms of the surface they cover.

Read more: Corsica: Marine World Heritage site managers share solutions to marine conservation issues

Ajaccio Ministerial Conference: Provisional Program Now Online

Sanguinaires Islands, Corsica © Balloïde Photo
Published on Saturday, 19 October 2013 10:51

Immediately after the technical core of the congress in Marseille, governements and major international marine-conservation institutions will consider what policy initiatives are needed to fulfill international targets.

The conference is separate from the rest of the congress and open on invitation only.

Read more: Ajaccio Ministerial Conference: Provisional Program Now Online

Editorial, Oct. 18: Ready to Board!

Olivier Laroussinie © Julie Gourvès / AAMP
Published on Friday, 18 October 2013 13:26

The home stretch to Marseille proved epic. Program tweaks, flight bookings, press invitations, WebTV developments… Amid the storm, it sometimes felt like we would never touch ground. But now October 21st is on us, we’ve rounded the jetty, and the swell is smoothing out. We’re ready for a reunion.

We managed to weather the squalls, and we owe it to all of you who contributed contents. You answered innumerable emails to define the list of sessions and structure discussions. Our gambit was to allow room for initiative in order to foster exchanges.

Read more: Editorial, Oct. 18: Ready to Board!

Earth’s Oceans In Greater Danger Than We Thought, Says IPSO Report

dead coral
Published on Friday, 11 October 2013 18:16

An international panel of marine scientists, including IUCN experts, is demanding urgent remedies to halt ocean degradation based on findings that the rate, speed and impacts of change in the global ocean are greater, faster and more imminent than previously thought.

Read more: Earth’s Oceans In Greater Danger Than We Thought, Says IPSO Report

Ocean+ WebTV

WebTV homepage
Published on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 16:49

"Ocean+" WebTV is online !

Oceanplus.tv is the Web TV of the 3rd International Congress of Marine Protected Areas. It talks about oceans, marine biodiversity in general and marine protected areas in particular.

Read more: Ocean+ WebTV

USD 5 Million Investment Gives Vital Boost to Kiribati World Heritage

Published on Thursday, 03 October 2013 16:13

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) Conservation Trust announced the initial capitalization of its trust fund, which will provide ongoing support for Kiribati’s 408,250 square kilometer marine protected area (MPA), the world’s largest Unesco World Heritage Site.

The funds were received in two contributions of USD 2.5 million each from the Republic of Kiribati and the nonprofit organization Conservation International (CI).

Read more: USD 5 Million Investment Gives Vital Boost to Kiribati World Heritage

Two books to discover the Mediterranean marine protected areas

©Mathieu Foulquié
Published on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 17:53

Two important books will take you on a voyage across the Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas.

The first one, “Protect Mediterranean Cetaceans” tells you everything there is to know about these marine mammals, based on a 12-year study by WWF France.

Read more: Two books to discover the Mediterranean marine protected areas

Respect Ocean, a network of responsible businesses

 © Respect Oceans
Published on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 12:26

Raphaela Le Gouvello is known for her sporting achievements. But she is also involved in a diverse range of adventurous projects. For example with her windsurf she crossed the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Oceans as well as the Mediterranean.

Over the timeless waters then emerges a new project: to be involved in marine conservation.

Read more: Respect Ocean, a network of responsible businesses

Tara Oceans: a unique expedition at the service of science

© F.Latreille Tara Expeditions
Published on Friday, 27 September 2013 15:43

Tara. A schooner travelling the world for three years during which time marine scientists took turns on board to study the plankton. Never before a vast study of this ecosystem has been undertaken.

Plankton is influenced by climate, and vice versa. With the current changes, there is an urgency to predict changes in the plankton.

Read more: Tara Oceans: a unique expedition at the service of science

Marine Protected Areas in the Caribbean Learn to Contain Lionfish

Tobago Cays, Saint Vincent and Grenadines. © Iain Grant / Creative Commons
Published on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:52

Staff from six marine protected areas from Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines recently trained in lionfish capture and handling during the third annual networking meeting of the marine protected areas of the Grenadines, from August 28 to August 30, 2013 in Carriacou.

Grenada Sustainable Grenadines, an integrated development and biodiversity conservation NGO, gave rangers/wardens from the two countries an opportunity to get hands-on experience in managing lionfish.

Read more: Marine Protected Areas in the Caribbean Learn to Contain Lionfish

$74,000 to California Schools to Protect the Ocean

© NOAA
Published on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 11:55

NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has awarded 21 K-12 schools in California with more than $74,000 in grants to help protect the health of the ocean.

The schools received a Ocean Guardian School grants to implement a hands-on school or community-based project that helps protect and conserve the health of local watersheds, the ocean and special ocean areas like national marine sanctuaries.

Read more: $74,000 to California Schools to Protect the Ocean

INMARE Marine Film Festival: Submissions Open until October 15

© Vanzo / Portofino MPA
Published on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 10:31

Portofino Marine Protected Area (Italy) is organizing on December 6, 7 and 8, 2013, a film festival on MPAs around the globe. Film makers may answer its call for submissions until October 15, 2013.

Camogli International Marine Reserves Film Festival (INMARE) will showcase short-, medium and full-length films that raise public awareness of the strategic role marine protected areas play in protecting biodiversity.

Read more: INMARE Marine Film Festival: Submissions Open until October 15

Mediterranean Small Islands Program in Marseille

© Conservatoire du littoral
Published on Monday, 09 September 2013 18:42

In close partnership with IMPAC3, Marseille hosts in September and October 2013 exhibitions and seminars on the conservation of small islands in the Mediterranean and all around the globe.

While essential to maintaining biodiversity, small islands stand under increasing pressure from human activities: pollution, urbanization, overusage, invasive alien species.

Read more: Mediterranean Small Islands Program in Marseille

Australia: After Elections, Uncertain Future for New Marine Protected Areas

Great Barrier Reef at night © Cory Doctorow / Creative Commons
Published on Monday, 09 September 2013 18:23

The victory of the Liberal National Party Coalition in Australian federal elections on Saturday, Sept. 7, blurs the future of marine protected areas created only last year.

Just before the vote, now-Prime Minister Tony Abbott said last Wednesday that his government would review the boundaries of the new marine areas and scrap their just-finished management plans so that the fishing industry can be given a greater say.

Read more: Australia: After Elections, Uncertain Future for New Marine Protected Areas

Pacific Islands Pledge to Protect Ocean Against Climate Change

Majuro, Marshall Islands © Stefan Lins / Creative Commons
Published on Monday, 09 September 2013 18:11

At the Pacific Islands Forum in Majuro (Marshall Islands), sixteen states renewed on Wednesday, September 4, their commitment to fight climate change, notably through marine protected areas.

Pacific islands are directly threatened by the rise in sea levels: some atolls stand just 2-3 meters above the surface. The Majuro Manifesto is a call for immediate action, and will be presented at the United Nations general assembly in New York.

Read more: Pacific Islands Pledge to Protect Ocean Against Climate Change

New Marine Protected Area in Quebec

Baie-Comeau, Quebec. © Creative Commons
Published on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 11:23

The creation of the Manicouagan Aquatic Reserve, in the St. Lawrence Estuary, was announced on Aug. 22, 2013.

Covering 275 square miles, it will preserve an estuarine and marine zone harboring very diverse habitats, at the mouths of the Manicouagan, Outardes and Betsiamites Rivers.

Read more: New Marine Protected Area in Quebec

Ocean+ Evening Events – Socializing and building working relationships

Image courtesy of  josef b creative commons
Published on Monday, 02 September 2013 14:59

At the end of the day’s conclusive plenary, the evening is not necessarily over. You may feel the need to exchange impressions, continue a conversation, or simply get to know fellow participants you came across during the day. After all, helping marine professionals network is high on the list of congress objectives!

Read more: Ocean+ Evening Events – Socializing and building working relationships

Reach for the sky for a better observation with “En Haut!”

© En Haut
Published on Friday, 30 August 2013 16:40

Take a kite, attach a camera to it, and let the winds guide it… The result is amazing! Marion Broquère and Simon Nancy, creators of the small Mauritanian organisation “En Haut!”, will present this simple, ecological and cost-effective aerial-photography technique.

Their work focuses mainly on the West African coast, in collaboration with research institutes, national parks and NGOs.

Read more: Reach for the sky for a better observation with “En Haut!”

Otters Help Ecosystem to Recover in California

Sea otters in California. © Martin Cathrae / Creative Commons
Published on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 20:34

The return of sea otters to an estuary on the central Californian coast has significantly improved the health of seagrass, new research has found.

Seagrass was deemed to be heading for extinction in this region before the otters returned. Scientists found that the animals triggered a chain reaction of events that boosted the water-dwelling plants.

Read more: Otters Help Ecosystem to Recover in California

Mangroves Resist Sea Level Rise

Mangrove in Queensland, Australia © Muriel Gottrop, Creative Commons
Published on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 14:15

According to a new report from The Nature Conservancy, Wetlands International and the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, mangroves could be able to keep pace with sea level rise in some places.

The authors reviewed a broad range of existing evidence and found that mangroves can build up soil at rates of 1 to 10 mm per year.

Read more: Mangroves Resist Sea Level Rise

Dark Forescasts on Ocean Acidification

The snail Clione limacina grows up to a length of 70-85 mm. © M. Boeer, Alfred Wegener Institute
Published on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 12:57

Two new studies show that ocean acidification is negatively affecting species and ecosystems, albeit to varying degrees. Acidification may also amplify global warming, according to a third study.

The oceans absorb more than a quarter of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere. They form a natural store without which the Earth would now be a good deal warmer. But their storage capacities are limited and the absorption of carbon dioxide results in their acidification.

Read more: Dark Forescasts on Ocean Acidification

Ocean+ Pavilion: at the service of oceankind

Published on Monday, 26 August 2013 17:43

The congress is not only about serious, technical workshops and knowledge cafés! It is also about envisioning new outlooks, visiting distant shores and networking with different people. This is where the Ocean+ Pavilion fits in.

One of its major objectives is to introduce the notion of Oceankind, the trademark theme of this congress: fostering a society that is aware of the sea. The Ocean + Pavilion emphasizes the societal dimensions of the oceans. It turns the spotlight on the involvement of civil society – local communities, collectivities, users, industries – in innovative networks, often relying on new technologies. Among its guests are not only scientists but also prominent personalities and artists.

Read more: Ocean+ Pavilion: at the service of oceankind

Plenary sessions – bringing the congress into focus congress

Image courtesy of BrianHolm/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Published on Friday, 23 August 2013 17:31

At the core of the Congress, plenary sessions define its direction and clear the way for smaller meetings on more specific subjects.

Given the wealth of material presented throughout the congress , no one can hope to be part of everything going on. Plenaries nonetheless ensure that all share into the same common experience.

Read more: Plenary sessions – bringing the congress into focus congress

Knowledge cafés –investigate, learn and connect

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Published on Thursday, 22 August 2013 14:56

In our last article we talked about workshops. Today we will give you a foretaste of knowledge cafés, of which more than 50 have been programmed so far.

Like workshops, Knowledge Cafés  last 90 minutes, but this time participants exchange amongst themselves around a roundtable. The small group size of 6 to 12 participants allows for an informal, hands-on exchange.

Read more: Knowledge cafés –investigate, learn and connect

Workshops – share, discuss and, interact!

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Published on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 19:30

The program is online, registrations are coming in and the phones keep ringing for more information! We are in the last lap before the finishing line of 21 October, when the Congress begins!

In a series of articles over the next few days we will give you a sneak peak at what will happen during the congress. The workshops are one of the major ingredients.

Read more: Workshops – share, discuss and, interact!

Climate change pushing marine life towards the poles

iceland
Published on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 19:26

Warming oceans are causing marine species to change breeding times and shift homes with expected substantial consequences for the broader marine landscape, according to a new global study.

The three-year research project has shown widespread systemic shifts in measures such as distribution of species and phenology -- the timing of nature's calendar - on a scale comparable to or greater than those observed on land.

Read more: Climate change pushing marine life towards the poles

Reminder - Early Fee ends next week !

© FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Published on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 15:36

Remember to take advantage of the Early Fee while it is still time: Register until August 18 inclusive!

Student and group rates are also available. Payment of the registration fee for the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress grants access to the exhibition area, workshops, plenary sessions and catering facilities.

Read more: Reminder - Early Fee ends next week !

Editorial, Aug. 9: A program that is yours!

François Simard Deputy Director and Senior Advisor for Fisheries IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme © UICN
Published on Friday, 09 August 2013 19:04

After several weeks of reading and brainstorming around the 700 contributions that we received from you ​​to shape the next Congress, we finally managed to develop a program.

We are pleased to present it hoping that it not only meets your objectives, but also be a source of dialogue and sharing of experiences and expertise.

Read more: Editorial, Aug. 9: A program that is yours!

IMPAC3: The program is online!

The IMPAC3 Team © Xavier Harlay / AAMP
Published on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 12:17

The Impac 3 team is happy to present the program of the next International Marine Protected Areas Congress !

The D day of the conference, which will be held from 21 to 27 October in Marseille and Corsica, is approaching. The launch of the new program and the registration process (discount until August 18 inclusive) are a key step towards the Congress.

Read more: IMPAC3: The program is online!

Support IUCN’s initiative to Save Mozambique's Dugongs

A Dugong near Marsa Alam (Egypt)
Published on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 11:21

IUCN invites you to join and support its team for the 2013 swim across Lake Léman!!!

Read more: Support IUCN’s initiative to Save Mozambique's Dugongs

Russia Stalls Powers' Bid To Create Antarctic Marine Sanctuaries

Published on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 12:39

Russia has stalled U.S. and European initiatives to establish no-take marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean, ending a landmark meeting to debate protections for Antarctic wildlife.

The defeat came at an extraordinary gathering in Germany of the intergovernmental Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which concluded without an agreement.

Read more: Russia Stalls Powers' Bid To Create Antarctic Marine Sanctuaries

Marseille : Mediterranean Underwater Canyons in the Spotlight

mediterranean-canyons
Published on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 09:48

On June 24 in Marseille, the Agence des aires marines protégées (French MPA Agency) showcased the results of the MEDSEACAN and CORSEACAN campaigns, dedicated to the exploration of underwater canyon heads in the northwestern Mediterranean.

From November 2008 to August 2010, both campaigns mapped underwater valleys that cut deeply into the edge of the Mediterranean continental shelf.

Read more: Marseille : Mediterranean Underwater Canyons in the Spotlight

On Facebook, French Environment Ministry Turns Spotlight on MPAs

impac3-launch
Published on Thursday, 13 June 2013 11:25

Seizing on the occasion of the official launch of IMPAC3 in Paris, on June 5, and of World Ocean Day, on June 6, 2013, the Facebook page of the French Ministry in charge of the environment highlights the role of marine protected areas.

Read more: On Facebook, French Environment Ministry Turns Spotlight on MPAs

IMPAC Official Launch in Paris

geode
Published on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 18:48

On June 5, 6:30 pm, the Agence des aires marines protégées (French MPA Agency) and Géode (a science-oriented Omnimax cinema housed inside a geodesic dome) are joining forces to officially launch the Third International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC3)

Just before World Oceans Day, a press conference is hosted jointly by Paul Giacobbi, Chair of the board of the Agence des aires marines protégées, and by Claudie Haigneré, Chair of the board of Géode.

Read more: IMPAC Official Launch in Paris

Morocco Tunes in to Marine Protected Areas

school-trip-morocco
Published on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 19:16

Morocco is about to create three test MPAs in an effort to contribute to the sustainability of small-scale fisheries.

Under the leadership of the Agence du partenariat pour le progress (APP), a Moroccan public agency created in 2008, three test sites were selected, based on an review by the National institute of Fisheries Research (INHR).

Read more: Morocco Tunes in to Marine Protected Areas

OSPAR Relies on MAIA to Compile Database of Marine Protected Areas

maia-team
Published on Monday, 27 May 2013 13:36

The international community will use the MAIA database to collect and publish information on the MPAs of the Atlantic arc.

MAIA is the network of MPA managers of the European Atlantic coastline, from the northern tip of Scotland down to the Azores.

Read more: OSPAR Relies on MAIA to Compile Database of Marine Protected Areas

Editorial, May 15, 2013

dan laffoley iucn
Published on Friday, 17 May 2013 10:52

Countdown to Marseille - Over 700 Abstracts Received

We are now hard at work building the Congress program! Abstract submissions closed on May 10, and the response has been overwhelming: in the course of just under two months, over 700 abstracts have been collected.

A big thank you to all who contributed! The final count shows how diverse you are, in terms of both geographical origins and interests: this bodes well indeed for the breadth and depth of exchanges in October.

Read more: Editorial, May 15, 2013

IUCN Publishes Criteria for Red List of Threatened Ecosystems

coral-indian-ocean
Published on Thursday, 16 May 2013 17:43

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), co-organizer of IMPAC3, published on May 8 a new global standard for the creation, by 2025, of a Red List of Ecosystems under threat.

The IUCN already maintains a Red List of Threatened Species. The new list will supplement it through an ecosystemic approach.

Read more: IUCN Publishes Criteria for Red List of Threatened Ecosystems

NOAA Scientists Warn of Nearly Ice-Free Arctic Summers Before 2050

noaa mission summer actic ice
Published on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 15:25

For scientists studying summer sea ice in the Arctic, it’s not a question of “if” there will be nearly ice-free summers, but “when.” And two scientists say that “when” is sooner than many thought — before 2050 and possibly within the next decade or two.

Read more: NOAA Scientists Warn of Nearly Ice-Free Arctic Summers Before 2050

Aichi 11: Numbers on Target, But Mixed Reality

fishing mayotte
Published on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:24

A new study by marine-conservation scientists and policy experts finds that the world is actually on track towards meeting global marine protection goals, but warns that numbers alone cannot be a measure of success.

Under the leadership of The Nature Conservancy and of the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the authors reviewed 10,280 marine protected areas (MPAs) covering 8.3 million square kilometers.

Read more: Aichi 11: Numbers on Target, But Mixed Reality

Conference on the High Seas in Paris

manta ray marquesas
Published on Thursday, 11 April 2013 12:55

Many prominent players of ocean conservation gather in Paris today, 11 April 2013, to consider the protection of biodiversity in the high seas.

Organized around the French ministers in charge of the Environment, Delphine Batho, and of the Sea, Frédéric Cuvilier, this meeting reflects French efforts to carry forward the international commitments made in 2012 at Rio+20 for the sustainable management of marine resources in zones beyond national jurisdiction.

Read more: Conference on the High Seas in Paris

Broader Cooperation Between France and UNEP

cayar senegal
Published on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 15:22

The framework agreement binding France and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was officially published on March 26, 2013. It opens up new cooperation perspectives in terms of international environmental governance.

Created in 1972 and based in Nairobi (Kenya), UNEP promotes the protection of resources worldwide as a fundamental aspect of economic and social development.

Read more: Broader Cooperation Between France and UNEP

Editorial, March 15, 2013

christophe lefebvre
Published on Friday, 15 March 2013 09:47

Welcome to the website of the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress!

The Ocean is a public good entrusted to humankind. The international community, and each of us, must assume a share of responsibility in ensuring it is protected and sustainably managed. Marine ecosystems and biodiversity bring strategic benefits, including securing food, developing economies and regulating the global climate.

Read more: Editorial, March 15, 2013

Launch of the Global Ocean Commission

urchin and apogons
Published on Thursday, 14 March 2013 11:44

Global leaders launched on Feb. 12, 2013, in London a new initiative to restore health and productivity to the ocean: the Global Ocean Commission.

Read more: Launch of the Global Ocean Commission

Plenaries

Ajaccio Ministerial Message for Ocean Conservation

© Agnès Poiret / AAMP
Published on Saturday, 26 October 2013 20:03

Immediately after 5 days of debates in Marseille, Mr. Philippe Martin, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, gathered in Ajaccio 19 ministers of nations representing the world's oceans.

This Ministerial Conference, held in the presence of numerous representatives of governments, international institutions and NGOs, was structured around three roundtables, on the following subjects: the benefits and urgency of conserving the oceans, promoting the regional scale as the appropriate framework for effective action, and international initiatives needed to protect the high seas.

Read more: Ajaccio Ministerial Message for Ocean Conservation

Day 5 Intro: Regional Approaches

Published on Friday, 25 October 2013 09:29

On Friday, Oct. 25, participants work on regional approaches. Carole Martinez (IUCN), who together with David Johnson (Seascape Consultants) is facilitator for this final day in Marseille, tells us why.

Read more: Day 5 Intro: Regional Approaches

Day 4 Wrap-Up

Jessica Sanders (FAO) and Julie Ritz (UNDESA)
Published on Friday, 25 October 2013 01:39

At IMPAC3, the keywords for Day 4 were Governance, Partnerships and Industry Involvement.

Facilitators François Simard (IUCN) and Christophe Lefebvre (French MPA Agency & IUCN) categorized the outcomes of Friday, Oct. 24, into five broad sets of issues.

Read more: Day 4 Wrap-Up

Day 3 Wrap-Up

Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 10:03

Today we've been looking at tools for management and enforcement.

According to Day 3 facilitators Olivier Laroussinie (French MPA Agency) and Dan Laffoley (IUCN), today's exchanges demonstrated the real value of bringing everyone together. From one congress to the next, surprising new tools keep being invented. This can be a double-edged sword: technological advances provide a much clearer image, but at the same time require much more accurate data. So while processing capabilities increase, they induce a need for ever-larger amounts of information, which take time and resources to collect.

Read more: Day 3 Wrap-Up

Day 3 Intro: Tools for MPA Management and Enforcement

© Julie Gourvès / AAMP
Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:41

Management tools encompass all measures implemented inside a protected area to ensure conservation objectives are well defined and then effectively met.

The overall theme for today's presentations is introduced by Olivier Laroussinie, Director of the French MPA Agency, and Dan Laffoley, Vice-Chair of IUCN WCPA-marine.

Read more: Day 3 Intro: Tools for MPA Management and Enforcement

Day 2 Wrap-Up, Part 2: Panelists’ Comments

Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:29

After François Gauthiez and Patricio Bernal finished summarizing workshops, guest speakers gave their own take on the topic of the day: Science and Knowledge in the Service of Effective Management. Below are a few excerpts.

Read more: Day 2 Wrap-Up, Part 2: Panelists’ Comments

Day 2 Wrap-Up, Part 1: Syntheses

François Gauthiez (French MPA Agency) and Patricio Bernal (Global Marine and Polar Program)
Published on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:23

Moderated by François Gauthiez (French MPA Agency) and Patricio Bernal (IUCN Global Marine and Polar Program), a panel of experts wrapped up the day's workshops, devoted to Science and Knowledge in the Service of MPA Management..

Read more: Day 2 Wrap-Up, Part 1: Syntheses

Day2: Introductive Plenary

© Yann Souche / AAMP
Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:00

This day is dedicated to science and knowledge in the service of MPA creation and management.

Facilitators: Patricio BERNAL, IUCN; François GAUTHIEZ, AAMP

Read more: Day2: Introductive Plenary

Opening Day - The Voices of Organizers and Decision-Makers

H.S.H Prince Albert of Monaco (middle) and French Minister of the Sea Frédéric Cuvillier (right) arrive at Pharo Palace. © Yann Souche / AAMP
Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 00:03

On Monday, Oct. 21, in Marseille, organizers and major partners warned that protecting the oceans was a daunting yet vital task. They urged participants to tackle it head-on with new solutions.

Jean-Claude Gaudin, mayor of Marseille, stressed that protected areas are not necessarily forbidden sanctuaries: they usually allow for human activities such as fishing – and may even, in some cases, save them from collapse. He speaks from experience: Calanques National Park includes densely populated areas.

Read more: Opening Day - The Voices of Organizers and Decision-Makers

Plenary sessions – bringing the congress into focus congress

Image courtesy of BrianHolm/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Published on Friday, 23 August 2013 17:31

At the core of the Congress, plenary sessions define its direction and clear the way for smaller meetings on more specific subjects.

Given the wealth of material presented throughout the congress , no one can hope to be part of everything going on. Plenaries nonetheless ensure that all share into the same common experience.

Read more: Plenary sessions – bringing the congress into focus congress

Workshops

Involving stakeholders in MPAs

© Magali Mabari / MedPAN
Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 20:39

Involving stakeholders for efficient MPAs is crucial. One of the workshops held on Tuesday, Oct. 22, devoted an entire day to explore the question with over 15 speakers that presented examples from around the world.

Chaired by Laurent Sourbès, Director of Zakynthos Marine National Park in Greece and vice president of MedPAN, the network of MPA managers in the Mediterranean, as well as by Charlotte Karibuhoye of the Fondation Internationale du Banc d’Arguin in West Africa, the workshop fostered dynamic and passionate exchanges.

Read more: Involving stakeholders in MPAs

Workshops – share, discuss and, interact!

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Published on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 19:30

The program is online, registrations are coming in and the phones keep ringing for more information! We are in the last lap before the finishing line of 21 October, when the Congress begins!

In a series of articles over the next few days we will give you a sneak peak at what will happen during the congress. The workshops are one of the major ingredients.

Read more: Workshops – share, discuss and, interact!

Knowledge Cafes

Knowledge cafés –investigate, learn and connect

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Published on Thursday, 22 August 2013 14:56

In our last article we talked about workshops. Today we will give you a foretaste of knowledge cafés, of which more than 50 have been programmed so far.

Like workshops, Knowledge Cafés  last 90 minutes, but this time participants exchange amongst themselves around a roundtable. The small group size of 6 to 12 participants allows for an informal, hands-on exchange.

Read more: Knowledge cafés –investigate, learn and connect

Ocean+ Pavilion

Te Vaka, the twin pirogue

Présentation de Pascal ERHEL ATUUKU, chef de projet UNESCO
Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:01

Pascal Erhel Hatuuku, Unesco project leader, explains the symbolic value of the ancestral twin pirogue to enhance environmental communication and awareness in the Pacific.

Going back in time to consider the origins of Polynesian peoples, scientists examined archeological, ethnolinguistical, ethnobotanical and genetical evidence. Their conclusion: Polynesians arrived from Southeast Asia, probably from Taiwan.

Read more: Te Vaka, the twin pirogue

Two books to discover the Mediterranean marine protected areas

©Mathieu Foulquié
Published on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 17:53

Two important books will take you on a voyage across the Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas.

The first one, “Protect Mediterranean Cetaceans” tells you everything there is to know about these marine mammals, based on a 12-year study by WWF France.

Read more: Two books to discover the Mediterranean marine protected areas

Respect Ocean, a network of responsible businesses

 © Respect Oceans
Published on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 12:26

Raphaela Le Gouvello is known for her sporting achievements. But she is also involved in a diverse range of adventurous projects. For example with her windsurf she crossed the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Oceans as well as the Mediterranean.

Over the timeless waters then emerges a new project: to be involved in marine conservation.

Read more: Respect Ocean, a network of responsible businesses

Tara Oceans: a unique expedition at the service of science

© F.Latreille Tara Expeditions
Published on Friday, 27 September 2013 15:43

Tara. A schooner travelling the world for three years during which time marine scientists took turns on board to study the plankton. Never before a vast study of this ecosystem has been undertaken.

Plankton is influenced by climate, and vice versa. With the current changes, there is an urgency to predict changes in the plankton.

Read more: Tara Oceans: a unique expedition at the service of science

Reach for the sky for a better observation with “En Haut!”

© En Haut
Published on Friday, 30 August 2013 16:40

Take a kite, attach a camera to it, and let the winds guide it… The result is amazing! Marion Broquère and Simon Nancy, creators of the small Mauritanian organisation “En Haut!”, will present this simple, ecological and cost-effective aerial-photography technique.

Their work focuses mainly on the West African coast, in collaboration with research institutes, national parks and NGOs.

Read more: Reach for the sky for a better observation with “En Haut!”

Ocean+ Pavilion: at the service of oceankind

Published on Monday, 26 August 2013 17:43

The congress is not only about serious, technical workshops and knowledge cafés! It is also about envisioning new outlooks, visiting distant shores and networking with different people. This is where the Ocean+ Pavilion fits in.

One of its major objectives is to introduce the notion of Oceankind, the trademark theme of this congress: fostering a society that is aware of the sea. The Ocean + Pavilion emphasizes the societal dimensions of the oceans. It turns the spotlight on the involvement of civil society – local communities, collectivities, users, industries – in innovative networks, often relying on new technologies. Among its guests are not only scientists but also prominent personalities and artists.

Read more: Ocean+ Pavilion: at the service of oceankind

Other Events

Hope for the Oceans

© MissionBlue
Published on Sunday, 20 October 2013 15:24

Join Dr. Sylvia Earle on Tuesday, October 22, 6:15-8pm inside the main auditorium, for a special session to unveil MissionBlue's new global Hope Spot map.

Also appearing will be speakers from IUCN, Marine Conservation Institute, Google Earth and The Sargasso Sea Alliance.
Dr. Earle will announce 50 new Hope Spots. Which one will you support?

Read more: Hope for the Oceans

Ocean+ Evening Events – Socializing and building working relationships

Image courtesy of  josef b creative commons
Published on Monday, 02 September 2013 14:59

At the end of the day’s conclusive plenary, the evening is not necessarily over. You may feel the need to exchange impressions, continue a conversation, or simply get to know fellow participants you came across during the day. After all, helping marine professionals network is high on the list of congress objectives!

Read more: Ocean+ Evening Events – Socializing and building working relationships

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