A Country with a Conscience
The Principality of Monaco, with its idyllic Côte d’Azur location, has a rich sporting and cultural legacy – from the F1 Grand Prix and Tennis Masters to Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic and Opera companies – and, for more than 150 years, a deep commitment to protecting the environment.
Long before ecological and environmental issues became world headlines and a cause célèbre, Monaco’s “Navigator Prince”, Albert I, sailed the globe’s oceans seeking ways to preserve them. More recently, Prince Rainier III ensured Monaco was at the forefront of environmental awareness and protection. During his 56-year reign, and alongside the Principality’s artistic and sporting evolution, Monaco became one of the most environmentally sensitive countries in Europe and one of the first nations to use reforestation to preserve its spectacular mountainous backdrop.
A State Determined to Set a Good Example
The Principality aspires to become a model state as far as environmental preservation and conservation are concerned. To this end, the Government, indeed, all of Monaco, are continuing to be actively involved in the issues which relate to sustainable development on a daily basis.
Today, Monaco, as a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, continues its nation-wide commitment to environmental protection: public elevators help minimize traffic; electric vehicle recharging stations are free and open to the public; most local Government transportation is electric-powered; waste water is treated and recycled; and garbage is converted into energy-producing fuel for municipal needs. Hotels have implemented eco-friendly goals and the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco’s cultural and convention center is fueled by hydropower.
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
In 2006, following in the environmentally-friendly footsteps of his forefathers, H.S.H. Prince Albert II created the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which is dedicated to the protection of the global environment. Its focus is on three major challenges: climate change and developing renewable energies; the loss of biodiversity; and water management (improving universal access to clean water and fighting desertification).
By 2010, the Foundation extended its international outreach by opening chapters in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and the USA. In doing so, it has brought together people and companies who have the shared objectives of protecting the environment, supporting the sustainable and equitable management of natural resources, and placing the individual - mankind’s future - at the center of its international ventures.
Since its inception, the Foundation has facilitated the implementation of projects across the globe, but more specifically in the Polar Regions, the Mediterranean Basin and some of the world's least developed countries in Africa, South America and south-east Asia. To date, 125+ projects have been selected as recipients of grants totaling more than $US23 million. Some of those projects include supporting local communities in their efforts to combat deforestation and loss of biodiversity in Peru, Brazil, Congo and Siberut, Indonesia; the One Billion Trees Campaign co-sponsored with 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Green Belt Movement founder, Prof. Wangari Maathaï; and developing renewable energies and biofuels, such as Jatropha Curcas for local energy use in Kenya and Mali. In addition, with its particular focus on the Arctic, the foundation also supports the ASPEN Institute (Commission on Arctic), the United Nation's Foundation, Conservation International, UNESCO’s Arctic World Heritage Symposium and Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum’s Polar Exhibition. In 2008, the Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the world-renowned Field Museum in Chicago.