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Every year, Monaco Ocean Week features a week-long series of meetings, debates and actions focused on the oceans.

There is a need for key stakeholders with an interest in the oceans to share their views on how to address the major issues associated with preserving the marine environment and to take action to protect the oceans. It was in response to this need that Monaco Ocean Week was born. Every year, local and international experts, the scientific community, and representatives from associations and public authorities gather in the Principality (or virtually during the Covid-19 crisis) for this week-long series of meetings, debates and actions focused on the oceans.

Monaco Ocean Week offers a unique forum for discussions, meetings, experimentation and openness.

Prince Albert II of Monaco

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© PELAGOS-C-F.-Dhermain-GECEM

Over the years, Monaco Ocean Week has helped to secure important commitments, such as the Monaco Manifesto for the Ocean, published and signed by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince with the French and Italian ministers responsible for the marine environment, and the signature of the Pelagos Sanctuary headquarters agreement, or the launch of the Natural Marine World Heritage in the Arctic Ocean report, which highlights seven sites in the Arctic that may be of outstanding universal value and could merit UNESCO World Heritage status.

Organising such an event was a natural step for Monegasque institutions committed to protecting the environment and the seas – in particular the Prince Albert II Foundation, the Oceanographic Institute, the Monaco Scientific Centre and the Yacht Club de Monaco. Since the late nineteenth century and the many oceangoing expeditions led by Prince Albert I, the father of modern oceanography, the Principality has always worked to promote understanding and conservation of marine ecosystems. This commitment continued throughout the twentieth century, including the signature, in 1976, of the RAMOGE Agreement between France, Monaco and Italy on protecting the coastal waters of the Mediterranean or, more recently, the 2009 Monaco Declaration on ocean acidification, issued by 150 scientists from 26 countries.

© Institut Océanographique
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In 2010, the Prince Albert II Foundation also established the Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI), which has been active during each Monaco Ocean Week since. This high-level think tank brings together representatives from governments, the private sector, financial institutions, the scientific community and civil society. It highlights new goals for protecting the oceans, and best practices for scaling up the blue economy and blue finance. In 2022, the 13th MBI was attended by John Kerry, former Secretary of State to Barack Obama and now President Biden’s Special Envoy for Climate.

You can’t solve the climate crisis without solving the problems facing the oceans. And you can’t solve the problems facing the oceans without solving the climate crisis!

John Kerry

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