Monaco’s historical commitment to the ocean
Marine ecosystem awareness and conservation have been an integral part of the Principality of Monaco’s history since the end of the 19th century. Passionate explorer and dedicated scientist, Prince Albert I, was one of the founders of modern oceanography.
Commitment to the oceans has continued throughout the 20th century; a perfect example being when France, Monaco and Italy signed the RAMOGE Agreement in 1976 to protect Mediterranean coastal waters. The Principality of Monaco was one of the very first States to sign the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.
When the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation was created in June 2006, Monaco immediately adopted solid commitments such as the 2008 appeal to stop Mediterranean bluefin tuna consumption (at the time in danger of becoming extinct) and the 2009 Monaco declaration on ocean acidification, in cooperation with 150 scientists from 26 countries. The Foundation also created the Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI) in 2010: a thinktank where members focus on current and future global ocean management and conservation issues. In 2013 we created an Environmental Fund to manage Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean. The BeMed project was launched in 2015 to combat plastic pollution in the Mediterranean; during the Paris COP21 we played a key role in the edition of the Because the Ocean climate regulation declaration by highlighting the importance of the ocean in climate regulation – the declaration has now been signed by 33 countries; and in 2016, the Principality of Monaco initiated the IPCC oceans and cryosphere report which will be completed in autumn 2019.
During the fifth international conference Our Ocean, in Bali, in October 2018, the Principality as well announced commitments for a sustainable ocean, such as the launch of an environmental facility dedicated to Coral Reefs by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation alongside the Vulcan Group. An initiative within the framework of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) which Monaco is co-chairing with Australia and Indonesia until 2020.
Ocean conservation takes centre stage at the Monaco Ocean Week
The need for a week of meetings, debates and mobilisation for the ocean was blatantly obvious: leading marine sector stakeholders need to share their key marine environment conversation findings and take action to preserve the oceans. During the third edition of the Monaco Ocean Week, from 24 to 30 March 2019, local and international experts, the scientific community, voluntary sector, and public authorities will once again unite in the Principality of Monaco.
Last year, many ocean initiatives were presented throughout the week and key commitments were sealed, such as the Monaco Manifesto for the Ocean published and signed by HSH the Sovereign Prince with the French and Italian ministers in charge of the marine environment. Furthermore with the signature of the Sanctuary Pelagos headquarters’ agreement and the Natural Marine World Heritage in the Arctic Ocean publication’s launch highlighting seven sites in the Arctic region that might be of outstanding universal value and potentially eligible for World Heritage status.