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UBS Optimus Foundation Europe, UBS Monaco and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation join forces to accelerate climate action and strengthen marine mammals’ protection in the Mediterranean.




On September 30th, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, UBS Optimus Foundation Europe, UBS Monaco and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation signed a partnership agreement in order to increase climate mitigation and adaptation thanks to the protection of coastal and marine ecosystems in the Pelagos Sanctuary.


Projects supported through this alliance will be dedicated to promoting the reinforcement of marine protected areas and no take zones as well as the restoration of coastal ecosystems. A special attention will be given to the protection of marine mammals, conservation of biodiversity and resilience to climate change, but also to the engagement of coastal communities.


“Joining forces with UBS Optimus Foundation Europe and UBS Monaco, with whom we share the same vision of impactful philanthropy, is an honor for the Foundation. Accelerating collaboration and scaling-up solutions for a greater preservation of marine species and ecosystems is vital to tackle the issue of climate change. That is why this support is so meaningful for us in our mission to progress ocean and planetary health.” declared Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

The collaboration takes place in the framework of the Pelagos initiative launched in 2021 by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation alongside its partners WWF, IUCN and Medpan, with the aim to strengthen conservation projects within Pelagos Sanctuary.

To achieve this goal and create a dedicated funding window for climate-oriented projects, UBS Optimus Foundation, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation each commit to one million euros in support of projects conducted by civil society to protect marine mammals in the Pelagos Sanctuary and promote this iconic area of the Mediterranean. A conservation action that will also enter the portfolio of sustainable projects proposed by UBS Optimus Foundation Europe to their clients. UBS Monaco will top-up to match the donations that will be made by their clients or employees to UBS Optimus Foundation towards the Pelagos Initiative, with 10% or more.   

Alejandro Velez, UBS Country Head Monaco and Head FIM Europe, commented “We are delighted to be partnering with the Prince Albert II Foundation to raise awareness of and funds for the Pelagos Initiative which is advancing realistic, scalable solutions to protecting marine areas. Together, we can make a bigger environmental impact and, in support of this important goal, UBS have committed to add a minimum 10% match to all client and employee donations.”

On September 29th an exclusive event was organized on the occasion of the launch of the partnership, at the Monte-Carlo Bay, addressing conservation issues in the Mediterranean Sea and better protection of marine mammals. The high-level panel event started with welcome remarks from Mr. Olivier Wenden and Mr. Alejandro Velez, followed by discussions with Ms. Suzanne Gallon, Scientific Manager at MedPan, Ms. Hannah Wood, Program Director Climate and Environment, USB Optimus Foundation and Mr. Marco Lambertini, CEO of WWF. The panel was moderated by Ms. Nancy Heslin, Editor in Chief of Forbes Monaco.



The Pelagos Sanctuary

The Pelagos Sanctuary is a marine territory of 87,500 km2 in the waters of the Principality of Monaco, France and Italy. The Sanctuary is home to a remarkable biodiversity, with many species of marine mammals such as dolphins, cachalots, and fin whales.


The Pelagos Initiative

Under the impulse of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (PA2F), in 2021, the WWF, the IUCN, MedPAN and PA2F joined forces to create the Pelagos initiative to support the protection of the unique area of the Pelagos Sanctuary.

The initiative has the objectives to:

  • support and promote collaborative studies and activities in the Pelagos Sanctuary to contribute to the conservation of marine mammals
  • raise awareness about the Pelagos Sanctuary, its characteristics, and ongoing activities by engaging the different stakeholders
  • promote interactions and coordinate joint activities between the different Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the Sanctuary
  • raise funds and launch calls for proposals to implement the actions mentioned above and contribute to the objectives of protection and of conservation marine ecosystems and marine mammals within the Sanctuary



The UBS Optimus Foundation Europe – UBS OF EU

UBS OF EU pioneers innovative ways to tackle some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. A leader in social finance, UBS OF EU tests and proves new tools in support of education, health, the environment, and child protection, like outcomes-based finance and blended finance. It applies an investment-based philosophy and specializes in scalable, evidence-based approaches.


UBS OF EU focuses on combatting climate change by fostering sustainable land use (protect terrestrial ecosystems, restore degraded lands, promote climate resilient agriculture, support climate smart products along the value chain) and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems (protect healthy coastal ecosystems and their sequestration capacity, restore degraded coastal ecosystems, support blue carbon market opportunities).


UBS Monaco

UBS Monaco is one of the largest Wealth Managers in the local market. Monaco is a 2km² Principality, a privileged location. A mild climate, a politically stable country, excellent facilities for health, children and foreigners and an ideal place for UBS ultra-high net worth (UHNW) clientele to settle down. USB is established in Monaco since 1956. With over 200 people and 17 different nationalities, UBS Monaco has a workforce in line with its clients’ expectations. “Reimagining the power of investing. Connecting people for a better world.” is UBS’s purpose. UBS Monaco lives up to this purpose by entering local impact partnerships and engaging its clients and employees likewise.


The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

Founded by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2006, the Foundation is a global non-profit organisation, committed to progressing Planetary Health for present and future generations by co-creating initiatives and supporting hundreds of projects across our Planet. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation focuses its efforts on three principal domains of action: climate change, biodiversity, and water resources, in the following main geographical regions: the Mediterranean Basin, the Polar Regions and the Least Developed Countries. The Foundation has already granted + 92 million euros to fund more than +720 projects that focus on limiting the effects of climate change, promoting renewable energies, protecting the ocean, preserving biodiversity, managing water resources, and combating deforestation.