IMPAC5 welcomes more keynote speakers to the program!

Dalee Sambo Dorough, ‘Aulani Wilhelm, and Peter Thomson

As IMPAC5 gets closer, we welcome more keynote speakers to the program. Each of these speakers will present on a key theme of the Congress and represent the cross-cutting streams that are reflected throughout the event.

IMPAC5 is proud to announce ‘Aulani Wilhelm, Dalee Sambo Dorough and Peter Thomson as three of the speakers in an exciting line-up.

Register for IMPAC5 to ensure you are able to hear from these exciting speakers firsthand. Register today to secure your spot.

Keynote Speakers

IMPAC5 has invited fifteen keynote speakers from around the globe who will lead lively discussions based on the Congress themes and streams, and inspire delegates to take action to protect the world ocean.

‘Aulani Wilhelm

‘Aulani Wilhelm is the Senior Vice President for Oceans at Conservation International, currently on loan as Assistant Director for Ocean Conservation, Climate and Equity at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her work bridges culture, community and science to drive innovations in ocean policy and conservation. ‘Aulani has played a pivotal role in shaping the emerging field of large-scale ocean conservation, leading the establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage Site in Hawaiʻi. Ms. Wilhelm is also the founder of Big Ocean, a network of the world’s largest marine managed areas. She also co-led the Blue Nature Alliance, a global partnership to catalyze the conservation of 18 million km2 of ocean.  ‘Aulani was director of ocean initiatives for NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries, and a social innovation fellow at Stanford University. A long-time member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, ʻAulani has been privileged to be a crew member on Hōkūleʻa, the Hawaiian voyaging canoe that has helped lead the revival of oceanic wayfinding and non-instrument navigation across the Pacific. 

Dalee Sambo Dorough

Dalee Sambo Dorough is the former Chairperson of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. She received a Ph.D. in Law from the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law and a Master of Arts in Law & Diplomacy, from The Fletcher School, Tufts University. Presently, she is a Senior Scholar and Special Advisor on Arctic Indigenous Peoples at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Dalee was Chairperson and an Expert Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and is the past co-Chair of the International Law Association Committee on Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She has published contributions in the field of Indigenous human rights as well as Arctic Indigenous Peoples, including a forthcoming co-authored chapter on The World Heritage Convention and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for Oxford University Press manuscript. Dalee is the 2022 International Arctic Science Committee Medalist, recognized for “outstanding achievements in advocacy for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, her service to a wide range of Arctic communities, including the Arctic Council, and her influence as a legal scholar.”

Peter Thomson

Peter Thomson has served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean since 2017. In this role he is driving the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, to conserve and sustainably use the resources of the Ocean. From 2016-2017, Ambassador Thomson served as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. He was Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2010 to 2016, during which time he was President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). In 2013, he led the Fiji team of diplomats that chaired the Group of 77 and China – the UN’s largest negotiating group, comprised of 133 developing countries. He was elected as President of the International Seabed Authority’s Assembly in 2011 and as President of its Council in 2015. Peter is a founding o-Chair of the Friends of Ocean Action and is a supporting member of the High-Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy.

Stay tuned as more keynote speakers are announced over the coming weeks in the lead up to IMPAC5!

Additional program details, including a look at afternoon knowledge sharing sessions, symposiums and group presentations are available online now. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with information about IMPAC5.

Quick Facts:

Media registration for IMPAC5 is now open to journalists  Register by 19 January 2023 to attend IMPAC5.

IMPAC events attract a global community of marine conservation managers and practitioners who exchange knowledge, experience and best practices to strengthen the conservation of marine biodiversity and to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the ocean.  

IMPAC Congresses are a collaborative effort between the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the chosen host country. Since 2005, four IMPAC events have taken place in the following locations:

  • IMPAC1 – Geelong, Australia (2005)
  • IMPAC2 – Washington, D.C., United States of America (2009)
  • IMPAC3 – Marseille, France (2013)
  • IMPAC4 – La Serena-Coquimbo, Chile (2017).

During the closing ceremony of IMPAC4, Canada was awarded the honour of hosting IMPAC5.

To guide discussions and further dialogue, all aspects of IMPAC5 will be informed by five themes and three cross-cutting streams.


  • Building a global marine protected area network
  • Advancing conservation in the blue economy
  • Actively managing marine protected areas and human activity
  • Conserving biodiversity and addressing the climate crisis
  • Connecting ocean, culture and human well-being


  • Indigenous Peoples Leadership
  • The Voice of Young Professionals
  • Innovation and Transformational Change

Associated links:


Ben Stanford
Communications Manager
Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5)
+1 604-347-8754

Stay connected:

For more information on IMPAC5, please visit www.IMPAC5.ca and follow @IMPAC5Canada on social media