General Congress Information

What is IMPAC5?

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 will take place in Vancouver, Canada 3-9 February 2023.  

IMPAC5 will end with a one-day Leadership Forum on 9 February where the results of the Congress will be presented, key issues will be addressed, and commitments to expanding ocean protection will be reaffirmed.

When and where were the previous IMPACs held?  

Since 2005, four IMPAC events were hosted by the following countries: 

  • 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.

What will happen at IMPAC5?  

IMPAC5 presents an opportunity for marine protected area professionals from around the world to chart a course towards protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030. Congress participants will share their knowledge and best practices for future ocean protection and engagement in five thematic areas with three topic streams woven throughout. 

The five themes of IMPAC5 are:  

  • 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 

The three streams that will run across all Congress elements and themes are:  

  • Indigenous Peoples Leadership 
  • Young professionals 
  • Innovation and transformational change 

IMPAC5 is expected to be the largest in the congress series to date with a goal of attracting 3000 in-person attendees as well as 1000 virtual participants. The Congress will feature dynamic keynote speakers, interactive in-person and virtual sessions plus arts and culture elements. 

At IMPAC5, participants will gather to develop actions to address marine biodiversity decline and the climate crisis while creating solutions for a blue economy. 

Why is IMPAC5 important?  

IMPAC5 is where we will come together and take a stand to protect the ocean. Attendees will chart a detailed course to protect 30% of the World Ocean by 2030.

IMPAC5 is an opportunity to follow through on commitments made at global conservation and climate change congresses and proceedings. IMPAC5 will catch the wave of other important international conferences on ocean protection taking place in 2022 including:

Through IMPAC5, participants and leaders will address the urgency and need to protect ocean biodiversity, through ambitious and innovative approaches that represent transformational changeThe Congress will be a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual program delivery to expand the event’s global reach. 

IMPAC5 will end with a one-day Leadership Forum on 9 February where the results of the Congress will be presented, key issues will be addressed, and commitments to expanding ocean protection will be reaffirmed. 

Where will IMPAC5 be held? 

The Congress will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  

Attendees will enjoy breathtaking mountain and ocean views from the Vancouver Convention Centre, the world’s first double LEED® Platinum certified facility. Click here to learn more about the Vancouver Convention Centre.  

We are grateful to the Host First Nations—xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)—for welcoming us into their traditional territories for this Congress. 

Click here to learn more about the Host First Nations: xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). 

Who is organising IMPAC5? 

The Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress will be jointly hosted by the Host First Nations— xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)—together with the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

The IMPAC5 Planning Committee is responsible for establishing the thematic vision and program that aligns with the goals of the Congress. The committee has more than 20 members comprised of officials and marine practitioners from Indigenous, federal and provincial governments, young professionals and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.  

For IMPAC5 Participants 

Who typically participates at an IMPAC?  

International Marine Protected Areas Congresses (IMPAC) provide an opportunity for marine protected area professionals, officials and leaders from around the world to gather and take a stand to protect the ocean.  IMPAC participants included:  

  • Indigenous groups and ocean guardians 
  • Government officials 
  • Civil society organisations 
  • Marine protection specialists 
  • Young professionals 
  • Members of the IUCN 
  • Members of ocean-focused environmental non-governmental organisations 
  • Marine recreation community groups  
  • Businesses working in the blue economy
  • Media 
  • Marine scientists  

How many people will be attending IMPAC5? 

IMPAC5 is a hybrid event with in-person and online programming. The Vancouver IMPAC is expected to be the largest in the congress series to date with a goal of attracting 3000 in-person attendees as well as 1000 virtual participants.

How do I book accommodation for IMPAC5? Are there special rates for IMPAC5 attendees?

All IMPAC5 attendees are responsible for their own accommodations.

IMPAC5 attendees can book a hotel through the IMPAC5 portal by clicking on the “Book your room now” button. This link provides access to a number of hotels in the area, including hotels with a special “partner rate” for IMPAC5 attendees.


How do I register for IMPAC5?

You can register for the Congress through the IMPAC5 registration portal. We invite you to look at our registration page first for general information about registration fees and conditions.

When can I register for IMPAC5?

Registration for IMPAC5 is now open! Regular registration will begin 5 October 2022 and remain open until 2 February 2023. See the registration page for more information about registration fees.

On-site registration will be available from 3 February 2023 onwards

How much does it cost to register for IMPAC5

Registration fees are listed on the registration page. Attendees can choose to attend in-person or virtually, for the full Congress or for individual days, with varying fees for each option.

All fees are listed in Canadian dollars.

Do I qualify for a discounted registration rate?

Discounted early-bird registration fees until 4 October 2022.

The IMPAC5 registration fee scale also includes lower prices for members of Indigenous communities, persons from low and middle income countries and not-for-profit organizations, plus young professionals and seniors. Go to our registration page for more information on registration fees and conditions.

Developing nations were determined according to The World Bank’s World Development Indicators.

Is my IMPAC5 registration transferable?

Until a badge is issued, the registration can be transferred to another person for an administrative service charge of $40.00 CAD.

How do I apply for a visa to enter Canada for IMPAC5?

We urge all participants requiring a visa for IMPAC5 to submit their visa applications as soon as possible.

Delegates requiring a visa to enter Canada will need to apply for the visa as soon as possible and will be provided with a personalized individual visa assistance letter after registration. The letter will need to be included in the E-visa application.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has advised its offices abroad to prioritize the processing of visas for IMPAC5 participants, including media.
All IMPAC5 participants must first register via the IMPAC5 Registration link.

Please refer to the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website to learn about a temporary resident visa (visitor visa) and the process to apply for one. Please note that visa applications are considered on a case-by-case basis based on the information presented by the applicant. The onus is on the applicant to show that they meet the requirements for a temporary resident visa. While a special event code has been assigned to IMPAC5, it does not offer any advantage to the applicant, in terms of a positive visa outcome. The applicant must meet all the eligibility criteria in order to be granted a visa.

More information about visas is also available through the IMPAC5 registration portal.

How do I request a letter of invitation for the visa process?

All registrants can be sent letters of invitation upon completion of their online registration. Registrants must select the option to receive a letter and provide passport information and other details.  After payment is completed the letter is sent directly to the registrant who can use it for VISA application processes.

More information about visas is also available through the IMPAC5 registration portal.

What does my registration fee include?

In-person IMPAC5 registration fees include entry to Congress proceedings (keynotes, symposiums, speedtalks, knowledge sharing sessions, e-posters, opening and closing ceremonies) from 3-8 February 2023, lunch and refreshment each day as well as entrance to the IMPAC5 Expo.

The registration fee does not include: dinners, field trips, accommodation.

Virtual IMPAC5 registration fees include access to online Congress proceedings (keynotes, symposiums, speedtalks, knowledge sharing sessions, e-posters, opening and closing ceremonies) from 3-8 February 2023.

IMPAC5 Schedule and Program 

I want to present during IMPAC5 – how can I apply?

The IMPAC5 call for proposals is now closed. Thank you to all those who submitted a proposal to present at IMPAC5. Successful applicants will be notified at the end of April 2022.  

What type of presentation/session formats are being offered during IMPAC5?

The agenda at IMPAC5 will feature content related to the five themes and three streams of the Congress. Speakers from around the world will offer speed talks, symposiums or E-posters as well as knowledge sharing sessions. IMPAC5 will also feature keynote speakers, plenary discussions and key cultural events with strong Indigenous and youth elements.

Follow IMPAC5 on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter; or join our mailing list to receive updates on key agenda announcements in the coming months.

When will I be notified as to whether my proposal was accepted or not?

Applicants will be notified by 1 July 2022 of their proposal status.

When will the IMPAC5 program be posted?

The IMPAC5 program will be posted in summer 2022. Follow IMPAC5 on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter; or join our mailing list to receive updates on key agenda announcements in the coming months.

Who are the keynote speakers?

Please check the website for keynote speaker announcements. Another option is to follow IMPAC5 on FacebookInstagram and Twitter; or join our mailing list for news about invited speakers, and further Congress details.  

Can I host a side-event during IMPAC5?

If your company, organisation or government is interested in hosting a sponsored side-event during IMPAC5 please send an email to: info@impac5.ca with the subject: ‘Sponsored side-event’ in the subject line. More information about sponsored side-events will be available in coming months.

How do I become a sponsor for IMPAC5?

Interested in featuring your brand, destination or product amongst the world’s top marine practitioners, global marine conservation leaders and high level policy-makers?

If your organisation or business is interested in being a sponsor during IMPAC5 , please email info@impac5.ca to request a sponsorship package. More information about sponsorship opportunities will be available in the coming months.

Travel to IMPAC5

Where can I get more information about the IMPAC5 host location?

For more travel information about Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada as well as details about the IMPAC5 venue, the Vancouver Convention Centre, please visit the VENUE section of this website

More detailed travel information will be posted in the coming months.

Indigenous Peoples Leadership at IMPAC5

How will Indigenous groups be involved at IMPAC5?  

IMPAC5 is grateful to the Host First Nations – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) – for welcoming us into their traditional territories.  

Representatives from each of the Host First Nations are on the IMPAC5 planning committee alongside members from the Assembly of First NationsCoastal First NationsFirst Nations Fisheries Council, the Inuit Circumpolar Council and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.  

One of the cross-cutting streams of IMPAC5 is Indigenous Peoples Leadership, so stories, ways of knowing, approaches and lessons from Indigenous leaders, community members and practitioners in Canada and beyond will be shared during the Congress.  

Tell me more about the Indigenous Peoples Leadership stream.

IMPAC5 embraces the need to heed Indigenous perspectives, voices and knowledge from around the world. During IMPAC5 we will learn from diverse Indigenous cultural practices, knowledge and ways of knowing; while respecting Indigenous rights.

As active members of the IMPAC5 Planning Committee, the Host First Nations and other Indigenous organizations play a key role in shaping the design, delivery and outcomes of the Congress. To learn more about the priority areas of discussion under the Indigenous Peoples Leadership stream, visit the webpage.

The Voice of Young Professionals at IMPAC5

How will young professionals be involved in IMPAC5?

The IMPAC5 Young Professionals Committee is working to ensure that the voices of young leaders from the international marine protected area (MPA) community, Indigenous groups and other related backgrounds will be fully integrated during IMPAC5 and well beyond.  

The Young Professionals Committee is comprised of 15 members aged 18-32 from a range of sectors including conservation, Indigenous knowledge and stewardship, climate change, fisheries, spatial planning, industry, transport, and others. The committee will play important leadership, stewardship and decision-making roles in marine protected areas and ocean conservation during the Congress. Read more about the IMPAC5 Young Professionals committee here.

One of IMPAC5’s program streams focuses on the Voice of Young Professionals.