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Ocean Conference 17
Launch Ocean Witness: giving people a voice.

On the first day of the Ocean Conference, the MPA Action Agenda Group and partners organised a side event highlighting the great work of community women leaders from our field programmes. Rindah Melsen (from Solomon Islands) and Tarusila Veibi (Fijian LMMA network) gave amazing presentations to a full room of over 150 people. Many who attended thanked WWF & organisers for creating a space to highlight the great work of indigenous women and how essential they are to ocean conservation. WWF also premiered the trailer to www.oceanwitness.org, a new initiative to share first-hand accounts from those who depend on the oceans, to link the policy makers to ocean reality. The Ocean Witness platform aims to elevate and amplify the voices of Ocean Witnesses from around the world and is a joint initiative of CI, Rare and Blue Ventures. Swedish and Dutch government representatives were present and committed to more resources towards supporting gender equality in implementing SDG14.

At the Ocean Conference, the MPA Action Group hosted also a meeting for member and speakers of side events on eve of the Ocean Conference. Attended by community representatives, field colleagues and policy leads, the event was a great opportunity for MPA colleagues to meet and share priorities. The meeting was followed by another event to discuss the group’s advocacy plan for the coming year (IMPAC4, Climate COP and the road to CBD COP in Egypt). For more information please contact Stephanie Verbeek (sverbeek@wwf.nl).