[MARMAM] Early Registrations of Interest: Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) in Freshwater Environments SMM Workshop (Oct 2017)

MMPATF IMMA immacoordinator at gmail.com
Fri Jun 30 09:09:25 PDT 2017

*Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) in Freshwater Environments Workshop*

22nd Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) Biennial Conference, Sunday October
29th 2017, Halifax N.S., Canada (Venue TBA)

*Point of Contact* Michael J. Tetley IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal
Protected Areas Task Force (IUCN-MMPATF), www.marinemammalhabitat.org
(email: immacoordinator(a)gmail.com)

Maximum Number of Participants: 30

The IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force
(IUCN-MMPATF) is in the process of identifying a global network of
Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs). IMMAs are a place-based conservation
tool identifying discrete portions of habitat, important to marine mammal
species, that have the potential to be delineated and managed for
conservation. Across 2016-2021 a series of regional workshops of assembled
experts to identify IMMAs is underway. Two workshops have been completed so
far for the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Islands regions, and four
workshops are in preparation for the North East Indian Ocean and Southeast
Asia, Western Indian Ocean, Australia and New Zealand, and Southeast and
Central Pacific regions.

Marine mammal species recognized by the Society for Marine Mammalogy
Committee on Taxonomy which occur in freshwater ecosystems, such as River
Dolphins, Sirenians, and Pinnipeds, present a different scenario and
application of the current IMMA Users Guidance. The IMMA Selection Criteria
therefore requires further consideration and consultation with leading
experts before their application in these freshwater environments. In
comparison to purely marine environments, freshwater habitats (large
estuaries, rivers, river basins, lakes, and inland seas) are subject to
differing ecological drivers, research considerations, and conservation

The aim of the Workshop on IMMAs in Freshwater Environments is to initiate
a discussion with experts on the identification and utilisation of the IMMA
tool for enhancing protection efforts for marine mammals utilising
freshwater areas (including Marine Protected Areas, RAMSAR sites, Key
Biodiversity Areas, and other area based measures). This will be achieved
through a combination of symposium and technical sessions with key experts
in the field of research and conservation for these species; gaining
recommendations on the integration of marine mammal species in freshwater
areas into the Task Force Regional Expert Workshop series; and collecting
an early Areas of Interest (AoI) list which can serve to create future
candidate IMMA submissions.

Outputs of the Workshop:

(i) Provide an avenue of engagement between the Task Force and the
freshwater mammal research and conservation community.

(ii) Collect recommendations to strengthen the IMMA Users Guidance
documentation with further consideration to freshwater habitats, including
specific case studies.

(iii) Gather initial advice for formulating a strategy for incorporating
freshwater environments into the IUCN-MMPATF global expert workshop process.

(iv) Collate a list of preliminary Areas of Interest (AoI) for future
candidate IMMA submissions.

Be advised that the registration process for attending the workshop is
processed alongside registration for the main SMM Conference Programme.
This also includes variable costs for participation based on the early bird
($80 USD) before July 13th, and ordinary ($90 USD) after July 13th
registration deadlines. In addition participants who are not registering
for the main SMM Conference Programme will also need to pay an additional
registration fee to attend the workshop ($40 USD).

Please contact the IMMA Coordinator (immacoordinator(a)gmail.com) before
July 11th if you would like to register your early interest to attend the
IUCN-MMPATF Workshop on IMMAs in Freshwater Environments. At this time
there is no additional support available to assist potential participants
with travel, accommodation, or other associated costs for participating in
the workshop.

For additional information about the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas
Task Force and the global effect to identify Important Marine Mammal Areas
please visit www.marinemammalhabitat.org


Michael J. Tetley - IMMA Coordinator

IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force (IUCN-MMPATF)
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