Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection and Sponsor of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development Alliance, stressed on June 14 in Monaco Morocco’s firm commitment, within the framework of the Ocean Decade, to cooperation across Africa, as personally advocated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI.
“Africa needs substantial comprehensive support, we strive to jointly develop and share concrete steps for successful sustainable development throughout the continent,” emphasized Her Royal Highness during her speech at the high-level opening segment of the third edition of the Foundations Dialogue for the Ocean Decade, assuring that “we are taking action for Africa, its youth, and more specifically those of the South, whose resilience must be strengthened in the face of climate change that affects the entire African population.”
Her Royal Highness recalled that Morocco reiterated its commitment through the Bouknadel Declaration, presented at the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference held in Lisbon in 2022, and which will be reaffirmed at the Barcelona Conference in 2024.
During this third edition of the Foundations Dialogue, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa called for determined and swift action to protect the coastal strips of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans from rising sea levels and pollution, stressing the importance of this appeal for Africa as a whole.
On the occasion of the third edition of the Dialogue of Foundations, which the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is hosting this year, Her Royal Highness was delighted that the North and South shores are engaged in a two-way interactive dynamic which ensures that “the Mare Nostrum is a source of unity rather than separation.”
Her Royal Highness also added that this meeting aims to ensure the success of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development, recalling that as a founding member of the Alliance, Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection joined this initiative launched by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
“We come together to act for the Decade and we are fully in line with the mission,” said HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa, stressing that “we have always considered that taking action is the most effective way to serve the causes we defend.”
HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa assured that, under the Enlightened Leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Morocco has been implementing the “Clean Beaches” program since 2001, noting that in addition to the “Blue Flag” project, Morocco has successfully rehabilitated the Marchica lagoon on the Mediterranean coast.
Her Royal Highness added that this extraordinary environment, which was once suffocated by effluence, is now in such a good phase of regeneration that oyster farming has been reintroduced.
“Two programs we have led for years are now part of the Decade. First, the Sustainable Coastline Trophies and the Clean Beaches Program which recognizes and rewards practical action that is carried out in Morocco including the enhancement of beaches, development of artificial fry reefs and mobile purification plants as well as scientific research on algae,” stressed Her Royal Highness, adding that “the second program #B7arBlaPlatic, is a summer awareness program focusing on the clean up of plastic waste ocean pollution.”
In this regard, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa emphasized that the #B7arBlaPlastic campaign revolves around collecting and reprocessing waste using the circular economy approach, noting that this large-scale campaign contributed to raising the awareness of millions of youth, adults, companies, associations, researchers, and coastal communities.
“We are now about to introduce a third program that fits the Decade’s objectives which involves supporting university students to strengthen knowledge of the ocean,” informed Her Royal Highness, noting that this project is for the entire African continent.
Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa also added that in collaboration with Hassan II International Center for Environmental Training, training resources, mainly online, have been developed as the Kingdom intends to mobilize for the benefit of the Decade, recalling the launch, as part of Morocco’s actions in support of Africa, of the African Youth Climate Hub, that aims to involve youth, provide training online and, as an incubator, support several projects.
The high-level opening segment of the third Foundation Dialogue for the Decade of the Ocean, co-organized by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, featured speeches by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, HRH Princess Hala bint Khalid bin Sultan, and Vice-President and Managing Director of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Olivier Wenden.
On this occasion, Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, which organized the second edition of the Foundation Dialogue for the Decade of the Ocean, passed the torch to Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, organizer of the third edition.
Over three days, about twenty international foundations will gather to discuss ways of providing financial and other support for actions already underway within the framework of this Decade and for those yet to be launched to achieve the objectives by 2030.
In its role as a founding member of the Decade of the Ocean Alliance and the Decade of the Ocean working group in Africa and adjacent island states, Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection has, since the first edition of these dialogues, been a voice for the South and Africa to obtain the necessary means to implement the Decade in countries lacking sufficient resources, particularly those exposed to climate change and its consequences on oceans.
During the second edition, held in Morocco under the aegis of Hassan II International Center for Environmental Training, participants jointly adopted the Bouknadel Declaration, a call for action and international financial solidarity, which was the focus of the third Dialogue in Monte Carlo.
The Ocean Decade, which began on January 1, 2021, is a global initiative to expand scientific knowledge of the sea and protect ocean health.
Upon her arrival at the Mediterranean Garden of the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa was welcomed by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and Vice-President and Managing Director of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Olivier Wenden, before being greeted by HRH Princess Hala bint Khalid bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, and UNESCO Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.