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13th Monaco Blue Initiative: the future of the Ocean Planet is in our hands

Human respect for marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of ocean resources is the focus of the international concern, as reiterated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 14 on oceans and seas. The Principality of Monaco has been working for many years to foster a constructive dialogue among major stakeholders to make blue economy a driving force for preserving marine ecosystems and improving living conditions. The 13th edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI) on the 20th and 21st March 2022, under the auspices of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Oceanographic Institute, Albert I Prince of Monaco Foundation, tackled key issues, reconfirming a stage of primary importance to unveil new challenges for the ocean management and conservation.

Despite the challenges and concerns, the current situation must not cause to neglect ocean matters, quite the opposite”, underlined H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco opening the morning session – “We have to believe in the future, in dialogue and progress: in regard to the oceans and world major issues like climate and biodiversity we must reaffirm the importance of shared visions based on collecting values towards the common good for both current and future generations”, He added. The need of organizing global activities, whether of a political, legal or economic nature, to achieve ambitious goals to protect the marine common heritage is then nowadays of crucial importance.

13th Monaco Blue Initiative
Welcome address by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco (Monaco Blue Initiative, Oceanographic Museum, 21st March 2022).© JC Vinaj/FPA2

As in the past years, the Monaco Blue Initiative thinktank panel brought together at the Oceanographic Museum scientists, decision-makers, international organizations, philanthropists, the corporate and civil sector as well as indigenous and locals to debate proactively on balancing coastal economic development and environmental protection. “We are committed to protect our Planet, we need to come together to protect the Ocean which is the source of all”, pointed out in his key note speech John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, United States of America – and then he added: “The Climate crisis is growing and most people in the world do not have the sense of connecting the dots between the two: you cannot solve the former without addressing problems of the ocean, and you cannot solve the latter without fixing climate issues like humidity balance, warming of sea water, increasing of floods, regulations of streams, etc.”. “All Countries should unite closely to protect our Blue Planet also through high-level governance, off-shore renewable energy platforms and marine international legislation”, reaffirmed in his video message Huang Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment, People’s Republic of China.

13th Monaco Blue Initiative
Keynote Speech by John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. (Monaco Blue Initiative, Oceanographic Museum, 21st March 2022).© JC Vinaj/FPA2

The need to establish a clear road map for the next decades on a scientific base is becoming increasingly motivated also in the light of the new developments on the international scene. A synergistic network of actors pushing any corporate reality to assess a sustainable use of marine resources, even if their business is not directly connected to the ocean, was generated by the learning of past mistakes and now it relies on best practices. “A healthy planet cannot exist without a healthy ocean; without the ocean any technology we use, any defense system we set up will be insufficient”, stressed Vincent Van Quickenborne, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and the North Sea, Belgium.

Thus, blue channel and scale up financial investments could provide a strong input to the positive-impact ocean transition. These are the topical subjects faced during the second part of the one-day summit. ““The once uninterrupted relationship that we have had with the ocean is now in the threat as never before; so, we need to ask ourselves: what approach should we take to bring a positive change in the actual state of the sea and how much are we willing to invest and sacrifice to maintain this delicate balance, to guarantee that ocean resources are available for next generations?”, highlighted Jean-François Ferrari, Designated Minister and Minister for Fisheries and Blue Economy, Republic of Seychelles.

Leadership, inclusion and the new bold vision for a healthy ocean, these are some of the key words of this 2022 edition of the MBI”, underlined Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation – “These forceful targets can be pursued through novel knowledge actions, incoming partnerships and the sharing of some successful stories which prove that a different approach with oceans is possible: in other words, the blue shift depends on how much we are engaged with the ocean”, he added.

13th Monaco Blue Initiative
Closing address by Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (Monaco Blue Initiative, Oceanographic Museum, 21st March 2022).© JC Vinaj/FPA2

Today, I am delighted to witness the ongoing synergy that all participating actors has been showing for thirteen years, including a new finance and banking fondness to protect the ocean which is essential to influence the decision makers and users as well as tourism which benefits from sustainable ocean preservation”, concluded Robert Calcagno, CEO at the Oceanographic Museum, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation.

13th Monaco Blue Initiative
Closing address by Robert Calcagno, CEO, Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation (Monaco Blue Initiative, Oceanographic Museum, 21st March 2022).© Maurizio Abbati HelloMonaco

Since its establishment in 2010, the Monaco Blue Initiative has been promoting the safeguarding of the Ocean Planet through a bottom-up process which starts from local communities up to high-level negotiations and governance. The 2022 edition reasserted that We, human beings, are strongly tied up to the Sea World whose natural balance is crucial for the survival of our species. The future of the Oceans is the future of Humanity.

To know more about the Monaco Blue Initiative please visit the official website.

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