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The GEF at the Third International Congress on Marine Protected Areas

 Every four years, the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC) convenes the major marine and coastal stakeholders from around the globe, beyond national or sectoral boundaries, to assist in the conservation and sustainable development of the oceans. Participants represent public management and planning agencies, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, coastal and island communities, and sea-related industries, from fishing to tourism. The Congress sessions are taking place in Marseille from Oct. 21 to Oct. 25 and will be followed by a high-level political meeting in Corsica on Oct. 26 and 27. As a major partner of the Congress, the GEF participated in today's opening plenary with a high level discussion regarding private sector markets, sustainable financing and partnerships.


Today the GEF also co-chaired with WWF-International a ½ day workshop on sustainable financing mechanisms for marine protected areas. Ensuring sustainable financing is essential to eventually meeting the Convention of Biological Diversity Aichi Target 11 of 10% of the oceans protected. Yet, as a conservation community expertise is in biodiversity, including habitat representativeness, connectivity and resilience. Recognizing the need to address this knowledge gap, the workshop focused on sustainable financing of marine protected areas. This thought-provoking and engaging three-hour session drew on both donor cross-site lessons as well as specific case study experiences. The session focused around proven as well as innovative approaches ranging from government funding to conservation trust funds to crowd sourcing platforms. The presentations and break-out discussions revealed the enabling conditions, comparative advantages and disadvantages of these approaches and the appropriate conditions for each resulting in a series of recommendations to the high-level policy maker meeting following the conference on Saturday, October 26.


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