Showcasing world class research at the 4th International Marine Protected Areas Conference (IMPAC4 Chile)

In September, Dr Siân Rees and Dr Emma Sheehan, Senior Research Fellows in the School of Biological and Marine Science were invited by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Chile to be part of the UK delegation to IMPAC 4.

Together with British experts (British Geological Survey, Satellite Catapult, MMO, CEFAS, NOC) the delegation highlighted UK expertise in Marine Protected Area monitoring and management.

During the event, over 800 marine conservation professionals and practitioners from all around the world met, exchanged and discussed marine protected areas issues including governance, efficiency, finance and their surface area expansion. Siân presented research outputs from the UK and the British Overseas Territories on the evaluation of MPA management effectiveness and the integration of Natural Capital approaches into decision making while Emma presented new results from the EMFF funded RETURN project on MPA recovery, response to storms, a second talk about EU Horizon 2020 funded CEFOW project on ecological response on sea bed habitats to renewable energy and the potential of co-location, and a third talk on behalf of the Blue Marine Foundation about their collaborative work with Plymouth University.

With a strong emphasis on people, this event built upon the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2016 Hawai’i Commitments and called to step up ocean conservation and MPA coverage, through increased partnerships and action.