IMPAC4 will be one of the last milestones in the road of conferences on marine conservation before reaching the 2020 deadline for the Aichi Targets. It will be a major opportunity to evaluate and review our practices in MPAs towards fulfilling Target 11, and for combining MPA management with advances on UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources – that will be analyzed in June 2017. It is also a great opportunity to call attention to the important role of the oceans in the control of the planet´s climate, urging to protect this crucial ecosystem service.

We expect that the 2017 version of IMPAC will inspire new generations of MPAs leaders, achieve strong involvement of youth, integrate and connect relevant actors across the oceans for MPA development. We would like to boost innovative ideas and community-based initiatives, increase networking, foster regional and global collaborations, strengthen the science-policy interphase and integration at all scales. Following our motto, we want to put the people working and benefiting form MPAs at center stage.

In addition to the very important matters addressed in France in 2013, we foresee a deeper discussion in emerging issues such as the role and contribution of MPAs to ecosystem & social resilience, ocean recovery, and rebuilding of fisheries; conservation in polar & temperate seas; MPAs & climate change; MPAs & marine spatial planning; MPA challenges in the developing world, the protection of areas of the oceans beyond national jurisdictions, and many more.

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