Bonjour Marseille, One World One Ocean Travels to France for IMPAC3!

My mother, Barbara and I recently traveled to Marseille, France as part of the Team at One World One Ocean Campaign to participate on a panel for IMPAC3 – the International Marine Protected Area Congress. The congress was composed of over 1,300 people, from over 90 countries, all with the intent to share solutions, stories, and learn about the importance of Marine Protected Areas and how they work.

Our panel, “Seeing is Believing” was sponsored and created by NOAA and illustrated the immersive power of storytelling and compelling visuals to educate the public about the need to protect the ocean. We were joined on the panel by Charlotte Vick, representing BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Mission Blue, and Karen Meyer of Green Fire Productions.

Karen Meyer, Barbara MacGillivray, Meghan MacGillivray and Charlotte Vick

The opening ceremony was presented by the Mayor of Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin, as well as Prince Albert of Monaco. They explained the goals of the congress, including sharing practices and improving management/policies of MPAs; advancement of MPAs to include the high seas (200 miles from the coast); and establishing a permanent network involving modern technology that connects people all over the world. Prince Albert described how “the subject of MPAs is extremely productive. It provides essential strategies for the broader issues of biodiversity protection… to establish effective and lasting biodiversity management…”

Prince Albert of Monaco

Day two of the congress was dedicated to a plethora of panels, discussions, and workshops, including our panel on film and the ocean. Barbara and I used videos and photos to establish the link between storytelling and conservation, showing a packed house how film can immerse the viewer, making them want to care and protect the incredible ocean visuals from IMAX to the video screen. Day two concluded with a keynote address by Dr. Sylvia Earle, who launched a map of 50 new “hope spots” – ocean areas in need of immediate protection due to their value to marine ecosystems. Barbara MacGillivray stated how the congress “showed just how important it is that we continue to bring compelling ocean films and other multimedia to general audiences everywhere.” Everyone who attended the panel was enthusiastic about the videos, and how they support ocean conservation and stimulate more productive discussion and positive outreach.

Barbara MacGillivray and Dr. Sylvia Earle

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