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The RAMOGE and the Pelagos Secretariats have signed a historic agreement within the Monaco Ocean Week.

The Monaco Ocean Week was a privileged stage on the theme of ocean conservation at global level. This annual rendezvous allowed to achieve an important step to protect the northern Mediterranean, true treasure chest of biodiversity. On Friday the 22nd March 2024, the Secretariat of the RAMOGE Agreement and the Pelagos Agreement signed a Memorandum of Understanding. By virtue of the mutual commitment on marine environment preservation, Florent Champion, Executive Secretary of RAMOGE, and Viola Cattani, Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Pelagos Agreement, met at the Conference Hall of the Oceanographic Museum to kick off the historic collaboration. H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, together with H.E. Giulio Alaimo, Ambassador of Italy to Monaco, and H.E. Jean D'Haussonville, Ambassador of France to Monaco, officially attended the ceremony. The core idea is to facilitate sharing of information and the implementation of joint activities to preserve marine mammals and their habitats.

Organising a Workshop in the second semester of 2024 to raise awareness of marine litter as a major threat to biodiversity, is the closest target to be reached.

RAMOGE is an intergovernmental cooperation agreement among Monaco, Italian and France for the conservation of the marine environment. It encourages a multidisciplinary coordination that involves territorial administrations, scientific institutions and users of the sea in order to put into practice joint actions in the area concerned. Protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, raising awareness of virtuous behaviour among people interested in the marine environment and optimising the fight against marine pollution are some of the priorities it pursues.

Signed on May the 10th, 1976 as sub-regional application of the Barcelona Convention, it takes its name from the first syllables of the three cities that delimited its field of action, at that time : Saint-RAphaël (to the west), MOnaco and GEnoa (to the east). In 1993, the parties established an action plan to combat accidental marine pollution in the Mediterranean: the RAMOGEPOL Plan.

The Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals is a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI) extending about 90.000 km2 in the north-western Mediterranean Sea between Italy, France and Sardinia, including Corsica and the Archipelago Toscano. The area includes a relevant concentration of emblematic marine species most of them threatened by human activities.

In 2021, the Pelagos Initiative was created by the will of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (PA2F), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas Network (MedPAN). Its main mission is to fund activities for the protection, conservation and promotion of the Sanctuary, to reinforce the Pelagos Agreement management plan.

The Pelagos Agreement for the Sanctuary of Marine Mammals in the Mediterranean was signed in Rome on the 25th November 1999 by the Principality of Monaco, Italy and France. In compliance with national, European Union and international laws, the three signatory Countries undertake to protect marine mammals of all species and their habitat, protecting them from the direct or indirect negative impacts of human activities. ***

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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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