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Highlights from the 2024 Monaco Ocean Week.

Updated: May 20

The 2024 Monaco Ocean Week, co-organised by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Oceanographic Institute, has just ended and numerous feedbacks marked the event for its entire duration from the 18th to the 23rd March 2024. As reaffirmed by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco within the 15th edition of Monaco Blue Initiative, held on the 18th March 2024 at the Conference Hall of the Oceanographic Museum, encouraging multilateral dialogue among scientists, policy makers, NGOs and other associations involved in the preservation of natural ecosystems is crucial to foster research, innovation, technology, nature-based solutions to protect oceans. Here is the core mission of Monaco's Week devote to marine ecosystems preservation, conservation and restoration. "Finding tools for thinking, collaborating and taking action".



The results achieved are remarkable by fully involving the private sector and philanthropy that have become aware of Human Beings ecological responsibility. Besides that Economy, Finance and the Regulatory framework are increasingly acting to support science to set guidelines addressed to decision makers for the sake of our Planet and the Ocean. This year's Monaco Ocean Week was a parade of technical workshops, conference, panels but also educational and informative meetings to raise awareness about the importance of keeping marine biodiversity alive.

MONACŒCOART®  collected some relevant insights among those proposed.


>> OCEAN INNOVATORS PLATFORM.

On the 20th March 2024, Ocean Innovators Platform community reached a new meaningful step for the safeguarding of global oceans. By the will of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation entrepreneurs, investors and high-level stakeholders have been debating proactively for a long time to find inspiring solutions for a Sustainable Future through Healthier Ocean conditions. Combating plastic pollution, accelerating progress in aquaculture and ensuring effective management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are on the top list of priorities as well as encouraging a more Sustainable Blue Economy.

In particular, a set of key points have been set:

🔹 Closing the Plastic Tap: Experts explored strategies to transition towards a circular plastic economy, minimizing plastic pollution in our oceans.

🔹 Investing in the Blue Economy: Investors shared valuable insights into promising blue economy opportunities, highlighting the financial viability of sustainable ocean solutions.

🔹 Technological Advancements: Discussions centered on harnessing technology's potential to revolutionise the aquaculture industry and enhance MPA management.

🔹 Ocean Exploration & Business: The event featured successful businesses built upon ocean research, demonstrating the synergy between exploration and economic development.


>> LET'S BE NICE TO THE OCEAN.

Photo: Opening speech by Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO at Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (Let's Be Nice to the Ocean, Novotel Monte Carlo, 20th March 2024) © #MOW2024

On the 20th March 2024, the roundtable Let's Be Nice to the Ocean debated on key issues on ocean conservation and blue economy in the footsteps of the Ocean e-book and survey involving 125 NGOs, both published in 2023, and in view of the 3rd UN Ocean Conference in Nice (June 2025). The initiative, in fact, was launched to allow civil society taking part in the woking group


Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, pointed out out in his welcoming keynote: « Making ocean protection the norm rather than the exception is very much in line with what we are all trying to achieve: let’s be innovative, let’s be daring, let’s be creative, let’s be strong and forceful».

Multidisciplinary involvement has significantly improved to tackle climate change and ocean conservation. But we are still on the way. André Abreu from Tara Ocean Foundation outlined: «We need more funding and inputs for the transformative proposal and innovative science that can support new ocean governance models».

Purificació Canals from MedPAN, association on marine protected areas across the Mediterranean Sea, stressed the importance of involving local communities in sharing indigenous and scientific knowledge to reinforce collaboration towards marine protection. «This will be a key element for the future of ocean conservation and for communities in the Mediterranean and beyond». That is also pivotal to strengthen Blue Economy. «Seaweed provides many opportunities to respond to multiple crises, hence, preserving our algae forests and investing in algae farming for coastal communities and the food and other sectors is critical», highlighted Vincent Doumeizel, Senior Adviser to the UN Global Compact.


The event was co-facilitated by Rémi Parmentier, Coordinator of Let’s Be Nice to the Ocean, and Loreley Picourt, Executive Director of the Ocean & Climate Platform.


>> MOBILISING BUSINESS AND INNOVATION TOWARDS COASTAL RESILIENCE.


On the 2oth March 2024, a targeted meeting focused on the surviving spirit of coastal populations to cope with the consequences of climate change that can have serious consequences for local economies.


The rendezvous, organised by the Ocean & Climate Platform - Sea'Ties, the United Nations Global Compact and the Stimson Center, aimed at gathering decision makers and business people with different backgrounds (e.g.: construction, utilities, energy, transportation) to debate on innovative approaches and cutting-edge practices to foster coastal adaptation.


As a matter of fact, the Sea Level Rise (SRL) is incessantly going on for over a century and it is expected to exceed one meter by 2100 if the production of greenhouse gases is not reduced significantly.

Floods, saltwater intrusion, accelerated erosion and land loss are some of the effects that are already ravaging some coastal areas. Coastal population growth is having a negative impact due to the over exploitation of the natural ecosystems. Alongside an increase in GDP, that is expected to be concentrated in areas close to the coast, there will be an increase in costs necessary to cope with the damage caused by the increase in the sea level. It is therefore necessary to increase awareness on the subject involving the private sector and populations to implement climate mitigation actions.

« Climate change is a transboundary problem, so let’s share our knowledge », that was the motto of the event.


>> CONFERENCE ON THE RESTORATION OF THE POSIDONIA MEADOWS IN RAMOGE AREA.

Photo: Opening speech by Florent Champion, Executive Secretary at RAMOGE (Conference on Preservation of Posidonia Meadows in RAMOGE areas, Oceanographic Museum, 22nd March 2024) © #MOW2024

On the 22nd March 2024, a topical Conference on the Restoration of the Posidonia Meadows was held at the Conference main Hall of the Oceanographic Museum by the will of RAMOGE Agreement Permanent Secretariat operating among France, Italy and Monaco to preserve marine ecosystems and biodiversity while increasing public awareness.


Posidonia (Posidonia oceanica), iconic sea plant (seagrass), widely spread in the Mediterranean Basin between surface and 40 meters deep, is an indicator of marine water quality, ensuring the development of many marine species. Protecting it is the core mission to keep biodiversity and guarantee the protection of coastlines. Regulating yachting, sea trade and tourism is pivotal. Human impacts can be devastating starting from a wrong anchoring. And restoration process takes a long time. Thus, prevention is worth to maintain Posidonia's precious ecosystem services, notably: nursery for marine species, coastal erosion control and carbon sequestration.

Some actions have being carried out by RAMOGE representatives like the publication of restoration guides or the creation of an alliance to involve companies in the conservation efforts of this emblematic sea plant.

>> TIDES OF CHANGE: TRANSFORMING THE FASHION INDUSTRY TO PROTECT OUR OCEAN.


« Did you know fashion is the second biggest polluter globally? It uses massive amounts of water and it leaves a trail of waste ». An event deepened the topic on how to reduce the impacts of the textile supply chain to respect the rhythms of our Planet.


Runa Rey, Founder of Fashioning for Social Environmental Justice, Marisa Selfa, CEO of Tailored by Ocean Born Foundation, and Georgia-Rae Taylor, Sustainability Strategy Director at Eco Age, dressed the state of the art:


• Consumers are demanding more sustainable practices;

• Collaboration is key to change the entire supply chain;

• Designers can choose eco-friendly materials and plan for garment afterlife;

• Having an inclusive approach to local and indigenous communities is prior;

• Legislation is crucial to regulate fast fashion and promote sustainability.


Each one can therefore make the difference by choose environmentally friendly garments as well as haute couture or prêt à porter conceived by ethical and eco-friendly designers. Repairing and reusing should be promoted as best practices as well as clothes sharing.


>> PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BETWEEN IUM & THE MONACO MARITIME ACADEMY.


In view of the 2024 Monaco Ocean Week, a significant synergy was established. On the 14th March 2024 the Académie de la Mer de Monaco - A2M, focused on Maritime Law, International Relations linked to the Seas and the Oceans & Marine Sciences, and the International University of Monaco - IUM signed an agreement to develop mutual education courses on ocean preservation techniques addressed to new generations within a specific international plan initiative. IUM has recently launched the Monaco Ocean Protection Challenge in partnership with the Oceanographic Institute , Albert I Foundation, Prince of Monaco and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

This confirms the strong commitment of the Sovereign Prince and his Foundation particularly engaged in developing a deep knowledge of the oceans in the citizens of tomorrow.


Dr Jean-Philippe Muller, General Manager of IUM, underlined: « Responsible entrepreneurship and the deployment of sustainable economic models are part of the University's mission, this is why environmental issues are increasingly present in the IUM's courses, notably with the launch of a Master in Sustainability and Innovation Management in 2023 ».


Laurent Anselmi, Executive President at A2M, concluded: « The creation of the Monaco Maritime Academy is part of the Monegasque tradition of knowledge and protection of the seas and oceans, being faithful to the motto: 'The Sea at 360 degrees'». ***


MonacoEcoArt keeps its journalism open to all although its information is the result of pure professionalism and knowledge. Supporting our Media allows us to keep our independence while offering quality contents based on traceable sources. Thank you for your collaboration.




By Maurice Abbati

Journalist; Editor; Communication, Media and Public Relations Specialist

Lecturer and Author in English language of Technical Articles and the Manual: "Communicating the Environment to Save the Planet, a Journey into Eco-Communication" by Springer International Publishing.







Cover page of PhD manual by Maurice Abbati





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