Managers of the 46 marine sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List will meet in Ajaccio (Corsica, France) from 18 to 20 October to explore ways to advance the interests of marine conservation worldwide.
A press conference with Paul Giacobbi, President of the Executive Council of Corsica, and Kishore Rao, Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, will be held during the meeting (19 October, 10 a.m., Hôtel de la Collectivité Territroriale de Corse, Ajaccio).
Marine World Heritage sites, often referred to as “the crown jewels of the oceans,” represent one quarter of all protected marine areas in terms of the surface they cover. Half of them are situated in low-income countries. The meeting will provide a unique opportunity to bring together site managers from 35 countries to share best practices and help them learn how to raise support among opinion and decision makers, as well as donors.
During the event, Russell Reichelt, Chairman of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, will deliver a key note address, focusing on the dual challenges of growth and conservation in the world’s largest coral reef system. The site is of particular interest both because of its status as the oldest protected marine site and because a comprehensive long-term preservation plan is currently being developed for the site, which could set a new bench mark for marine conservation everywhere.
All marine sites share similar conservation challenges in the face of climate change, coastal development, over-fishing, and marine pollution.
The meeting comes ahead of a larger gathering in Marseille (France), the Third Global Marine Protrected Area Conference (http://www.impac3.org/en/) that will bring together managers from marine protected areas all over the world from 21 to 27 October 2013.
Press contact: Roni Amelan, r.amelan(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 16 50