Toward a regional MPA network and community to fight climate change impacts in the Mediterranean

Held every four years, IMPAC is a high quality international congress aiming to assist Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) managers and practitioners to exchange ideas and learn from each other, in order to effectively manage MPAs. With the motto Marine Protected Areas: Bringing the people and ocean together, this fourth edition, IMPAC 4, is focusing on the need to highlight the intricate nature of ocean-human relationship and the benefits of MPAs and the ocean for millions that depends on their ecosystem services. The IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) team is currently participating this edition, taking place in Chile from 4-8 September 2017, in several side-events and presentations.

During this congress, IUCN-Med, in collaboration with the NOAA, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), the EU transatlantic project and the support of MedPan (the network of Marine Protected Areas managers in the Mediterranean) and the French Biodiversity Agency, held a symposium, in which the Interreg Mediterranean project MPA-Adapt “Guiding Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) through the climate change era: Building resilience and adaptation” was presented.

This project aims to create collaborative and site-specific adaptation plans for MPAs in order to enhance their resilience to climate change impacts. This project involves different tools and activities foreseen to enhance capacity for effective management, risk assessments, and explores potential actions and priorities needed to ensure the adaptability and the resilience of biodiversity and the local communities around the first pilot MPAs of France, Croatia and Italy.

Furthermore, it also enforces the first line of Mediterranean MPA sentinel sites and provides guidance to managers and local stakeholders to implement and test climate-change approaches.

IMPAC 4 Chile is organized by the Ministry of the Environment and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) is also supported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).