IMPAC5 welcomes Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, Asha de Vos and Hon. Shauna Aminath to the keynote lineup!

 Less than two weeks left until the world comes together to protect the ocean

As anticipation for IMPAC5 continues to build, the impressive line-up of keynotes keeps growing! The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland, Asha de Vos and the Honourable Shauna Aminath join the schedule of morning keynote speakers this February at the Fifth International Marine protected areas congress.

IMPAC5 keynote speakers represent a wide range from emerging young experts, to seasoned ocean protection professionals. Registration is still available, so don’t miss your chance to learn more from these captivating speakers.

A draft program schedule is available online. Make sure to start planning your days at IMPAC5.

Keynote speakers:

The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland

Patricia Scotland, was born in the Commonwealth of Dominica. She completed her LLB (Hons) from London University at the age of 20 and was called to the Bar at Middle Temple at 21. Scotland has achieved a number of extraordinary firsts throughout her career—not least of which was to be the first woman in the more than 700-year history of the office to serve as Her Majesty’s Attorney-General for England and Wales and for Northern Ireland. While holding these and other senior ministerial offices, she was given responsibility to address, inter alia, gender equality, domestic violence, forced marriage, and international child abduction. From these positions, she promoted diversity and equality of opportunity, particularly for girls and women. As the first woman to hold the office of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, she is placing special emphasis on mobilizing the 56 member nations to tackle climate change – including its disproportionate impact on women – and, through women’s enterprise, to build the resilience of smaller or more vulnerable countries. 

Asha de Vos

Asha de Vos is an internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator, pioneer of long-term blue whale research within the Northern Indian Ocean and strong advocate for diversity and equity in marine conservation. She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Oceans Institute of the University of Western Australia. She has degrees from the University of St. Andrews, the University of Oxford and the University of Western Australia but escaped academia to establish her own Sri Lankan-grown non-profit, Oceanswell – Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization. Her work has been showcased internationally by the BBC, the New York Times, TED and National Geographic. Asha was listed on the BBC 100 Women 2018 list of most inspiring and influential women worldwide and named Lanka Monthly Digest’s Sri Lankan of the Year. In 2019 Asha was named one of 12 Women Changemakers by the Parliament of Sri Lanka, and in 2020 was awarded an inaugural Maxwell-Hanrahan award in field biology whilst also being named Scubadiving magazine’s Sea Hero of the Year. In 2021 Asha was awarded a Vanithaabimani lifetime achievement award and the Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership Prize. 

H.E. Aminath Shauna

H.E. Aminath Shauna is the Maldives’ Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology. Her portfolio includes, protecting the natural environment and its resources, action and advocacy on climate change, science and technology development, and the implementation of policies and regulations related to the provision of energy, telecommunications, water, and waste management. She also provides policy direction to the Ministry’s affiliated agencies, namely, the Environmental Protection Agency, Utility Regulatory Authority, Communications Authority of Maldives, National Centre for Information Technology, Maldives Meteorological Service, and the Biosphere Reserve Office. Prior to her appointment as Minister, Shauna served as Policy Secretary to H.E President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih where she was responsible for oversight of the implementation and coordination of government policies, as well as advising the President on policy issues. During President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration (2008-2012) Shauna served as Under Secretary at the Policy Office of the President’s Office, where she was responsible for the management of all government policy matters, especially those pertaining to climate change. She was also responsible for management of the secretariat of the Climate Change Advisory Council, the expert body charged with providing climate change policy advice to the President. She led the national effort to realize its vision of becoming a carbon neutral country by 2020, steering the development of the Maldives’ renewable energy investment plan. In addition, she headed the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Policy Office where her primary responsibilities included working closely with Government ministries to oversee implementation of government policies.   

The countdown is on to February 2023. Be sure to register for IMPAC5 for your chance to engage with the global marine protection community as we chart a course to protect the ocean!

Quick Facts:

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