Monaco’s Advocacy to Preserve Nature and Protect the Environment


(Japanese Garden in Monaco) © Jewel Estates Monaco


The Arctic Circle. As far away from Monaco as can be, yet it was in this stark landscape that saw pioneering oceanographer Prince Albert I, known as the Navigator Prince, studying glaciers on an expedition at the beginning of the 20th Century. The trip was repeated by his great-great-grandson leading him to set up the environmental project funding charity the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation some 10 years ago.


Prince Albert I also set up the International Commission for the Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean. Since then, Monaco has established The Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals to ensure environmental issues are not forgotten as the economies of the Mediterranean flourish.


Environmentalism is at the heart of Monaco royalty, and for all its glitz and glamor, Monaco embraces a different type of green richness beyond the wealth of its residents which is the bounty of nature. The quality of the region has long been prioritized, with a focus on creating the best environment for residents.

Related: Monaco’s Green Spaces: Must-Visit Gardens & Parks


Monaco is a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, and in 2014, Prince Albert II was presented with global leadership in the environment and sustainable development award by the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment. Within Monaco, there is a drive to encourage the use of electric cars with free recharging stations, and many government workers use eco-friendly vehicles.


Monaco utilizes its garbage to make energy with a renewable biofuel scheme and to cut back on pollution. There are several elevator street lifts too so residents can get around more easily in elevated areas without the need for a car or super-strong calf muscles!


During the reign of Prince Rainier, Monaco became synonymous for its pioneering environmental consciousness; an important and impressive legacy both locally and globally for a principality the size of the green space of Central Park in New York. He set up the European Oceanographic Observatory nearly 30 years ago to identify ecological issues and source solutions.


Set in the stunning and unique Riviera landscape, it is this natural beauty that has perhaps inspired Monaco’s royals to offer their protection. Monaco was one of the first nations to initiate reforestation to preserve the area’s mountainous backdrop. Water resource management has also been high on the agenda too, with measures to curtail marine pollution and protect marine mammals through such measures as a sanctuary for whales and dolphins. The Mediterranean’s reputation for clean waters is maintained with all water entering the sea being fit for drinking.


The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has assisted the World Wildlife Fund in saving endangered bluefin tuna, organized international meetings for sustainability organizations to network and share ideas, and has focused on promoting the use of sustainable forestry.


The National Oceanographic Institute once presided over by famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, is one of the most renowned research facilities in the world. The Oceanographic Museum with its shark lagoon, turtle island, and panoramic vistas out to the Mediterranean Sea, is an incredible attraction that is part of the Institute and of Monaco’s heritage of ocean sustainability and underwater environmentalism.


Monaco has a huge sea-farm producing an abundance of clean water fish, unlike many seaside destinations where local seafood is scarce due to overfishing. Air pollution and noise is monitored and controlled in Monaco, and legal protections exist to safeguard two marine areas. Monaco boasts clean beaches and the clean waters of the Med and along with its reputation as a leader in marine science exemplifies how being green can create an excellent environment to live in.


Creating a superior quality of life is part of Monaco’s identity and what has long attracted new residents looking to relocate and those looking to invest in holiday homes or even buy-to-let properties for the tourism market. There is an established and ongoing culture within Monaco, from the royal house to the government, and from businesses to residents, that Monaco is a special place that needs to be protected.  


Some 20% of Monaco is covered with green spaces, and between the soaring mountain landscape and the deep blue sea, Monaco’s pretty appeal and beauty come from an environmentally sensitive place; one that promises to keep the principality of Monaco looking good and the residents feeling even better for a long time to come.

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