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IMCC5 Special Events

The organizers of the 5th International Conservation Congress—held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia—have planned a full schedule of special events for socializing, learning, networking, and fun. We want to provide time for you to get to know your fellow IMCC5 delegates in a less formal setting, as relationships built at IMCCs have a history of impacting researc, careers, collaborations, and friendships. A variety of special events will take place throughout IMCC5 and OceansOnline, from Sunday June 24th to Friday June 29th 2018. Some of the events require pre-registration and/or a registration fee. Special Event descriptions can be found below. 

If you are a delegate with a disability and would like to attend a special event that indicates walking to the venue is required, please contact IMCC5 Chair Edward Hind-Ozan or IMCC5 Diversity Chair Luli Martinez. We would be more than happy to accommodate your transport to the event. 

1st International Marine Kids Congress (IMKC)

IMCC5 organizers are happy to officially introduce the 1st International Marine Kids Congress (IMKC)!

Organized and led by qualified science instructors, IMKC will run along IMCC5 and engage 30 school-aged children (ages 7 through 14) in science education, marine biology, environmental conservation, and experiential learning. Participants will visit at least one local ecosystem to directly observe its wildlife, engage in a shoreline clean-up project, and carry out a small-scale research project focused on the marine or coastal environment. Participants will include local youth from Sarawak and children of delegates. By interacting with science instructors and marine science professionals in a coastal city like Kuching, these children will experience a connection to the ocean that they may have never truly appreciated while also gaining a sense of empowerment to protect this fragile ecosystem. The inaugural and one-of-a kind event will incorporate science, education, outreach, communication, and adventures! Some of the highlights include:

Lessons on the scientific method, student-led projects, and an IMKC poster session
Melissa Marquez from The Fins United Initiative as Plenary Speaker
Hand-on, STEM-based laboratory activities on estuaries, marine debris/plastics, and salinity
Activities with a local artist centered around environmental awareness
Excursions that may include mangrove and dolphin-watching, Semenggoh Wildlife Center, and local-led city tour of Kuching
Beach/estuary clean up and trash inventory
Movie screening and discussion


This project represents the first of anticipated subsequent Kids Congresses focused on engaging tomorrow’s ocean leaders in marine science education and inspiring within them a lifelong appreciation for our oceans.
For more information email Patrick Goff or Keni Rienks.


Make for the Planet Borneo: June 24-29

To ensure a better future for our planet, conservation experts need to work with solutions, technologies, and expertise from diverse fields to greatly improve the efficacy, speed, cost, scale, and sustainability of conservation efforts. Ocean acidification, invasive species, marine protection, overfishing, coral reef degradation – we are aware of the many problems faced by our oceans, and humankind has the ingenuity and optimism to solve them!

How can you help solve ocean conservation challenges? Help create solutions to challenging marine conservation problems at Make for the Planet Borneo in front of a global audience at the 5th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC5) in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia June 24-29, 2018! Team applications are open now through April 1st, 2018. Apply here!

Make for the Planet is an exciting, fast-paced, collaborative, and hands-on invention competition for multidisciplinary teams to build software and/or hardware solutions in response to specific conservation challenges. Conservation X Labs will host up to 15 teams from Malaysia and surrounding countries to compete in Make for the Planet Borneo. This is a team competition/hackathon to create hardware and/or software solutions to specific marine conservation challenges. Teams work to solve global conservation challenges through creative and transformative solutions that harness emerging science and technology, entrepreneurship, and design. The event will engage students and practitioners from multiple fields – engineering, design, do-it-yourself making, computer programming, science and technology, etc. – to create solutions for five specific marine conservation challenges. Teams will have access to a pop-up makerspace with prototyping equipment, including 3D printers and electronics stations. Mentors from the IMCC5 delegation and local organizations will be on-hand to help guide the multidisciplinary teams. During the event, teams will build physical and/or digital representations of their solutions for review by a panel of judges. Because no global conservation challenge can be solved in a 5-day marathon of making and coding, selected teams will be awarded cash prizes to continue developing and improving their ideas. You can find more information about this exciting event here!

Read about the Washington D.C. Make for the Planet during the Smithsonian's Earth Optimism Summit in April, 2017.

Important dates

April 1st: Team applications due
April 3rd: Notify invited teams
June 8th: Post Conservation Challenges for the teams
June 24th: Teams arrive at the venue no later than 3 pm local time
June 24th: Teams participate in a 2-hour IMCC5 workshop (W116) from 4-6 pm local time
June 25th: Conservation Experts present challenges in an IMCC5 symposia (S191)
June 27th: Teams present solutions at the IMCC5 evening poster session to a panel of reviewers
June 28th: Finalists present solutions to a panel of judges in an IMCC5 symposia (S197) & receive awards