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The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation settles in at the GoodPlanet Foundation for the weekend


The " Living Together " exhibition of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation's Environmental Photography Award, which has been on show at the GoodPlanet Foundation in Paris since April and will run until mid-December, was the starting point for a weekend of events devoted to the (re)discovery of the living world on 1 and 2 July 2023.

A unique programme has been devised by the teams from the two institutions to celebrate environmental photography and the wealth of biodiversity.

On Saturday 1 July, the first meeting was hosted by Philippe Mondielli, Scientific Director of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and focused on the extraordinary stories of animals that almost became extinct. Bluefin tuna, monk seals, bearded vultures and wolves all share the common trait of having been extremely threatened, or even close to extinction. But they also share the determination of key players and the collective mobilisation that enabled them to be protected and saved. These wonderful stories of life, offering examples of victories and a lesson in hope, were an opportunity to raise awareness of the Monegasque Foundation's actions among the Parisian public.

The public was treated to two films celebrating the beauty of nature: Yann Arthus-Bertrand's documentary "Vivant", a "loving inventory of biodiversity" produced by the famous photographer and film-maker in collaboration with over 200 animal video-makers, and Jean-Michel Bertrand's "Marche avec les loups", which tells the great mystery of how wolves are dispersed. Following the film, a round-table discussion brought together the director and a speaker with experience of wolves, Dr Véronique Luddeni, a veterinary surgeon based in the Mercantour and a member of the Conseil National de la Protection de la Nature. The discussion, led by Myriam Aarras, coordinator of the Human - Wildlife Initiative ( created by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and four partners representing the worlds of agriculture, hunting and environmental conservation), addressed the major issues surrounding the reappearance of the wolf in France in 1992. Each of the two specialists gave an account of their encounters with this emblematic and controversial animal, and of their experiences in the field with people who come into contact with the species (breeders, shepherds, national parks, associations, nature sports enthusiasts, etc.). Jean-Michel Bertrand, who spent over two years investigating the complex and erratic behaviour of young wolves, spoke, like the philosopher Baptiste Morizot, of the wolf's ability to make us question our own humanity. Dr Véronique Luddeni reported on the current debates surrounding the wolf and the actions being taken to try and resolve conflicts of cohabitation and change mentalities.

On Sunday July 2nd, the film "Le temps des vautours" by Emmanuel Rondeau was screened. The first wildlife documentary entirely dedicated to France's largest birds, and an award-winner at the Festival de l'Oiseau et de la Nature 2023, the film challenges preconceived ideas about this animal, which is far from being the sinister bird we sometimes imagine. The director followed the lives of four pairs of vultures and their offspring for a year in the magnificent natural cathedral of the Grands Causses. Photographer Emmanuel Rondeau is also at the heart of the " Living Together " exhibition, with his image " Le Cerf de la Lande ", which won the « Reasons for Hope » category of the 2021 Environmental Photography Award.

The day continued with a session on animal welfare with Dr Véronique Luddeni. With as much passion as pedagogy, the veterinary surgeon shared the day-to-day aspects of her profession, in practice and in the mountains, the problems encountered in the field as well as her participation, as an elected member of the National Council for the Protection of Nature, in the Man-Wildlife Initiative coordinated by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. She also gave useful tips for pet owners and reminded them of the rules of conduct to be observed in the presence of wildlife.

Finally, photographer Greg Lecoeur presented his work in the polar regions, Antarctica and the Arctic. He shared stories of his expeditions in extreme weather conditions, and took the public along with him to get up close and personal with the icebergs, with some breathtaking images. The "Antarctica" series, for example, illustrates exceptional underwater fauna: whales, penguins, sea lions, seals.... with the ultimate quest being an encounter with the leopard seal. Through his reports from the poles, the photographer aims to raise awareness of the threats posed to these precious ecosystems by climate change.

The weekend's programme was also aimed at children, with activities organised by the Association Monégasque pour la Protection de la Nature to raise awareness of sustainable fishing, Mediterranean cetaceans and the human activities that threaten them, and the Principality's Marine Educational Area. Not to mention the treasure hunt developed for the " Living Together " exhibition and the children's workshops regularly offered by the GoodPlanet Foundation (a nature walk to discover biodiversity, a visit to the vegetable garden, an escape game and an introduction to nature photography).

These two convivial days ended to the sound of a Bossa Nova revisited by the group "Dans la lune".

The GoodPlanet Foundation is open every weekend, free of charge, and offers a wide range of activities. Its superb temporary exhibition, " Discovering the living ", at the Château de Longchamp, will run until 17 December 2023. Combining art and education, the exhibition invites us to take a closer look at the biodiversity that surrounds us and its riches. Thanks to never-before-seen videos, the work of committed artists and an immersive tour designed for young and old alike, this invitation to travel takes us on a journey through the ocean, forests and marshes of our regions, to understand, learn and marvel even more...

The GoodPlanet Foundation

The GoodPlanet Foundation, recognised as a public utility, was created in 2005 by Yann Arthus-Bertrand as an extension of his artistic work and commitment. Its mission is to make as many people as possible aware of the ecological and solidarity issues, and to take concrete action for a more sustainable world in the field, in companies and within communities.

In 2017, it opened the first venue dedicated to ecology and solidarity in Paris, in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne: 3.5 hectares of nature that welcomes nearly 60,000 people free of charge every year to experience a positive and caring ecology, through a committed artistic and cultural programme.