«I am particularly happy to be with you tonight to participate in an event that we have long awaited for with great hopes», stated H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco during His opening speech to introduce the 14th annual Planetary Health Awards ceremony by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2), held at the Salles des Princes – Grimaldi Forum on Friday the 29th October 2021 as the core of the Foundation’s 15th Anniversary.
«We need to meet, to exchange ideas and combine our expectations to advance again towards the future with the memory of these fifteen years of shared adventure after the primary idea of conceiving this Body. It is emotional to remind that behind the seven hundred projects, thanks to 90 million Euros spent, we have been able to protect dozens of species more effectively and to safeguard hundreds of ecosystems», he added.
An unpublished documentary by Luc Jacquet about the Sovereign Prince’s strong commitment in promoting sustainable actions, diplomacy, scientific research and explorations, welcomed the ‘red carpet’ of award-winners.
«From this film it is clear the sincerity and the vision of the Sovereign Prince as well as His personal engagement which makes this Foundation unique, in addition to the fact it is held by an acting Head of State», pointed out Olivier Wenden, Vice-President of FPA2 during the international press conference of Friday afternoon at the Yacht Club de Monaco. – «Our actions lie on innovation and federation always turning our attention to science and conveying messages based on scientific data with a special regard to new generation talents».
The special FPA2 Gala was also the chance to strengthen the Foundation educational mission to forge young researchers worldwide allowing them to finalize their 3-year course of studies on climate change and living soils. Within the ceremony, twenty-seven PhD students were officially granted with scholarships, selected on an agreement basis with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), represented by Abdallah Mokssit, Secretary at IPCC. Cuomo Foundation and Moët Hennessy strongly supported the initiative as co-partners.
The FPA2 Award – Category Water was given to Autumn Peltier, Canadian activist who has been fostering clean water accessibility and land protection for indigenous people since the age of eight, influencing many young followers around the world.
«I thank you the FPA2 for this acknowledgment for what I have been doing for half my life. I am convinced in doing this since one day I will be an ancestor and I want my grandchildren to know that I used my voice to help Indigenous children to access to clean drinking water», the seventeen-year-old prize winner said on the podium.
The FPA2 Award – Category Climate Change went to Bren Smith, co-founder of GreenWave, innovative ocean farming offering concrete solutions to overcome climate crisis and inequalities on social and economic front, affecting many coastal communities. «I am deeply grateful to this recognition; our backs are against the wall, we can give up, flee and just let the planet die slowly, or work with the ocean to innovate a better future and to make a living on a living planet!», underlined Bren Smith.
The FPA2 Award – Category Biodiversity was appointed to IPBES – the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for its remarkable commitment on promoting a good knowledge of planet’s ecosystems.
«I am honoured about this credit which I extend to the whole IPBES community made of hundreds of scientists, experts and knowledge-holders who have been offering their time, efforts and ideas over the past ten years to achieve assessment reports aimed at alerting world opinion on the disastrous effects of natural degradation», concluded Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary at IPBES.
«The Way of the Rain, Hope for Earth», an outstanding multidisciplinary experience of pure poetry through art, film and live ZhangomusiQ orchestra, Monte-Carlo Opera choir, Soprano Norah Amsellem & Stella Almondo, Monegasque pianist, followed the Prize Ceremony as a special tribute to the Sovereign Prince by Sibylle Szaggars Redford and Robert Redford.
Spectacular images, chromatic effects, harmonious notes and meaningful words of conscience touched the depths of the audience’s heart, contemplating the fragile but powerful beauty of our Earth.