Albert II, Prince of Monaco
Prince Albert II is the current monarch of the Principality of Monaco and a staunch environmentalist. The son of Prince Rainier III and American actress, Grace Kelly, Albert II has used his fortunate position to bring attention and aid to an array of environmental issues. The prince follows in the footsteps of his great great grandfather, Prince Albert I, who was a pioneering oceanographer that helped pave the way for the implementation of many environmental protections. Prince Albert II has himself journeyed to both the North and South Poles to assess the effects of global warming on the weakening ice and bring raise awareness to climate change.
In June 2006, as a result of his expeditions, Albert II decided to create a foundation dedicated to environmental protection. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is committed to the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development on a global scale. The Foundation supports initiatives of public and private organizations, in the fields of research and studies, technological innovation and socially-aware practices. The Foundation’s projects focus on three main geographical zones: The Mediterranean basin, due to the geographic position of the Principality of Monaco; the Polar Regions, as privileged indicators of climate change evolutions; and the Least Developed Countries (as defined by the United Nations official list), such as the countries in Sahelian Africa, which are severely impacted by the effects of climate change, the loss of biodiversity and water shortage. Within these areas the Foundation has three principal domains of action: limiting the effects of climate change and promoting renewable energies; safeguarding biodiversity; and managing water resources along with combating desertification.
Albert II’s long history of environmental action as monarch also includes hosting a global symposium on the health of the world’s oceans and establishing a partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation to protect the bluefin tuna from ecological extinction. He has recently called access to water a basic human right at the 5th World Water Forum. The prince has also been supportive of other advocates, backing Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement to plant a billion trees. In light of his efforts, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognized Prince Albert II one of their “Champions of the Earth” in 2008. This is the United Nations highest environmental honor.
Illustration by Katie King Rumford
This portrait of Prince Albert II was inspired by his humanitarian efforts against deforestation. The diversity of leaves to create his portrait represents the biodiversity of the tropical forests. His efforts are focused not only on stopping deforestation, but also promoting responsible and sustainable management by encouraging biodiversity and regeneration of the tropical forests. This care and caution makes an impact that reaches far beyond the borders Monaco.
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