Throughout the morning on this last day of IMPAC5, members of the public gathered in a peaceful demonstration outside the venue, asking federal regulators to not relax on corporate responsibilities on mitigating harmful noise related to natural gas development in the Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound.
Inside the Vancouver Conference Center, Manon Larocque, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, welcomed participants to the Leadership Forum. Wayne Sparrow, xʷməθkʷəyə̓ m Musqueam First Nation, said that theirs is a fishing community and always has been, and their culture relies on waters, animals, and fish.
Sxwíxwtn Wilson Williams, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Squamish First Nation, told participants that they are now the “smoke signals” that go back to their homes as a witness of the work done at this conference.
Carleen Thomas, səlilwətaɬ Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, talked about the importance of sharing her family tree to inform the audience that she knows who she is and where she comes from, as a sign of respect and reconciliation, and as crucial elements for equitable Ocean protection.
Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada, said that the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework charts a course away from the relentless exploitation of our planet, with a whole-planet, whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach.
Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, stated that, among participants, there is overwhelming consensus that the world needs to work more quickly and more skillfully to meet the 30 by 30 target.
During a press event, Canada announced a moratorium on deep-sea mining in both territorial and international waters until there is sufficient knowledge on its potential impacts on the environment, underscored by a precautionary approach.
Through breakout sessions, participants discussed protecting biodiversity through marine protected areas, including management and industry contributions, conservation financing, and Indigenous-led conservation.
In the closing Leadership Roundtable on Multilateral Cooperation to Reach Global Marine Conservation Targets, leaders engaged in a dialogue moderated by David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity, and Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, UK.
Terry Teegee, Regional Chief, British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, underscored the cost of wealth on nature and Indigenous Peoples.
Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu, Minister of Environment and Culture, French Polynesia, asked for more respect for how “we build our house, clean our house, and manage our house” and expressed hope that the 30 by 30 target does not become a new form of colonization.
The Forum closed with a Hawaii’an chant by Solomon Kaho'ohalahala, Maui Nui Makai Network.