Surf Protected Area Networks and the IMPAC 5 Conference highlights surfing’s role in conservation

Save The Waves just wrapped up a successful conference at IMPAC5 in Vancouver, presenting on our Surf Protected Area Networks program, meeting with partners, and forging new connections.

IMPAC5 is a global forum that brings together ocean conservation professionals, government officials, ocean economy representatives, youth, and Indigenous leaders from around the world to inform, inspire, and act on creating and managing marine protected areas – a designated part of the ocean that is legally protected and managed to achieve the long-term conservation of nature. The conference is normally held every four years and brings like-minded people together to take a stand to protect the ocean through these protected areas.

Nik, Mara and Christel from Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA)
Nik, Chris LaFranchi from One Reef and Hinano Tevai Murphy
Represntatives from Chile and Aulani Wilhelm from Conservation International

This year held in Vancouver British Columbia, and hosted by first nations Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and the Government of Canada, the conference was an amazing opportunity to highlight our work and surfing as a conduit for protected area creation.

The first official day of conference, we presented on our unique approach within a symposium on recreation and protected areas.

Violet Sage Walker from Northern Chumash Tribal Council gets a wave!

We also held a gathering of coalition partners, which included Surfrider Foundation, Wildcoast, California Marine Sanctuary Foundation, forming around the concept of a network of surfing protected areas in California, and substantial progress was made around identifying issues within potential legislation. We also saw our friends at the Resources Legacy Foundation, and are grateful for their support in this ongoing initiative! 

Similarly, we engaged partners around our work for protecting waves in the Azores and charted next steps with Oceans 5, Oceano Azul and the Waitt Foundation.

Last, we had wonderful and productive meetings with our partners at Conservation International, the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law and the Global Environmental Facility to discuss and upcoming grant project in Costa Rica and Peru.

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