This week, World Wildlife Day marked the launch of a new global coalition for biodiversity by the European Commission at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. The Commission called for greater global mobilisation amongst educational institutions in the fight to protect biodiversity. The Monegasque museum is the first in the world to formally commit itself to the cause.

 

The Commission’s words were directed at various organisations whose focus is on educating the public about nature. National parks, zoos, and aquariums are amongst those addressed by the coalition. Given their extensive range of education and conservation programmes, they are considered the best ambassadors to raise awareness about the disastrous effects of declining biodiversity.

 

Amongst those present at the event were H.R.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries, and Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.

 

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissaire européen à l'environnement, aux océans et à la pêche - 3 mars 2020 © M. Dagnino - Institut océanographique de Monaco

Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries. 3 mars 2020 © M. Dagnino – Institut océanographique de Monaco

 

The Commission encouraged national, regional and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, businesses, scientists and individual citizens to play their part in raising awareness ahead of the United Nations Biodiversity Summit in October 2020.

 

“The biodiversity crisis is an important part of climate change. Protection and restoration of biodiversity would not only save nature for future generations, but also help to tackle climate change and avoid negative consequences on our food, health, and economy. We urgently need to take global action, otherwise, our only chance of seeing nature is in the zoos and botanical gardens. That would be a failure of humankind.” Virginijus Sinkevičius.

 

Lancement coalition mondiale pour la biodiversité - 3 mars 2020 © M. Dagnino - Institut océanographique de Monaco.

Launching of new biodiversity campaign. 3 March 2020 © M. Dagnino – Institut océanographique de Monaco.

 

This new campaign follows the one launched in 2017 by the European Commission at the Museum. It was entitled “World aquariums ready to change to #BeatPlasticPollution.” It brought together more than 200 aquariums in 41 countries to raise global awareness of the problem of marine litter.

 

Whereas the Princely Government has already committed itself to carry out inventories of the local wildlife and instigated conservation programmes for those species deemed at risk, this new coalition will put greater focus on the concept of global unity in the fight against wildlife loss.

 

The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is home to the Mediterranean Science Commission (CIESM) and has dedicated itself to sharing knowledge of the oceans since 1919.