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Salty Hands Ocean Heroes Series

Our Executive Director Sabine Jessen was recently featured on The Salty Hands as part of their Ocean Hero series. She was chosen as an Ocean Hero for her strategic leadership on global ocean conservation and her contribution to marine protection in Canada. Congratulations, Sabine!

The Salty Hands is a project dedicated to sharing passion and solutions to take action for ocean regeneration. They draw attention to individuals, projects, and technologies working to resolve the challenges currently facing the ocean.

The profile below was first published on The Salty Hands’ Facebook page.


Ocean Hero #48

Sabine Jessen, Executive Director, IMPAC5 Secretariat, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Today we honor Sabine Jessen as an Ocean Hero for her strategic leadership on global ocean conservation and her contribution to marine protection in Canada. A birding enthusiast, wildlife photographer, mother, grandmother and Canadian marine policy advocate and expert, Jessen is the Executive Director of the 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress. At IMPAC5, Jessen looks forward to galvanizing protection of special ocean places and celebrating past successes in Canada such as glass sponge reefs, underwater volcanoes and feeding/breeding grounds of globally important seabird populations.

Jessen is excited to work with the IMPAC5 co-hosts and partners (Host First Nations —xʷməθkʷəy̓əm [Musqueam Indian Band], Sḵwx̱wú7mesh [Squamish Nation], and səlilwətaɬ [Tsleil-waututh Nation]—together with the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society [CPAWS] and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature [IUCN]) to organize IMPAC5. The Congress will be a hybrid event including online and in-person agenda anchored in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada from 2-8 September 2022.

IMPAC5 aims to be the largest global ocean event to date focused on marine protected area (MPA) managers, Indigenous community members, policy makers, politicians, young professionals and more across various disciplines. IMPAC5 is a watershed opportunity to advance global marine conservation, taking place following other significant conservation gatherings in 2021 and 2022 such as the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseilles, France, the UN Ocean Conference, and the UN Conference of the Parties Convention on Biodiversity in Kunming, China. Jessen and her team at IMPAC5 hope attendees reflect and act on progress made during these international meetings and come prepared to chart a detailed course to protect 30% of the World Ocean by 2030.

IMPAC5 includes five themes and three streams to guide the celebration, action and discussions at the Congress. The main congress themes are geared towards building a global marine protected area network that integrates cultural, economic and well-being activities while also protecting “blue nature” on a global scale, while addressing the challenge of climate change.

Jessen has a long career history of managing environmental and conservation at national level, and previously held the position of National Director of the Oceans Program for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Her vast skill set includes managing and guiding policy and governance in ocean conservation, biodiversity conservation, sustainable development and government relations.

In recognition of her experience, skills and collaborative outlook, Jessen has been invited to serve as an advisor on many national boards and to First Nations, provincial and federal governmentsin Canada.

Jessen has also been recognized through various awards and fellowships, from the Coastal Zone Canada Association the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, and the Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship..

Jessen began her career with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and a Master’s Degree in Geography from the University of Waterloo, where she specialized in coastal zone management and environmental regulation. More recently she studied marine protected area establishment in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
As well as being passionate about ocean ecosystem conservation and protection, Jessen is also a keen photographer and bird watcher.

Connect with Sabine Jessen via LinkedIn.

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