The environment and sustainable development

Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)

On 13 July 2008, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco took part in the Founding Summit of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

The UfM is an intergovernmental organisation which brings together 43 European and Mediterranean Basin countries: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries in North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Europe. The organisation’s general secretariat is located in Barcelona, Spain.

The primary aim of the UfM is to improve North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region in order to support the socioeconomic development of the countries concerned and maintain stability in the region. In its activities, the organisation focuses on two key pillars: fostering human development and promoting sustainable development.

Launched to reinforce the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed), set up in 1995 and also known as the Barcelona Process, the UfM works in six priority strategic areas where the Principality of Monaco is particularly active: 

  • Business development and employment
  • Civil and social affairs
  • Higher education and research
  • Transport and urban development
  • Water and environment
  • Energy and climate action

On 11 July 2017, a regional workshop was held to launch the Mediterranean preparatory process for the 8th World Water Forum, which took place from 18 to 23 March 2018 in Brazil.

Organised by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Mediterranean Water Institute (IME), the drivers behind this process, in partnership with the Prince Albert II Foundation, this event brought together some 50 participants in Monaco and kicked off the initial work that was presented at the Mediterranean Water Forum in late 2017.

Prince Albert II Foundation (FPAII)

On 16 April 2006, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco visited the Arctic, reaching the North Pole, in order to measure the impact of climate change on the thinning sea ice.

Following this expedition, in June 2006, the Prince decided to establish a foundation to respond to the threats facing the environment of our planet. The Prince Albert II Foundation focuses on environmental protection and sustainable development on a global scale, and its priorities are climate change and the promotion of renewable energy, biodiversity, water resource management and combatting deforestation.

The Sovereign Prince visited Madrid on 22 April 2016 to launch the Foundation’s Spanish branch. The Foundation has nine branches throughout the world.

H.S.H. Prince Albert II declared at the launch: "Together we will save the Mediterranean, united we will enable it to approach the second half of this century with a sustainable outlook, preserved landscapes, mobilised States and committed people. This is in any event the objective I have assigned my Government and my Foundation over the past ten years".


ACCOBAMS was signed in Monaco on 24 November 1996 and entered into force on 1 June 2001.

Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area (ACCOBAMS) is a legal tool for conserving biodiversity based on cooperation. It aims to reduce the threats that endanger cetaceans, notably through improving our understanding of these animals.

ACCOBAMS is the first agreement to link the countries of these sub-regions together with a shared goal focused on cetacean conservation. One of the agreement’s innovative aspects is the inclusion of non-littoral countries whose vessels conduct activities likely to undermine cetacean conservation in the zone.

In 2018, 24 countries were party to the agreement: Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

The Principality of Monaco hosted the sixth ACCOBAMS meeting from 22 to 25 November 2016.

During this meeting, ACCOBAMS celebrated its twentieth anniversary, and a new headquarters agreement was signed by the Prince’s Government and the ACCOBAMS Secretariat.

At the opening ceremony, H.S.H. Prince Albert II reiterated his support for ACCOBAMS and his commitment to safeguarding the oceans.

On this occasion, the ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative was announced.

This is a project to survey all cetaceans in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Developed and implemented by the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat, the project has received several million euros in funding, notably from the Mava Foundation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Agence française pour la biodiversité (French Biodiversity Agency), the Principality of Monaco and all of the countries which border the two bodies of water.

Taking advantage of the arrival in the Mediterranean (in Malaga, Spain) of the research vessel "Song of the Whale", a day of events was held on 8 June 2018, in collaboration with the IUCN’s Mediterranean office, to celebrate the official start of the Mediterranean campaign. Numerous personalities attended, including H.E. Mr Jean-Luc Van Klaveren, Monaco’s Ambassador to Spain.

H.E. Mr Jean-Luc Van Klaveren emphasised that "ACCOBAMS’ activities are critical to cetacean conservation, since this agreement has for two decades acted as a link between borders, between worlds, between political, scientific, professional and activist communities as they address a shared central challenge". He also noted that "for these reasons, the Principality of Monaco is one of the biggest contributors to ACCOBAMS and has been for many years". Regarding the Survey Initiative, the Ambassador explained that "as announced personally by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince in November 2016, the Prince Albert II Foundation has also committed EUR 100,000 to this project".

On 19 July 2018, the "Song of the Whale", one of the main vessels involved in the ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative, made a port of call in Monaco, witnessed by a large number of prominent figures.

The initial results of observations showing the distribution of cetaceans and images from this ambitious project were then presented during a conference held at the Yacht Club in the Principality. Participants also had an opportunity to learn about the scientific protocol for the regional survey, to listen to recordings of the sounds made by cetaceans during the study, and to hear accounts from the scientific observers on board the vessel.

The ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative is an innovative and unprecedented project which aims to improve conservation measures in the Mediterranean in order to safeguard its biodiversity.

As part of this effort, during June and July 2018 the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat carried out the first survey of cetaceans and megafauna in the Mediterranean, using eight aircraft, five boats, including the "Song of the Whale", and around 100 scientific observers from all over the Mediterranean Basin.