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The poles are the first to bear witness to global warming and among the first territories to suffer the negative effects of the latter. The Foundation has therefore decided to act on several fronts to gain a better understanding and try to curb this major upheaval that is particularly notable in the polar regions. The rise in temperature makes the Arctic more accessible for economic activities but also more vulnerable to its negative impacts.

For many years, the Foundation has been committed to ensuring that the Arctic, today synonymous with global warming and the erosion of biodiversity, can in the future become an area of international agreement where environmental protection is a priority.

The development of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is vital in the Arctic where the melting of the ice cap due to global warming makes the ecosystem vulnerable to harmful industrial practices.

Therefore, the Foundation is working with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to improve the ecosystem management in the region. The project has had a huge impact crystallised by American and Canadian commitments, the probable creation of new MPAs in the Russian Arctic, and the progress achieved in the search for an international agreement on the protection of the high seas in the Arctic Ocean from commercial fishing. All this also reveals an increasing political will to take action.

“This approach is primarily one of raising awareness of the importance of the Arctic for all of humanity. This region is an essential part of our common heritage; it plays a crucial role in many natural balances, notably those involving the Earth and its climate, and moreover it is particularly fragile. The Arctic therefore deserves our full attention, all our determination”,

Launch of the Arctic Marine World Heritage UICN/NRDC/UNESCO – Monaco Yacht Club, 4 April 2017 Speech by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

“If we abandon the Arctic, then we abandon all hope of preserving our biodiversity and our environment. But if we safeguard the Arctic, I have no doubt that this will herald a new commitment: to ensure the future of the Earth.” What future for the Arctic?

Talk at the Explorers Club, NY, 25 September 2013 Speech by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.