Vancouver, British Columbia – Oceans play an essential role in the lives of people around the world. To promote the long-term sustainability of the world ocean and ensure that future generations are able to benefit from our marine resources, the global community must work together to combat climate change and address biodiversity loss affecting ocean ecosystems.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, and Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, celebrated the successful conclusion of the Leadership Forum at the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5). The Ministers issued a Chairs’ Statement, which recognizes the need for increased international action and partnership with Indigenous Peoples in order to advance our shared goal of protecting our ocean and marine ecosystems.
During the Leadership Forum, the Ministers, alongside representatives from governments and leaders from Indigenous, environmental, philanthropic, academic and private organizations, industry, as well as young professionals, discussed the results achieved at IMPAC5. Attendees emphasized the importance of global cooperation in achieving marine conservation targets and focused on the essential role of Indigenous-led conservation efforts. Participants also addressed the need for increased protection of biodiversity through the use of marine protected areas and highlighted the role of marine conservation financing in achieving shared commitments, including Canada’s ambitious conservation goals of conserving 30 per cent of its oceans by 2030.
The Leadership Forum follows a week filled productive discussions, engaging presentations and inspiring keynote speeches. Throughout IMPAC5, the Government of Canada and partners announced several important initiatives that will help advance the health and protection of our oceans. Those include:
- Release of details on the 2023 Protection Standards for Marine Protected Areas and key areas Canada intends on pursuing for marine protection.
- Progress to protect a large ecologically unique ocean area off the Pacific West Coast
- Announcing $69.5 million in funding to protect and restore ocean ecosystems in developing countries
- Investments in world-class ocean monitoring system to enhance Canada’s ocean protection
- Establishing the first marine refuge within the Northern Shelf Bioregion
- Endorsement among Marine Protected Area Network partners to protect British Columbia’s North Coast
- Advancements towards creating 10 new national marine conservation areas with new policy direction
- Release of Canada’s position on seabed mining.
Canada would like to once again thank the host First Nations – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), the Province of British Columbia, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society for their partnership, which made IMPAC5 and the Leadership Forum a success. The Congress and Leadership Forum provided an opportunity for deep and inspiring conversations on how to address the urgent challenges facing our oceans and charted the path for the ongoing collaboration needed to reach our global marine conversation targets.
“The world must take immediate action to protect our ocean and marine ecosystems. During the Leadership Forum, I met with partners from around the world and made it clear that we must be all-in if we are to reach our shared conservation targets, reverse ocean biodiversity loss, and restore the ocean’s function as a carbon sink. I was encouraged by the support from all involved and look forward to the Government of Canada’s continued leadership in protecting our oceans.”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Canada, bounded by three oceans, is keenly aware that the world’s health depends on healthy oceans. I was humbled to be surrounded by so many passionate people from around the globe at the IMPAC5 Leadership Forum, who care deeply about the ocean and understand our duty to pass on these beautiful waters intact to future generations of ocean stewards. The Government of Canada is committed to continue working with Indigenous governments and organizations and provincial/territorial governments in our mutual goal of protecting 30 per cent of Canada’s oceans in a system of effectively managed marine protected areas.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
- IMPAC5 is the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress, a global forum that brings together ocean conservation professionals and high-level officials to inform, inspire and act on marine protected areas.
- IMPAC5 has been endorsed as an official United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) Action, coordinated and led by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
- Canada is committed to protecting 30 per cent of its oceans by 2030, a target that international leaders committed to in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, successfully negotiated during the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal in December, 2022.
- Marine protected areas (MPAs) and other tools, such as Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMS) and Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) are some of the most effective tools for protecting and restoring ocean health. To date, 52 countries and territories have protected at least 10 per cent of their marine areas and it is estimated that 7.65 per cent of the world ocean is covered by marine protected areas.