Imagine a new global summit where Heads of State and Government, International Organisations, Explorers, IPCC and IPBES Experts, NGOs and Indigenous Populations can sit at the same table to debate about the future of Glaciers and Polar Regions. All this is now reality. The first edition of the One Planet Summit for Glaciers and Poles was held from the 8th until the 10th November 2023 by the will of Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic. The rendezvous hosted a major panel at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.
Arctic and Antarctic geographical regions, integral part of the cryosphere, are strategic spots to ensure the balance of all biosphere ecosystems, playing a key role in climate regulation and biodiversity preservation. Their possible destruction will have fatal and irreversible consequences on human communities (more than a quarter of the world population), global water resources, wildlife and ocean-levels due to ice melting from global warming. Thus, the need for an international mobilisation.
The President of the French Republic highlighted: « (...) Melting permafrost brings with it major risks of CO2 release and potential new pandemic threats. The disappearance of glaciers represents an immense challenge for the populations that depend on them, particularly for access to fresh water. All of humanity is therefore concerned. By the end of this century, two billion people will be threathened. (...) The cryosphere is an essential resource for our planet’s equilibrium. We cannot watch its collapse in silence. Even if geopolitical tensions are intensifying on an international scale, we have one imperative: to preserve these spaces as havens of peace, scientific cooperation and environmental ambition, while respecting the sovereignty of all ».
Monaco is at the forefront of the high profile initiative. Isabelle Berro-Amadei, Government Advisor – Minister of External Relations and Cooperation, took part in the ministerial meeting within the 6th edition of the Paris Peace Forum on the 9th November 2023.
In her speech, the Monaco's Minister referred to the Monegasque legacy in scientific nature explorations that have been carried out by the Princes of Monaco throughout the centuries to support the environmental protection. In particular, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco is willing to perpetuate this commitment to maintaining polar biodiversity. Applying well-established and precautionary measures to preserve polar ecosystems is the key. The message is clear for the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Oceanographic Institute - Albert I Foundation and Monaco Scientific Centre fully engaged in a constant and science-based action plan.
A closer cooperation between scientists and decision makers is pivotal and some countries, notably France, has recently adopted National Polar Strategies, regardless of their latitude.
The main target of the Summit is therefore to adopt a joint political declaration, promoted by France, entitled: "L'Appel de Paris pour les Glaciers et les Pôles" (The Paris Call for Glaciers and Poles). This document of intention commits the signatories to act in favour of the preservation of the poles and the cryosphere such as the creation or maintenance of marine protected areas in Antarctica or the prohibition of fossil fuels in the North Pole. ***
To know more about the summit please visit: One Planet Summit
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By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing