During a speech given at the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference on 1st November 2017, Monaco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Gilles Tonelli, announced the signing of a collaborative agreement and ‘strategic partnership’ between the international institution and the principality.
The World Heritage List includes 49 marine sites across 37 countries worldwide. As part of the ongoing Monaco Explorations project and the Missions of the Yersin, an ecological vessel of the same name is touring a number of special locations around the world – such as World Heritage sites – with a team of scientists and researchers. While the World Heritage Marine programme of UNESCO will be providing support and expertise to the Monegasque team, those onboard the Yersin will also be feeding information back to the organisation.
“UNESCO, which has a mandate to monitor the state of these precious places to ensure their conservation and prosperity for future generations, will benefit from the new scientific information and data that the [Mission of the Yersin] campaign should reveal throughout its voyage,” says a representative for the Monaco government. “By increasing awareness of the global protection of the ocean, the exploration should strengthen UNESCO’s decision-making and its activities at World Heritage sites.”
The conference was also an opportunity for Tonelli, Monegasque Ambassador to UNESCO Yvette Lambin-Berti, Director of the World Heritage Centre Mechtild Rössler, and Dr Fanny Douvere, the Marine Heritage Coordinator in the principality, to discuss Monaco’s other biodiversity preservation projects and priorities.