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10/13: IMPAC3 : Participation of RAC/SPA to the International Marine Protected Areas Congress

IMPAC3 logo

RAC/SPA was present during the third edition of the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC 3) co-organized by the Agence des aires marines protégées (French Marine Protected Areas Agency) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), from 21 to 27 October in Marseilles (France).

This congress, organized every four years, brings together major maritime stakeholders from around the globe, beyond national or sectorial boundaries, to assist in the conservation and sustainable development of the oceans.

This year, more than 700 contributions from 1500 persons and 87 nations were made, and RAC/SPA supported, through the MedMPAnet Project, the attendance of 9 Mediterranean participants to IMPAC3 from Albania, Croatia, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

From all these contributions, RAC/SPA was actively present during several events:

Tuesday 22 Oct.:

RAC/SPA participated to

  • The workshop entitled ‘Designing and implementing pelagic MPAs’ where a presentation on ‘Highly mobile threatened marine vertebrates need for large pelagic MPAs to keep a good status of conservation’ was made (presented by Lea DAVID from EcoOcean Institute).
  • The Special Event ‘How regional MPA networks contribute to implementing the CBD Aïchi targets: Sharing Mediterranean experience with other regional seas initiatives’ where RAC/SPA made a talk on its activities for the conservation of the open seas, including deep seas, in the Mediterranean, explaining the process for the definition of EBSAs and the project to promote SPAMIs embracing the open seas. (presented by Daniel CEBRIAN)

Besides a number of RAC/SPA recent publications have been made available to the special event attendees.

Wednesday 23 Oct.:

RAC/SPA participated to the Workshop on ‘Experiences with national MPA networks: Guidelines and Targets’ with two presentations:

  • Towards the development of a national network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Lebanon (presented by Atef LIMAM).
  • Towards the development of a national network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Libya: Marine extension of El Kouf National Park (presented by Yassine Ramzi SGHAIER).

Thursday 24 Oct.:

RAC/SPA co-chaired (Souha EL ASMI) the Workshop on ‘Governance for developing MPA networks’ and made a presentation on the ‘Creation of a new marine protected area in the Kuriat Islands (Tunisia)’ (presented by Souha EL ASMI).

Friday 25 Oct.:

RAC/SPA participated to the following workshops and knowledge café:

  • The twinned workshops on ‘Sharing and improving practitioners’ skills’ and ‘Learning and developing regional training: lessons learnt’ where a presentation on ‘The List of Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI List): Status and perspectives of development’ was made (presented by Souha EL ASMI).
  • The Workshop entitled ‘Towards ecologically representative and well connected regional networks’ where a presentation on the ‘Identification and creation of new Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean’ (MedMPAnet Project) was made (presented by Atef LIMAM).
  • The knowledge café on ‘Ecoregional Analysis’ where a talk on the ‘Use of MAPAMED to conduct the Mediterranean regional sea analysis of the status of MPAs: Difficulties encountered, suggestions for improvement, commonalities with the MAIA/OSPAR database’ was made by RAC/SPA & MedPAN (Atef OUERGHI from RAC/SPA).
  • The Workshop entitled ‘Following the movement: Regional networks and migratory species‘ where another Presentation on ‘Highly mobile threatened marine vertebrates need for large pelagic MPAs to keep a good status of conservation’ was made (presented by Daniel CEBRIAN).
  • The Workshop entitled ‘Climate change and regional strategies’ where the presentation ‘Guide for a climate change regional monitoring programme and adaptation alternatives on Mediterranean MPAs’ was made (presented by Alain Jeudy De Grissac from IUCN-Med).

RAC/SPA also displayed three posters, on its MPA creation activities, entitled ‘Towards a new Moroccan Marine Protected Area in the Mediterranean: The Cap des Trois Fourches’ , ‘The MedMPAnet Pilot Project in Croatia’, and ‘Mobile threatened marine vertebrates need large pelagic MPAs to keep a good status of conservation


After the congress, and on the 26th October, a ministerial conference was convened, gathering 19 ministers of nations representing 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.

At the end, the Ministerial Conference let to a common declaration. Its signatories reaffirmed their determination to reach the target of establishing by 2020 a network of comprehensive and coherent Marine Protected Areas effectively managed and covering at least 10% of the oceans (Aichi 11), and notably the need to reach and implementing an agreement geared at the conservation of the high seas. They also affirmed their desire to develop sustainable financing mechanisms that meet the needs for the effective management of Marine Protected Areas and welcomed the launch by the governments of Monaco, France and Tunisia of such an initiative for the Mediterranean sea.

The recommendations arising from IMPAC3 can be found here.