The ocean can’t protect itself. That’s why thousands of delegates are gathering in Vancouver to advance ocean protection from February 3rd to 9th for IMPAC5 (the fifth International Marine Protected Areas Conference)—basically the Olympics of ocean conservation.
The ocean is one of the most important and precious resources on our planet; we cannot survive without it. It covers over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life. It produces 50 percent of the planet’s oxygen, puts food on our plates, helps us fight climate change, and supports vibrant coastal communities.
But the vast majority of Canada’s ocean remains legally unprotected, leaving marine species and their habitats vulnerable to destruction and exposed to contaminants, as well as under threat from a variety of human activities, including pollution, overfishing, and climate change.
As the country boasting the longest coastline on Earth, Canada isn’t doing enough to conserve it. In order to protect the ocean and the life it supports, it is essential that we take action to address these threats.
What is IMPAC5
As you read this, we approach an unprecedented opportunity to protect the ocean with Canada hosting a major global meeting to spur ocean conservation known as IMPAC5. IMPAC5 is a key global moment to advance protection of the ocean and recent commitments to nature made at COP15 to protect 30 percent of land and ocean by 2030.
You can take action now to protect the ocean or read on to learn more about what makes IMPAC5 so important.
The ocean needs all of us to ensure that its marine inhabitants can survive.
From February 3rd to 9th, the International Marine Protected Areas Conference (IMPAC5) will be happening in Vancouver, as the world’s best scientists, policymakers, academics, and conservationists from around the world will gather to find ways to safeguard the ocean now and for the future.
What do we need to see come out of IMPAC5?
As host of IMPAC5, Canada can be a leader for ocean protection by:
- Laying out a clear pathway to our 30×30 ocean protection promises: how we will protect 25 percent of Canadian ocean waters by 2025, and 30 percent by 2030, including progress on major sites such as the ‘Deep Sea Oasis’ in the Pacific Offshore Area of Interest.
- Demonstrating support for Indigenous leadership in ocean conservation through co-management of marine protected areas such as the Deep Sea Oasis noted above
- Committing to strong protection standards in Marine protected areas including limiting unsustainable fishing and offshore oil and gas exploration
- Building momentum for international protection of the global ocean by announcing a moratorium on deep sea mining in Canadian waters and committing with other nations to ratify a High Seas treaty to protect international waters
We need to protect the ocean—now
The ocean is warming at an alarming rate due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As the ocean warms, it expands, leading to hurricanes, sea level rise, and increased coastal flooding.
Today, we are driving alarming species decline, destroying diverse ecosystems, and damaging our long-term future. Amazing marine animals, like the North Atlantic right whale and Southern Resident Orca, are at risk of extinction. We can choose a better future for ourselves and for the ocean.