On 4th July, 2018, in the presence of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, France handed over the Presidency of the International Coral Reef Initiative to Monaco, Australia, and Indonesia at a ceremony which took place at the National Museum of Natural History, Paris.
In his address His Serene Highness reiterated the responsibility of human society whose development, based essentially in short-term interest, threatens coral reefs and their diversity. With this in mind, over the course of its presidency, Monaco will focus on strengthening political tools, emphasizing the management and preservation of reefs, augmenting the understanding of the evolution of human interaction with coral reefs, mobilizing the public, and introducing new financial support.
His Excellence, Bernard Fautrier, Minister Plenipotentiary and Vice President of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, participated in a review of the international commitments to coral reefs, which addressed the widespread coral-bleaching events and ocean acidification, both consequences of the increasing emissions.
Minister Susi asserted that Indonesia’s involvement in ICRI is an ongoing engagement towards coral reef conservation and management. She further assessed that maintaining food security, people’s welfare, and maritime-related issues are Indonesia’s top commitment.
Acting as co-chair of the ICRI until 2020, the Principality will act to protect and understand coral reef ecosystems through research of coral physiology at the Scientific Center of Monaco supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Princely Government, and the Coral Reef Life Declaration, initiated by the Sovereign Prince and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
Dr. Reichelt welcomed the opportunity to partner with Indonesia and Monaco to build on the momentum generated by France’s leadership. Dr Reichelt emphasised Australia’s ambition to build scientific capacity and innovation in reef management in the face of increasing impacts of climate change – especially for coastal communities most vulnerable to declines in coral reef health.
The programme of the event is available here.
A summary of the 2016 – 2018 France Secretariat is here.