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Editorial, May 15, 2013

Countdown to Marseille - Over 700 Abstracts Received

We are now hard at work building the Congress program! Abstract submissions closed on May 10, and the response has been overwhelming: in the course of just under two months, over 700 abstracts have been collected.

A big thank you to all who contributed! The final count shows how diverse you are, in terms of both geographical origins and interests: this bodes well indeed for the breadth and depth of exchanges in October.

Reviewing is now in its final stage and will lead on to the next critical step: creating the official program, down to the last debate, workshop, knowledge café, poster and Ocean+ presentation. Check back on this website at the end of June for a download with all details.

There’s plenty of material to work from : You mailed in abstracts from all corners of the world. France, the host country, unsurprisingly comes out first with about a quarter of contributions. The rest of Europe accounts for another quarter, followed by the Americas (about 20 %), Africa and Asia (about 10 % each), and countries of the Indian and Pacific Oceans (roughly 10 %).

As for contents, your proposals span all day-specific themes outlined in the call for papers. Each of them garnered 100-200 communications, with science and management tools striking the strongest chord. Day 4 attracted around 150 abstracts, on the subject of MPA governance, user interactions and industry involvement. This clearly vindicates IMPAC3’s ambition to reach out beyond the circles of MPA specialists and include users and economic stakeholders.

In the meantime, if your feet are itching to go and you really can’t wait, there are two things you can do.

1/ Visit Pharo Palace on Google Earth, and see what’s in store: a historical landmark built in 1852, just out of renovation, on a dramatic headland overlooking the Mediterranean’s largest shipping harbor.

2/ Be an early bird: register now.

IMPAC3 represents an unprecedented opportunity to change the course of ocean conservation. Two years after the conference of the parties of the Convention on biological diversity and seven years ahead of the deadline for meeting Aichi Target 11, this is the time to act. Be part of it!

Dan Lafolley
Vice-President, marine program of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA-marine)

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