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IMPAC5 is where we will come together and take a stand to protect the ocean.

The IMPAC5 Young Professionals Committee is a global group of young leaders who will help chart the course to protect 30% of the world ocean by 2030.

The IMPAC5 Young Professional Committee is comprised of 16 exceptional young professionals from around the world. This group is joining the leadership of the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) to:   

  • Ensure that all aspects of IMPAC5 are seen through a youth lens;
  • Help shape thematic discussions and speak on a variety of panels; and
  • Build the legacy of the Congress to engage young people beyond IMPAC5.

The IMPAC5 Young Professionals Committee Members are 18-32 years of age. This dynamic group was chosen through a worldwide competitive selection process. They bring leadership experience, passion for ocean conservation, expertise in marine protection and a desire to help IMPAC5 to change the world for the better.

IMPAC5 Young Professionals Committee co-leads

Sarah Hanson

Sarah Hanson is Anishinaabe from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. After living and working on and around Algonquin Anishinaabeg lands for 8 years, she has recently returned to her home region along the north shore of Lake Superior, living on the traditional lands of the Fort William First Nation. Sarah is the North American Regional Director for Youth4Nature, where she works to mobilize youth at the intersection of nature and climate, with a special emphasis on Indigenous youth inclusion. For the past few years, Sarah has worked with various organizations in differing capacities to increase Indigenous youth engagement, including Youth Climate Lab, Leading Change Canada, Experiences Canada, Canadian Roots Exchange, Young Diplomats of Canada, and most recently the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship. While her Indigeneity and lived experience informs most of her work, she does hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Queen’s University. In recognition of her work thus far, Sarah has been named a Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leader and a Top 25 Under 25 Environmentalist in Canada.

Hillary Hyland

Hillary Hyland, a səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation, TWN) member, works as the Senior Environmental Specialist for Tsleil-Waututh’s Treaty, Lands and Resource department and co-chairs the TWN Youth Leadership Committee. Her positions allow her to engage with her community and the neighbouring groups and governments in support of TWN’s stewardship responsibilities and increasing youth involvement and engagement. She has been involved in a number of youth led events such as the TWN Climate Summit as a panelist, co-host of the Candidate Forum during the chief and council elections and through other initiatives with TWN departments to better engage with the young professionals in the community. With her bachelor’s of science from Concordia University, Hillary works to uphold her responsibilities as a steward with a blend of Indigenous and western science. She has provided engagement support and advice to the Government of Canada on its Oceans Protection Plan and Environmental Policy – Clean Water. Today, she continues in her positions with Tsleil-Waututh Nation to help in the goal of restoring and protecting the health of the territory for the next seven generations.    

Young Professionals Committee