Building MPA networks by 2020: IMPAC3 achievements, future challenges and next steps
IMPAC3 was a milestone in defining actions, in promoting cooperation, and in inspiring new ways of thinking in order to address the ever-increasing complexity of challenges now facing the ocean. Over the duration of the Congress initiatives emerged to protect vulnerable resources and emblematic areas, ranging in size from less than one square kilometre to several million square kilometres. The Congress sought to challenge perceptions through adopting a cultural and economic approach founded around the notion of a ‘blue society’ – alongside the often more frequently referred to ‘blue economy’. The blue society is a philosophical vision for a sustainable ocean that IMPAC 3 referred to as ‘Oceankind’ – a cultural marine concept shared by mankind. Oceankind represents a new paradigm for preservation and management of marine life with the view to maintaining the ocean's integrity. Effective restoration and conservation require the sharing of knowledge and cooperation between relevant stakeholders. To this end, awareness raising and education of all stakeholders offers the potential for reinforcing a sense of common responsibility towards the conservation of the ocean, meeting not only today's needs but those of future generations.