Edinburgh Ocean Leaders at IMPAC5

During the autumn of 2021 four Edinburgh Ocean Leaders (Yolanda Sanchez, Ileana Zanella, Bruno Monteferri and Adam Miller, along with EOL Codirector Meriwether Wilson) collaborated on a proposal for an ‘ocean leadership’ symposium as part of IMPAC5 (5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress).  Their proposal was accepted for the Congress originally planned for 2022, and later changed to 3-9 February 2023 in Vancouver, Canada, with over 2000 participants attending. 

The Edinburgh Ocean Leaders co-led a dynamic session on 4th February, the first day of talks at IMPAC5, entitled: Being An Ocean Leader – Stories Of Leadership, Witness And Wisdom In Protecting Species And Society Across The Generations, And The Planet. The session was attended by nearly 50 marine conservation practioners, with others on-line. 

Meriwether opened the session sharing about the Edinburgh Ocean Leaders Programme, and its genesis in the power of remarkable individuals to make a difference.  Yolanda spoke on Ocean Literacy and Marine Conservation in Latin America and beyond.  Ileana shared about Co-Management of the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Sanctuary in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.  Bruno and Adam shared on-line from their respective countries, with Bruno speaking on the Rights of Nature – Legal protection of surf breaks in Peru, and Adam on Amplifying Locally-led Marine Conservation Efforts in Indonesia.  Sylvie Goyet, of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, provided closing remarks highlighting the different modes and scales of leadership needed to protect our global ocean and diverse seas.

Yolanda Sanchez was also part of several sessions with UNESCO on Ocean Literacy Dialogues, and Ileana Zanella was part of a stellar line-up of speakers and Sylvia Earle about their work in leading “Hope Spots” around the world.

Overall IMPAC5 was a highly dynamic and embracing Congress with over 1000 talks and sessions, touching on all aspects of marine conservation from meeting global targets to the growth of indigenous leadership for marine protected areas at all scales. 

Additional coverage of events, highlights and images from IMPAC5 is reported in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin: https://enb.iisd.org/international-marine-protected-areas-congress-impac5


Written by Meriwether Wilson

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