by Enrica Guidotti

MONACO. More than ever, the main aim of the third edition of Monaco Ocean Week that took place end March 2019 has been to share experience, debate and call to action. The future of our shared heritage was the subject of the event workshop and conference from 24th to 30th of March 2019, and organized by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Government of Monaco and their partners, the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, the Scientific Centre of Monaco and the Monaco Yacht Club . This unifying event brought together scientists, experts, NGOs and representatives from civil society to discuss the key issue of ocean protection. On the agenda were topics addressing innovation, research and developing a blue economy. The possibilities offered by biomimicry, the opportunities created by bioplastics, rethinking the future of yachting , pooling initiatives to curb and tackle plastic pollution more effectively, and developing a sustainable ocean economy are among the themes that have been tackled during a  diversity of workshops and talks being held throughout the week.

Monaco Ocean Week also kicked off with the 10th edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative, whose objective is the development of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by increasing their effectiveness and extent. These sanctuaries appear to be one of the most appropriate solutions for protecting marine ecosystems from human activity. Although too few in number since they only represent 7.44% of the surface of the world’s oceans, MPAs must be multiplied and better managed in order to protect marine biodiversity. Among the questions being debated this year a special focus has been made within the context of conservation and exploitation, on how  we can ensure the effective protection of the marine environment, how  a coherent network of MPAs contributes to the protection of migratory species, and what economic value should be attached to MPAs beyond the “Aichi targets”. The Nagoya Protocol on ABS was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, Japan and entered into force on 12 October 2014, 90 days after the deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification. Its objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity: Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 )From the 24th to the 30th of March, the Principality of Monaco, whose marine conservation initiatives are widely recognized, was once again putting key ocean issues in the spotlight.

Prince Albert II speech during the 3rd Monaco Ocean Week

The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) is the only international initiative dedicated solely to coral reefs and associated ecosystems. It is a unique public-private partnership comprised of governments, international organizations, scientific entities and non-governmental organizations, whose aim it is to preserve coral reefs and associated ecosystems within a framework of sustainable use. Until June 2020, ICRI will be co-chaired by Australia, Indonesia and Monaco, and the 2018-2020 plan of action was adopted in December 2018. Moderator: Kristian Teleki, Director – Sustainable Ocean Initiative, World Resources Institute Cuban coral reefs: Crown Jewel of the Caribbean Dr. Patricia Gonzalez, Director of Biology and Marine Ecology, Marine Research Center of the University of Havana, Cuba. The screening of a video on «Community of Ocean Action on coral reefs» and an intervention by H.E. Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean Presentation of the ICRI/UN Environment small grant program selected projects (short movies): – A seascape genomics approach to improve coral reefs conservation strategies against bleaching in New Caledonia – Certification of Peer Trainers in Effective Management of Coral Reefs, Seagrass Beds, Mangroves, & Beaches in Marine Protected Areas of the Western Indian Ocean – Innovative financing and legal mechanisms for reef restoration and emergency response at selected sites in the Mesoamerican region – Managing mangroves for climate change regulation and other ecosystem services in Kenya. The presentation of the ICRI’s plan of action for 2018-2020: H.E. Bernard Fautrier, Prince Albert II Foundation CEO and ICRI Co-chairman – Life Reef Food Fish Trade, Brahmantya S. Poerwadi, Director General of Marine Spatial Management, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia – 2020 Status of Coral Reefs of the World report, Dr. Serge Planes – Global Coral Reef Fund, Chuck Cooper, Vulcan – World Coral conservatoire, Dr. Didier Zoccola 


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