The FFEM and its partners meet at the "Immersed in Change" conference to exchange best practices in ocean governance

published on 03 June 2024
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Shark Fin Bay Sulubaaii © Corinne Bourbeillon
On June 7 and 8, 2024, San José will host the "Immersed in Change" international conference, a key event in the run-up to the United Nations Ocean Conference (UNOC), scheduled to take place in Nice in 2025. Organized by the Costa Rican government, the conference will bring together policymakers, scientists, experts and international stakeholders.

Covering over 70% of our planet, the ocean is the origin of all life on Earth. It provides more than 35% of the world population daily subsistence, particularly to developing countries. The ocean also generates 60 million jobs and contributes about 5% of the planet’s Gross Domestic Product. Despite its importance, the ocean is suffering the effects of the current environmental crisis caused by climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. In addition, its unprecedented degradation is altering its capacity to regulate the climate.

The main goal of this high-level event is to provide a platform to exchange best practices and successful experiences on topics related to the governance and health of the ocean. “Immersed in Change” will highlight topics of high relevance for the ocean’s global agenda, while promoting concrete implementation actions to address the severe environmental damages that is facing. Through a series of interactive panels, participants will illustrate successful cases with the potential of being replicated and adapted by other countries or regions. 

Over 2 days, eight different panels will address topics focused on the sustainable usage of fishing resources, fighting against ghost fishing gear, blue economy, satellite technology for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, promotion to global access to technologies for ocean cleaning, scientific development to address marine pollution caused by plastics, effective implementation of global agreements, resource mobilization and the necessary and available financial mechanisms for the effective healthy governance of the ocean. Alongside the panels, a series of side events promises to enrich discussions and strengthen collaboration between international stakeholders. The French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) will be present alongside its partners to exchange and share lessons learned from innovative pilot projects. 

Here is an overview of FGEF-supported projects highlighted at the conference: 

  • Side event "Beyond Boundaries: PSSA a complementary tool for BBNJ, the 30x30 and SDG 14" - Friday 7 June 7.30-9am 

The spotlight will be on the SARGADOM project, an initiative that brings together the Costa Rican NGO MarViva, the Sargasso Sea Commission, the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) and the University of Western Brittany (UBO) to study and implement hybrid governance to protect special areas of the high seas, notably around the thermal dome and the Sargasso Sea. 



  • Side event "Conservation Trust Funds as local mechanisms for Blue Conservation Finance" - Friday, June 7, 8am-9am 

Conservation trust funds are important tools for generating resources for protected areas. This side event will highlight the BRIDGE project, which stands out for its international ambition to promote biodiversity conservation by mobilizing the private sector. Sponsored by the RedLAC (the Latin American and Caribbean network of environmental funds) and CAFÉ (the Consortium of African Funds for the Environment) networks, this project aims to provide exclusive partnership platforms between the public and private sectors, and civil society while supporting innovative financial mechanisms for biodiversity conservation.

  • Side event "Effectiveness of hydrological restoration of mangroves: sharing experiences from Costa Rica and Benin"- FFEM/SINAC (Humback Whale Room) - Saturday, June 8 9:30-10:30 a.m

Organized jointly by the FFEM and the National System of Conserved Areas (SINAC), this side event will be dedicated to the Mangroves project in Costa Rica and Benin, which seeks to establish a comprehensive ecological restoration programme based on the transfer of technologies applied in ecological restoration programs in Mexico. It will also be an opportunity to share and exchange views with partners such as Epomex institute, the NGO Corde and the Corcovado Foundation on the lessons learned from the project and the prospects for replicability in other territories.

Mangroves Costa Rica Bénin


  • Side event "Marine Protected Areas and Regional (MPAs) Strategies for a Sustainable Blue Economy in the hearth of the 30x30 Target and Sustainable Development Agenda 2030" - Saturday 8 June 8am-9am 

The side event will be an opportunity for the FFEM to share feedback from 25 years of projects aimed at creating and managing MPAs in various regions of the world, and to disseminate best practices. 

Participants will also have the opportunity to discover two success stories from two FFEF partners in terms of effective marine resource management and community mobilization:

The Small Sustainable Islands initiative led by the Small Island Organisation (SMILO): This project aims to strengthen the locally-available capabilities of small islands for sustainable management by establishing the “Small Sustainable Islands Club”, a platform covering the Indian Ocean and West Africa.

The Shark Fin Bay project supported by the SULUBAAI Foundation: This initiative combines ecosystem protection with sustainable local development through the development of community MPAs. Involving scientific partners from the Philippines and France, this project seeks to restore and preserve vulnerable marine areas, including coral reefs, using innovative techniques, offering a model of successful collaboration for marine conservation. 

Shark Fin Bay


For more information on the conference, visit the “Immersed in change” conference website.