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'The Cold is Getting Hot', Part 2, focused on Polar protection and regeneration.

The crucial role of science in strengthening joint efforts and shared resources to advance climate research is a matter of fact. The Principality of Monaco is playing a pivotal role in encouraging concrete actions with special regard to natural ecosystems preservation in Polar Regions. The second edition of the international Scientific Symposium "The Cold is Getting Hot" held on the 22nd an the 23rd February 2024 gathered at the Oceanographic Museum 120 global experts to debate on effective responses to tackle climate change effects, particularly evident both in North and South Pole. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation together with the Scientific Symposium on Polar Change "From Arctic to Antarctic", the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), in collaboration with the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, the Centre Scientifique de Monaco, the European Polar Board and the World Economic Forum and the Fondation Albédo are working in the same direction to achieve meaningful results.

In this year's edition, the parties wanted to broaden the round table to other stakeholders, notably: scientists, representatives of indigenous peoples, members of non-governmental organisations and political decision-makers.

« We need to implement as widely as possible the only measures we know are effective (...) We need to do this together, by pooling our expertise, by using up-to-date knowledge, and by listening to the needs and competencies of the indigenous populations too », H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.

In His keynote speech, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, highlighted the importance of polar areas in keeping living conditions on Planet Earth by stressing: « Faced with these threats, it is important that coordinated and ambitious action be implemented. We need to implement as widely as possible the only measures we know are effective, which consist of marking out targeted exclusion zones, adapted to the current threats and likely to have a real impact in terms of protection and regeneration. We need to do this together, by pooling our expertise, by using up-to-date knowledge, and by listening to the needs and competencies of the indigenous populations too, especially in the Arctic. More than ever before, they need to be fully involved in these discussions and decisions».

Not by chance, The Polar Initiative is a four-year ongoing programmatic project launched in 2022 by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to reinforce science-based solutions while raising eco-awareness, capacity building for conservation actions. Thus, the Poles have always been a prior interest for the Foundation. Since 2006, nearly 60 projects have been supported in these areas, representing a financial commitment of 6 million euros.

The topics put on the top list were particularly substantial.

  • The development of Polar initiatives for the next decade and collaboration.

  • The adaptation and mitigation strategies for emerging challenges in the Polar regions, considering the impact of human activities such as fishing, tourism and mining.

The target is to create an evolving roadmap for the Polar Initiative including: planning, funding, cross-border collaborations, action-oriented communication, comprehensive participation in science research and proactive approach involving local communities.

As reaffirmed by H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Chairman of the Arctic Circle and former President of Iceland, this annual rendezvous is essential to make polar issues evolving towards a fully sustainable international agenda based on R&D. The symposium, in fact, hosted also the FPA2-SCAR and FPA2-IASC Fellowship Programmes Awards Ceremony, to celebrate outstanding contributions to polar research and conservation.

The Polar Symposium was also the seat of the agreement between the Centre Scientifique de Monaco - CSM and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research - AWI, based in Germany. This Memorandum of Understanding consolidates scientific collaboration between the two prestigious research centres. Their mutual focus is centred on polar and marine ecosystems, assessing human impacts on them and the the negative consequences of Poles deterioration on Planet Earth. Terrestrial and marine ecology, geophysics, glaciology and conservation biology are some of the disciplines involved in that shared vision. The scientific world is then more open than ever to policy makers and other stakeholders to create common actions and synergies.

Dr Céline Le Bohec, Research Director at the CNRS and Head of the CSM’s polar programme, stressed: « the AWI is leading national and international research in the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as in the high and medium latitude oceans and their coasts, through important infrastructure, such as the Polarstern research icebreaker, two polar research aircrafts and major research stations in the Arctic (AWIPEV Ny-Ålesund) and Antarctica (Neumayer III). As for climate and global change, AWI is working with its partners to decrypt 'Earth System' complex processes and to make projections on our Planet's future through polar and marine research. Thus, we will continue our research in partnership with them within a long-term research on penguin populations, physical parameters (ice and ocean), plastic pollution in Antarctica». A crucial commitment that also sees the direct involvement of the Oceanographic Institute to develop scientific missions on the Antarctica Peninsula.

The 2024 Polar Symposium, from Arctic and Antarctic, marked a step forward towards the multidisciplinary approach at the basis of social, environmental and ecological change. ***


To know more about the Polar Symposium at Monaco Oceanographic Museum please , click here 


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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