11th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

28 May, 9 and 24 June 2020 | Online

Highlights for Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Panel discussion (clockwise from top left): Nina Jensen, CEO, REV Ocean; Carl Folke, Director, Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, and Science Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre; Maren Hjorth Bauer, CEO and Co-founder Katapult Ocean; Rupert Howes, Chief Executive Officer, Marine Stewardship Council; Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive, Surfers Against Sewage; and Wassim Daoud, Ponant

The 11th edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI) held its third virtual workshop on 24 June 2020. The workshop took place under the theme “How can blue economy and sustainable management of the ocean in the fields of tourism, transport, energy, fishing and aquaculture be reconciled?”

Delivering a keynote address, Jens Frølich Holte, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, drew attention to his country’s establishment of the High-level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy, which, among other things, discusses the importance of the ocean economy for sustainable development.

Nina Jensen, CEO, REV Ocean, moderated the panel discussion.

  • Carl Folke, Director, Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, and Science Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre, presented on the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), an initiative involving 13 seafood business companies that carry out dialogues to combat negative impacts of their operations on oceans.
  • Wassim Daoud, Ponant, discussed how his company, a French cruise ship operator, involves tourists in ocean stewardship, and is integrating green and blue economy principles to enhance positive impacts of the tourism sector on ocean sustainability.
  • Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive, Surfers Against Sewage, emphasized the importance of mobilizing global citizens in sustainable blue tourism to increase the aesthetic value of their experiences, while ensuring ecosystem healing and restoration.
  • Maren Hjorth Bauer, CEO and Co-founder Katapult Ocean, said her company has a portfolio of 22 companies striving towards oceans in harmony with economic development. She highlighted, among others, the Arc Marine company, which is building reef cubes utilized in constructing artificial reefs in offshore infrastructure, such as windmills.
  • Rupert Howes, Chief Executive Officer, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), discussed the role of the MSC label and other certification schemes in shaping the blue economy. He highlighted effective results achieved through citizen preference for sustainably captured fisheries.

During the closing session, Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, reported that the 11th MBI attracted over 200 participants. Summarizing some of the findings, he noted the need to ensure that marine conservation is prioritized globally and does not become a casualty of economic constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert Calcagno, Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation, announced that the 12th MBI would be held on the 21 and 22 March 2021, and called on partners to identify champions of sustainable blue economy to share success stories, challenges and lessons learned.

Participants of the final workshop reflected on increased citizen involvement in conservation and noted the importance of providing spaces for their active engagement. Some participants highlighted that gastronomic landscapes are now more sustainable than before as chefs are connecting consumers to the sea through sustainable sourcing. Others cited engaged tourism as a new form of transforming tourism from passive enjoyment to environmental stewardship.

The link to the recording for the third workshop is here.

The 11th MBI was moved to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Initiative is implemented by the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

IISD has produced a briefing note from this event which is available in HTML and PDF.

Images from the Meeting

Monaco Blue Initiative Resources

IISD ENB/ENB+ Meeting Coverage

IISD Resources