After spending three months along the gates of UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, the photographic exhibition ‘Protecting UNESCO’s World Marine Heritage through Scientific Research’, made up of 21 photographs from the Monaco Explorations missions, is on display along the gates of the St-Martin gardens, from 7 January to 1 March 2021 in Monaco. The exhibition is also available online. The exhibition was inaugurated in the presence of the HSH Prince Albert II on January 20th.
Since 2017, the Principality of Monaco has been in partnership with UNESCO to strengthen the conservation and scientific understanding of marine sites on the World Heritage List. This partnership incorporates a strategic collaboration within the framework of expeditions led by the Explorations de Monaco. In addition to the results of scientific investigations carried out during the expeditions, this collaboration also helps draw international attention to the conservation challenges facing the most emblematic marine sites in the world.
Among the 50 marine UNESCO World Heritage sites, spread across 37 countries, four are represented in the photo exhibition: Tubbataha Reef Natural Park (Philippines), Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary (Colombia), the South Lagoon of the Chelbacheb Islands (Palau) and the Lagoons of New Caledonia (France).
The photographs were taken during research work carried out by international and multidisciplinary scientific teams during several Monaco Exploration missions. The missions included: a megafauna census, shark tagging, deep sea exploration and how coral is adapting to climate change.
Each image in the series reveals a wide variety of habitats and marine life which is still largely unknown. The photographs are an invitation to learn more about these magnificent sites and the research activities essential to monitoring their state of conservation and understanding the different species present.
The exhibition is part of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), the preparation of which is coordinated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.
The launch of this major operation will take place on 28 January 2021 with a meeting of high-level supporters, in which HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco will participate. Entitled ‘The Science We Need For The Ocean We Want,’ this initiative represents a unique opportunity for the world to increase investment in ocean science and mobilize the latest scientific advances and innovations to protect our ocean, including marine World Heritage sites, for future generations.
To learn more about the importance of scientific research for the protection of marine world heritage sites, check out this video: