The latest IUCN Congress, held in Marseille (France) from 3 – 11 September 2021, was the forum selected to announce the launch of the Global Alliance for Marine Protection, which brings together the Conservation Trust Funds, networks of Conservation Trust Funds, and networks of MPA Managers at national and regional levels.

This Global Alliance is designed to boost and support the effective management and strategies of sustainable financing for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Presented in the framework of the latest IUCN Congress, it highlighted one of the key elements which is being discussed by both parties, Trust Funds and networks of managers: the need to reach a sustainable financing model for the MPAs.

What differentiates this alliance is that it sees Conservation Trust Funds and international networks of MPA Managers join forces with a clear objective for the first time, which is to create a global community that supports efficient management and sustainable financing, so that the post-2020 objectives are fully implemented in marine areas.

This initiative is promoted by MedPAN, REDLAC, Costa Rica Por Siempre, The Med Fund, and of course our project, Ocean Governance. They are not the only institutions collaborating on this important project, which also counts RAMPAO, MARFund, CaMPAM, NAMPAN and Café among its participants.

Romain Renaux, Executive Director MedFun

“The Ocean Governance project asked us to go further in the financing issue. The EC, FPI is very interested in consolidating a sustainable financing at all scales”, Puri Canals, EU Ocean Governance’s Technical Coordinator and president of MedPAN, highlighted.

Romain Renaux, director of MedFUND, underlined how MedFUND and MedPAN are in the process of creating the first alliance at such a level, with both practitioners and funding institutions seated in the same room. “This is an example of an alliance which can be replicated in other regions or conventions”. They will work in financing, capacity building, cooperation, and sharing experiences of this kind of alliance in other regional seas. “It is the beginning of a love story between us”, Mr. Renaux closed. Moreover, “these alliances recognize us as good actors”, Ms. Canals added, following the successful grant obtained from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat to MedPAN and MedFUND.

María José González, Executive Director of MARFund, remembered that to achieve the 30×30 objectives, “we need not only new protected areas, but that the existing ones are actually operating at an optimal level”.

Constance Corbier-Barthaux from the FFEM also drew attention to the added value of working with the networks of practitioners, since there are “actual people behind them”.

The presentation of the Global Alliance took place at the Rowing Club of Marseille and at the IUCN Congress itself. Throughout 2022 there will be more activities linked to it, as well as thanks to the OG Project.

Claude Gascon, Manager of Programs, GEF Secretariat

Puri Canals, Technical coordinator of the OG Programme and President of MedPAN