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Call for Applications: IMPAC5 and Ocean Wise launch Youth and Young Professionals Coastal Connections


Young people from around the world can now apply to participate in three exciting activities before and during the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5). Dubbed the IMPAC5 Youth and Young Professional Coastal Connections, this youth enrichment program features three connections focused on congress networking and intergenerational knowledge exchange. 

The IMPAC5 Young Professional Coastal Connections include:  

Connection #1: A series of three virtual sessions leading up to IMPAC5 that will introduce you to your peers and provide an overview of IMPAC5’s history, goals and agenda. Open to all Youth and/or Young Professional Congress registrants. 

Connection #2: A two-day, in-person, team-building and networking event to be held at an exciting offsite venue approximately two hours from Vancouver. Capacity is limited by the facility size. Further details on the venue will be published shortly. There will be a nominal fee to cover transportation, accommodation and meals. A limited number of bursaries will be available – see further information in application form. 

Connection #3: An intergenerational knowledge exchange/mentoring program during IMPAC5 that includes a networking breakfast and an evening event. Capacity is limited by the number of mentors available. 

International young professionals aged 18-35 years of age are welcome to submit their applications highlighting their experience in marine conservation. The first Connection has unlimited registration, while the other two are limited by the capacity of the facilities and resources.

Coastal Connections has separate and overlapping opportunities for non-Indigenous early career ocean professionals Canadian Indigenous early career ocean professionals. For Indigenous ECOPs, this is an opportunity to obtain: Funding for IMPAC5 registration, travel, accommodation, virtual Training, in-person Team Building, and mentorship (as outlined in the connections above).

“One of the three cross-cutting streams at IMPAC5 is ‘The Voice of Young Professionals’. Youth and Indigenous perspectives and participation will help shape thematic discussions at IMPAC5,” says Pascale Sylvester, a member of the IMPAC5 Secretariat Young Professionals engagement team. “Our goal is to significantly increase the number of young professionals who contribute at IMPAC5 and to set a high bar for youth participation at international conferences in the future.” 

“Ocean Wise is privileged to have worked with talented, thoughtful and committed youth from around the world for over six decades. We have seen firsthand the invaluable contributions youth have made to ocean conservation through their expertise, unique perspectives and energy,” says Scott Bohachyk. “We are delighted to lead the Youth and Young Professionals program, Coastal Connections, at IMPAC5. By connecting and empowering youth to participate and contribute to the critical discussions and outcomes at IMPAC5, they will advance the restoration of our oceans now and in the future.”

Thanks to the Voice of Young Professionals stream, Congress attendees will include a diverse cohort of young professionals working in marine conservation, with the goal of ensuring that young leaders from all nations, Indigenous groups and other backgrounds will be heard at IMPAC5. 

Ocean Wise, a global conservation organization headquartered in Vancouver, is leading IMPAC5’s Coastal Connections program, with the financial support of the Government of Canada. The program will connect and empower youth to meaningfully participate and contribute to the discussions and outcomes of IMPAC5 and beyond. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of IMPAC5 host organizations representing Ocean Wise, Parks Canada, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The deadline for applications is Monday, November 21st, 2022. 

For more information about the application process and detailed information about each Connection visit the call for applications page here. 

* Note: To participate in any of these connections, participants MUST be registered to attend IMPAC5. Candidates requiring financial support can apply for financial support – see bursary application forms. Preference may be given  to indigenous youth and participants from LDC/ SIDS countries. 

Posted November 2, 2022 by Rosemary Newton

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