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09/17: SPA/RAC at IMPAC 4

SPA/RAC at IMPAC 4

SPA/RAC participated in the Fourth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4) that took place in Chile from September 4 to 8, 2017

The International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC) is one of the most relevant events concerning the oceans, globally. It brings together scientists, practitioners, community representatives and authorities from around the world, to discuss different aspects related to sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.

The participation of SPA/RAC to IMPAC 4 provided visibility for the Center's activities at regional and international levels, forging close contacts with potential technical and financial partners such as the representatives and delegates of the: Association for the sustainable financing of Mediterranean MPAs, MAVA Foundation, French Global Environment Facility (FFEM), CBD, French biodiversity Agency (AFB), Spanish biodiversity Foundation (Fundación Biodiversidad), GIZ, BACoMaB Trust Fund, etc.

The following represents a summary of the issues addressed during the workshops, knowledge cafés and special events SPA/RAC have participated in.

Workshop “Strengthen the network and capacities of marine protected areas to manage Marine Megafauna”

SPA/RAC has participated to the workshop organized by MedPAN on the “Strengthening the network and capacities of marine protected areas to manage Marine Megafauna” and shared ongoing activities, projects and success stories within the framework of Barcelona Convention Protocol concerning “Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity” (SPA/BD Protocol). The workshop made recommendations on how to improve the management capacity of coastal and marine protected areas and their integration in a global strategy (network of protected areas with integrated monitoring and efficient threats mitigation) to facilitate the preservation of marine Megafauna. It stressed the critical need to take a broader management view toward transboundary conservation of highly mobile species and to harmonize and develop standard methods and guidelines, as far as possible, on connectivity and ecological representativeness for highly mobile species.

Knowledge café “Building a learning network gathering Marine and Coastal Protected Areas managers from the regional seas of the EU”

SPA/RAC, as representative of the Barcelona Convention, has been one of the main contributors to this knowledge café which allowed an interesting exchange on mid-term reporting to the Aichi Target 11 relative to MPAs and how to provide added value for a European learning network.

The knowledge café was a first a round table gathering representatives from the CDB Secretary, the EU institutions, the Regional Seas Conventions and the Regional and national human MPA networks, which could be renewed on a regular basis until 2020 and beyond to assess progress and to strengthen shared strategic views (once a year or every six months according to the European calendar such as MPA networks workshops; European Maritime Day; …).

It allowed exchanges and stressed the need to enable, at the level of the regional seas of the EU, whenever and wherever possible, mutual information and knowledge dissemination, shared resources center(s), common training programmes, experts networking, etc.

Slot: “A new funding mechanism: the Trust Fund for Mediterranean MPAs”

This event was the opportunity to present the M2PA initiative entitled "A new funding mechanism: the trust fund for Mediterranean MPAs” in the presence of members, partners of the initiative and one of the first beneficiaries from the trust fund: the Tunisian NGO Notre Grand Bleu.

SPA/RAC took the floor as one of the main co-founders of the trust Fund and highlighted the importance of the initiative that will (i) complement and be closely coordinated with existing international, regional and national programs, especially those carried out under the Barcelona Convention and (ii) contribute to the implementation of the national strategies related to MPAs.

As next steps, technical and financial proposals are being developed for the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with Conservation International, in order to help designing the most appropriate institutional, legal and financial structure to manage this CTF and start a first phase of capitalization.  A second round of investment will be launched in 2018 with FFEM to improve management effectiveness for selected pilot sites MPAs and efforts will be pursued to mobilize additional public and private financial partners to pursue capitalization of the Fund.

Workshop: “Strengthen the power of working at regional scale and connecting people”

SPA/RAC took part to this workshop which aims at sharing actions and synergies at the regional scale around the world to support the planning and management of MPAs. Success stories, such as the collaboration, complementarity and synergy between SPA/RAC (Barcelona Convention) and MedPAN activities have been highlighted and worth mentioned as a tool of working at regional scale with different actors’ contributions toward the same objectives. A discussion ensued on achieving the Aichi target 11 as well as the UN SDG 14, which will only be possible if different regional organizations join forces to support the development of ecological networks of MPAs and address the management challenges at the regional and global scales affecting existing MPAs.

Workshop: “Solutions for MPA financing – success stories and their potential for broader application”

Volker Koch from GIZ, presented “Blue Solutions,” a global knowledge sharing platform for sustainable marine conservation financing.

Marie Romani, MedPAN, described the sustainable financing strategy of Brijuni MPA in Croatia, stressing the importance of branding PAs and developing a business plan.

Patricia Ruiz from GIZ, explained the establishment of a private sector-financed mechanism for restoring mangroves in Costa Rica, stressing that access to the “Global Conservation Standard” offers a business alliance between forest owners and the private sector.

Laure Katz, Conservation International, described the Blue Abadi Fund for the Bird’s Head Seascape of West Papua, Indonesia, which builds upon local institutions to lead long-term marine protection and involves comprehensive conservation costing to fill financing gaps.

In a discussion on ensuring sustainable financing for MPAs, panelists and participants noted, inter alia, the need to (i) promote private sector social responsibility, (ii) design custom-made tools for each MPA; and (iii) find a balance between innovative incentive-based approaches, and government responsibility.

SPA/RAC presentation: The development of a management plan of the Kuriat islands in Tunisia with a strong involvement of local communities

SPA/RAC has shared the results of a pilot study aiming at the development of a management plan for the Kuriat Islands in Tunisia, having been done with a strong involvement of the local communities and a specific stakeholder engagement. The process was developed beyond a simple consultation process, and with a forward-looking vision to initiate involving the various stakeholders. To achieve such objective, secure tangible results and to effectively mobilize the key and influential actors in the management, the process of developing the management plan followed these principles: (i) better understand the interests, needs and concerns of various stakeholder groups including those less endowed with powers, (ii) communicate clearly with all stakeholders on the changes sought, the promises and commitments, and (iii) identify resources and partnerships necessary to achieve the expected results.