19 September. For immediate release

Tarragona, Spain – From 20-22 September 2023, the city of Tarragona will host a global conference bringing together marine protected area (MPA) managers and partners from around the world. Organised by the EU Ocean Governance project, the conference aims to strengthen cooperation between MPA managers and networks across different regions and support effective marine conservation globally.

For three days, over 70 participants from more than 30 countries in the Atlantic Ocean, Southeast Asia and beyond will share experiences and tools developed through the EU Ocean Governance project’s activities: restoring coral reefs and mangroves; building resilience to climate change impacts; protecting marine mammals; and promoting transboundary collaboration. The event will also be streamed online, allowing many more people to take part.

The conference will facilitate open discussions on how to sustain and expand project activities that connect local, national, regional and international ocean governance. Participants will also explore contributions to new international agreements like the UN treaty on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Global Biodiversity Framework.

A key objective is to launch a permanent global network connecting regional networks of MPA managers. By joining forces across oceans, MPA practitioners can more effectively implement international policies, improve management skills, and reach the CBD target to conserve 30% of the global ocean by 2030.

“The EU Ocean Governance project shows the power of cross-regional cooperation to tackle threats like habitat loss and climate change,” said Dr. Puri Canals, Ocean Governance project Technical Coordinator and Team Leader. “This conference is a unique chance for MPA managers worldwide to unite behind a shared vision for healthy, resilient oceans.”

The city of Tarragona is an ideal location, with its own protected area reflecting the EU’s Natura 2000 network. A field trip to close the conference to Punta de la Móra, an EU Natura 2000 Coastal Area, will showcase local conservation efforts and coastal erosion challenges.

The EU Ocean Governance project is implemented by a consortium led by GOPA Worldwide Consultants, with B&S Europe and WWF Indonesia, and funded by the European Union’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments.

To learn more, visit https://oceangovernance4mpas.eu/ or contact:
Katharine Mill, katharine@wisefrog.co.uk (International), tel: +44 7762 121 495.
Bárbara Casado, barbara.casado@gopa.de (Spanish media), tel: +34 661 116 544