Monaco is back to spotlight of the world of luxury yachting reaffirming its commitment to the ecological transition of the whole sector including the management of leisure ports and their facilities. At the gates of the Monaco Yacht Show, from the 25th until the 30th September 2023, the third edition of Monaco Sustainable & Smart Marina #smartmarina rendezvous, held on the 24th and 25th September 2023 at the Monaco Yacht Club, gathered about 250 participants operating in leading roles, notably: investors, marina project promoters, marina managers, shipyards, startups, architects, manufacturers and shipowners. Acting to hit the edge through concrete, effective and feasible actions has been the common mantra since the first edition. Eco-Innovation: sailing to virtuous Marinas was the visionary fil rouge suggested for the two-day summit.
The event main mission, in fact, is to encourage the creation and the development of virtuous Marinas by linking the entire ecosystem with Sustainable Tourism. Small ports, mainly used for pleasure rather than commercial and industrial uses, can act as an effective driver able to accelerate Blue Economy and Sustainable Mobility provided that they are properly equipped. A tighter connection among financial experts, policy makers and innovation creators is crucial to put it in practice. Thus, Monaco is willing to foster the change inviting key actors on the stage through round tables and pitching sessions.
Bernard d'Alessandri, President of the "Yachting Monaco" Cluster and Secretary General of the Yacht Club of Monaco, pointed out « We want to encourage initiatives that tend to build a more eco-responsible yachting. Infrastructure such as Marinas must be a reflection of today’s Yachting, that is, a more measured Yachting in line with current environmental issues ». Sailing towards technology with low environmental impact meets the full support of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Extended Monaco, the digital transformation program of the Gouvernement Princier.
David Seal, Yachting Influencer and Master of Ceremony, highlighted: « In this event, we have the opportunity to meet face to face and really talk about the work that have been done, finding new ways to work together to promote sustainability in the marina industry. Twenty-six different countries represented in one place and some very special guests like H.E. Ana Elena Pinto Lizano, Costa Rica Ambassador & Permanent Delegate of Costa Rica to the UNESCO; H.H. Prince Saud bin Turki Al Saud, Strategic Partnerships General Manager, Saudi Red Sea Authority; H.E. Rear Admiral Reda Ahmed Ismail, Head of Maritime Transport Sector - Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Professor Alessandra Priante, Director Regional Department for Europe – World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) (...). This rendez-vous is part of a collective Monaco capital of advanced yachting umbrella brand to push any kind of initiatives which assist with sustainability».
José Marco Casellini, CEO of Monaco Marina Management and Organiser of the event, underlined: « It is essential that Marinas operators are connected with the creators of innovations. Sustainable Development is now at the heart of investment decisions. The essence of this event is to stimulate and uptake new solutions that help to protect the environment and then integrate them into the management of a more virtuous Marina, as a condensed smart city, both intelligent and sustainable ».
Olivier Darrason, General Delegate of the Mediterranean Investor Club & Yassine Bouhara, President of Tell Group, stressed: « We decided to create PAMEx Local Investment Finance Facility (PLIFF) as a pragmatic initiative (= financial mechanism) aimed at sharing experience and investments to foster solidarity in the Mediterranean Sea. We have recently focused on port electrification, waste management and nature protection».
Professor Alessandra Priante, Director Regional Department for Europe – World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), underlined: « Tourism is the most resilient existing economic sector because it bounds back very quickly. In 2019, everybody was in panic for the over-tourism in almost any destination. Is this a good benchmark? In terms of sustainability definitely not. So, we need to recombine all different factors. It is crucial to re-educate to tourism, a field made of people for people. Monaco is one of the few countries to have introduced specific courses at the elementary school to teach how to become the tourists of the future. It is extremely important!».
Paul Holthus, Founding President & CEO of World Ocean Council, concluded: « The Blue (= Sea) is connected to the rest of the world. We have one global ocean ecosystem and then one global ocean business ecosystem. If we look out we are going to find not only yachts in a marina but shipping, other recreational activities and looking a little bit further we can see offshore energy, aquaculture and fisheries going on in this marine environment. Marinas and associated Super Yacht and Yachting industries have the opportunity to connect with a series of communities, including innovation and the global corporate, to take responsibilities regarding the ocean and sustainable development. There is a much bigger world to be engaging beyond the Marinas. Inspiring and requiring the boating and recreational sectors to be part of the solutions as well, it can drive forward change by making it a requirement of what good operations look like in every Marina. The same sectors can also be a leading learning lab as for energy efficiency, fresh water supply, innovative engines and biofuels addressed to other pivotal sectors like the world fishing industry. All that generates business and investments opportunities ».
On the same day (25th September 2023), the International Smart & Sustainable Marina Awards was held at the Monaco Yacht Club to acknowledge the best performers in various categories: Start-up, Scale-up, Marina and Architect to welcome new ideas to create innovative and environmentally friendly waterfront projects also characterised by great functionality.
Jean-Michel Wilmotte, President of the Jury, pointed out: « This is the first time we have done this kind of competition and it is very promising. We have received proposals that are very surprising and that show that the global environment is definitely changing. ».
S3-GROUP from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts was awarded the Student in Architecture category Prize while FRESH architectures reached the podium in the Architect category. Karpaz Gate Marina and Limassol Marina were given the Marina Award. EH2P Marine and Nereid Water were considered the best Startups and
Omniflow the best Scale-up. ***
To know more about Monaco Smart & Sustainable Marina please visit: https://sustainablesmartmarina.com/
By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing