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A leading European monarch, and a good friend of Arran, Prince Albert II of Monaco, has been in Scotland this week voicing his support for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), such as the one found in Lamlash.
The ruling monarch of the Principality of Monaco is a relative of the late Lady Jean Fforde and spent some of his formative years on Arran during family holidays. His last visit was in October last year on the sad occasion of Lady Jean’s funeral.
Launching a conference at the University of Edinburgh he outlined the Monaco Blue Initiative. The prince also met with oceanographers and marine experts to discuss the issues that face our oceans and marine life.
Prince Albert in an interview with the BBC he said: ‘The recognition that oceans have to be taken into consideration when you consider all issues concerning the environment, with climate change at the forefront of that, I think is extremely important.’
‘Half of the air that we breathe is produced by the oceans and if you just want to take home that concept then that’s reason enough for us to be concerned about our oceans.’
A large facet of the conference details the need for the establishment, protection and scientific study of MPA’s and the desirability of seeing a wealth of them around the globe.
Prince Albert added: ‘The subject of marine protected areas is extremely productive. It provides essential strategies for the broader issues of biodiversity protection, preservation of marine areas and, more importantly, man’s harmonious coexistence with his natural environment.’
The Monaco Blue Initiative conference which took place in Edinburgh last weekend was attended by the CEO of the oceanographic institute, the French ambassador of the oceans, and a number of leading heads of international environmental groups and organisations.
Prince Albert at Lady Jean’s funeral on Arran last year. 01_B15albert01