Highlights of the 5th edition of Monaco Ocean Week
From 21st to 26th March 2022, Monegasque institutions working to protect the marine environment rallied together for the cause of the Ocean, with Monaco Ocean Week (MOW).
A look back at the week's highlights.
13th edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative: a new ambition for the Ocean
The week started with the Monaco Blue Initiative, a high-level think-tank that brought together representatives from governments, the private sector, financial institutions, scientific institutions and civil society around HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and highlighted new ambitions for ocean protection, best practices for scaling up the sustainable blue economy and blue finance. To conclude the day, participants were updated on the multilateral ocean processes.
Workshops dedicated to innovation for the Ocean
This year, Monaco Ocean Week is offering the Ocean Innovators platform for the first time. This event is dedicated to cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions to preserve the world's oceans, seas and marine resources. The objective? To connect decision-makers, investors, businessmen and philanthropists to the talented innovators and entrepreneurs, offering the best solutions for developing a sustainable blue economy.
A partnership between the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Solar Impulse Foundation has been ratified, with the aim of pooling and amplifying the individual efforts of the two Foundations around a common initiative: to promote green, clean and profitable solutions that contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, better resource management and the deployment of economic opportunities.
Workshops dedicated to solutions
At the MOW, each event is dedicated to a different issue but is always in search of solutions, favouring those coming from nature, whether it is for the Mediterranean basin, or for small islands, vulnerable to different risks (climatic, socio-economic, ecological, ...).
The event featured:
- Seaweed Day, which shed light on one of the most promising regenerative ocean industries: algae. The potential of seaweed will be presented by renowned experts and companies developing innovative products (bio-packaging, plant-based seafood or animal feed).
- The initiative of the NGO SMILO (Small Island Sustainable Initiative), whose first results will be included in the "Blue Print" that IUCN-Med will publish on plastic pollution on Mediterranean islands.
- An original Swiss initiative. The Transnational Red Sea Centre was created in 2019 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne with the support of the Swiss government to promote regional conservation policies. Researchers had discovered that corals in the Red Sea are resistant to global warming like nowhere else in the world... A discovery that could be used to repopulate reefs in other regions of the world, more affected by the effects of global warming.
- The Relay4nature organised by The Ocean Race or the need to give the ocean a voice of its own.
- Marine Protected Areas, which contribute to the protection of marine, coastal and offshore ecosystems, such as the Pelagos Sanctuary
- The benefits of technological applications for environmental awareness and the definition of a public policy of sustainability, with the example of the TerritoriAR App presented by the MERI Foundation
- Technological and legal lessons for marine biodiversity conservation from the use of satellite data in the monitoring and application of area-based management tools in high seas fisheries.
- The innovative solutions of the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, and the day dedicated to a sustainable yachtism industry.
A focus on coastal resilience
For coastal communities, cities and territories, better understanding the threats and vulnerabilities of the coastal zone and designing a combination of effective actions that improve resilience to these impacts has become a priority. This was the objective of the Conference 'Sea and the City: Pathways for Coastal Resilience', organised for the first time at the MOW by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation with Stimson Center and Ocean & Climate Platform.
Workshops on platic pollution
Many international actors intervened to initiate reflection, present solutions and launch initiatives against this pollution, for example:
- The World Plastics Summit, brought together international leaders in plastics recycling and redesign research in Monaco. The aim was to quantify the scale of the plastics problem from a carbon, energy, economic and pollution perspective, the use of new chemical and biological catalysts to break down today's plastics and recycle them, and the use of new and existing building blocks to produce circular polymers.
- The latest scientific data with the report "Plastics and Planetary Health", drawn up under the aegis of the Monaco Scientific Centre.
- Beyond Plastic Med's projects to combat marine plastic waste. The BeMed 2022 laureates presented their respective projects conducted in the Mediterranean Basin.
Preserving marine ecosystems and improving our knowledge
Faced with the overexploitation of marine resources, it is essential today to engage in joint, national and international reflection and action to raise awareness and protect marine ecosystems.
The Monaco Ocean Week highlighted the actions carried out by :
- The International Coral Reef Initiative, which Monaco co-chaired with Australia and Indonesia between 2018 and 2021.
- The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, and its report on the state of the world's coral reefs
- The Global Fund for Coral Reefs, an innovative financing mechanism dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the world's coral reefs.
- The Ocean Acidification and other Changes: Impacts and Solutions Initiative (OACIS), created in 2021 at the initiative of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to further the work of the Monegasque Association on Ocean Acidification (MAOA). This entity presented its climate strategy.
- Team Malizia with Pierre Casiraghi and skipper Boris Herrmann, who installed an on-board laboratory on his IMOCA boat to measure CO2 emissions during the last Vendée Globe and report on the state of the sea.
- The Ocean & Climate Platform (OCP), an expert panel on ocean change (IOCP) based on IPCC models
Exhibitions and events to raise public awareness
- After several years of observation, Olivier Anrigo offered us his "Memories of the North". This environmental photographer took us on an expedition to Norway, Lapland, Spitzbergen, etc, through his Arktic Circle Exhbition.
- The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco hosted the NORTHBOUND exhibition of the Museum Kunst der Westküste. Twenty or so paintings by masters and contemporary artists will take us on a journey through the North Sea from the Netherlands to Norway.
- An evening dedicated to marine biodiversity & gastronomy organised by the Monaco Scientific Center (with Stars'N'bars, the starred chef Marcel Ravin - Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, Les Perles de Monaco, Le Logoscope)
- The screening of the documentary "Méditerranée - L'Odyssée pour la Vie" followed by a discussion, an international documentary series that reveals the natural wonders of the Mediterranean world but also the threats that weigh on it. A premiere in the presence of the director-producer Fred Fougea, Gilles Dufraisse, producer, and Guillaume Néry, world record holder in freediving.
- The reading of the adventures of Ice the Bear, the travelling bear, followed by educational quizzes and drawing competitions for children aged 5 to 10.
- Sea Angels day by Let's free the SEA: a waste collection operation by canoe on the Larvotto beach.
Monaco Ocean week and the Monaco Blue Initiative benefit from the support of ROLEX and Barclays Private Bank.