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10 future environmental leaders

With Prince Albert II, the first cohort of the Re.Generation programme, launched by the Prince Albert II Foundation. © Axel Bastello / Prince's Palace of Monaco

The Prince Albert II Foundation has just welcomed the first intake of its Re.Generation programme. 

These ten young people, all aged under 35, were guests in the Principality for a fortnight, from 2 to 13 July, They are the first intake of the Re.Generation programme, launched in May by the FPA2.


Who are they?

“We wanted to find very promising profiles from all over the world and, above all, profiles that were very diverse. These are not students, they are people who are already qualified,” explained FPA2 vice-president Olivier Wenden, emphasising that these “talents are already well accomplished.” An important selection criterion is that they have all already carried out several actions in support of the environment. The ten selected profiles are:

  • Ghassan Atallah – Financial consultant – Lebanon
  • Jahawi Bertolli – Director & TV presenter, Nat Geo Explorer – Kenya
  • Sabrine Chennaoui – Eco entrepreneur – Tunisia
  • Pedro Fernandez – Agricultural engineer – Argentina
  • Victoria Herrmann – Storyteller & Geographer – USA
  • Gunjan Menon – Wildlife film-maker – India
  • Imogen Napper – Marine scientist & Nat Geo explorer – United Kingdom
  • Federico Perez – Social Entrepreneur & Environmental Advocate – Colombia
  • Valy Phommachak – Ecologist & Journalist – Laos
  • Anne-Sophie Roux – Ocean entrepreneur & Activist – France

Against a backdrop of wild animal populations falling by an average of 69% over the last few decades, the programme aims to train these leaders who will guide and inspire a future generation. Many of the participants specialise in communicating on environmental issues, not only to document change and raise awareness, but also to prompt action. Read on to find out more about three of the participants and their projects:

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Anne-Sophie Roux is an entrepreneur and ocean activist with a background in social and political sciences. Having taken part in the restoration of marine habitats such as coral reefs and mangroves, she has witnessed the considerable impact this represents for local communities. The Frenchwoman created the start-up company Tēnaka to restore coastal systems via programmes that she makes available to businesses. Anne Sophie Roux was named Young Ocean Leader by the US non-profit organisation Sustainable Ocean Alliance, and is now its representative for France.

Imogen Napper is a marine scientist and National Geographic explorer. She has been described as a “plastic detective”, since her research focuses on the different sources of plastic pollution in the environment. Her work has influenced legislation banning microbeads in facial scrubs, studied how we pollute the planet by washing and wearing our clothes, demonstrated that biodegradable plastic bags can still hold a full load of shopping after being under the ocean for three years, and found the highest microplastics on the planet near the summit of Mount Everest.

Jahawi Bertolli is a National Geographic explorer, film-maker and television presenter specialising in wildlife and the underwater world. He tells the stories of African wildlife and conservation through the eyes of the communities that have lived in these environments. His short film “Bahari Yetu” was a finalist in the Jackson Wild Media Awards, was part of the official selection at the 2021 International Wildlife Film Festival and won the Howard Hall Award of Excellence at the 2021 Ocean Geographic Society Picture of the Year. He presents a new series on CBBC made by the BBC Natural History Unit, and was co-host of the Ecoflix series ‘The Pulse’ and the PBS YouTube series ‘In Our Nature’.

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You can learn more about all the participants on Re.Generation Leaders.

First campus in Monaco

The campus provided the cohort with an opportunity to attend several master classes, as well as training modules and personalised coaching aimed at strengthening their leadership and communication skills, provided by the University of Edinburgh and INSEAD.

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To help put this into practice, they headed to the Mediterranean Sea to meet the marine species at the Pelagos sanctuary. They shared some first impressions with Monaco Info. “This programme enables us to do a lot of soul-searching, to know what our weaknesses and strong points are. This is very important in the context of the environment,” says Ghassan Atallah.

“Being able to come to Monaco, to learn and to meet incredible people, is a real opportunity in terms of helping me to develop my project,” says Jahawi Bertolli, whose work in Kenya is creating protected marine areas.

The only French member of the group, Anne-Sophie Roux is delighted with the contacts she has made within her cohort, who have shown “incredible open-mindedness”.

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At the end of the campus on 13 July, the Foundation will make its network available to these young people for a year. Speaking engagements at international events, taking part in media programmes, etc… the aim is to give them maximum visibility so that they can create new projects that will help protect the planet.

Prince Albert II of Monaco is the patron of this first cohort and welcomed the ten young people to the Palace to discuss their commitment to the environment.