Monk Seal Alliance: Prince Albert II Foundation’s cause goes international

monk seal alliance

The Monk Seal Alliance, co-created by the Prince Albert II Foundation, has held its first international forum in Athens as efforts to protect this critically endangered native creature grow.  

The Mediterranean monk seal is on the decline, with an estimated population of only 700 living in isolated sub-populations in the Mediterranean and the north-eastern Atlantic Coast.  

The dwindling numbers have raised concerns about the species’ future and in 2019 the Prince Albert II Foundation – along with the MAVA, Segré, Thalassa and Sancta Devota foundations – created the Monk Seal Alliance. 

From 31st January to 2nd February 2023, the Alliance met for its first ever forum in Athens, Greece, and stakeholders came together with the ambition of forming conservation action plans throughout the seal’s habitat and getting those involved to commit to sharing research programmes and data. 

In all, 42 participants from 14 countries spoke about the work they are currently doing as well as the ways they can collaborate to make their endeavours more efficient at a local level. The group split up into teams to work on the framework for the next call for projects, scheduled to be launch next month.  

The Alliance has raised over €2.7 million so far, committing the funds to eight programmes chosen in 2020, which have been making strides in improving tools and methods used to preserve the monk seals and their colonies. 

During the forum, more than half of those present signed a Declaration of Intent to create a data-exchange platform that will make the tracking of each project more streamlined.  

“HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco’s commitment to the monk seal is long-standing, almost as long-standing as his Foundation, but this collective initiative has given it a new dimension,” said Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II Foundation, in his opening remarks at the event. “Our ambition, from the outset, was to bring together conservation players from the main monk seal distribution areas and mobilise significant resources – financial, of course, but also technical and human – and thus promote the coherence of initiatives and the sharing of experience and data to enable this species to be managed on a relevant scale.” 

The Foundation also used the forum as an opportunity to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Natural Environment and Climate Chance Authority (NECCA), Greece’s national agency for marine protected areas.  


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 


Photo source: FPA2

Roca Team assert themselves as France’s finest

AS Monaco Basketball serenely breezed to victory against Lyon-Villeurbanne (87-75) in the Euroleague on Friday, their fourth against their French arch-rivals this season. 

Four games, four victories; It’s a record that reflects the Roca Team’s rise. Last season, Asvel clinched the Betclic Elite title against Monaco in a thrilling five-legged final. This season, Les Monégasques have been unchallenged and unimpeded on their way to recording a perfect record against their French rivals, in the domestic division, and also in the Euroleague. 

Not all of Monaco’s key performers turned up, but they didn’t have to. Elie Okobo (7 points), Mike James (10 points) and Jordan Loyd (19 points) have all become indispensable to this team. The former, against his old team, had a mixed performance sloppily conceding possession on numerous occasions, and lacking his usual clinicism; the same can be said of James. Both, however, grew into the game in the final minutes, in time to inflict the fatal final blows. 

It was Loyd who got the scoreboard ticking for Monaco as the home side made the break early on. Ample space was afforded by Asvel, who couldn’t stop bleeding points within the key. Their passive start would haunt them. John Brown III’s T3 gave Monaco a 10-point advantage (23-13), from which the visitors failed to recover. 

Monaco’s typical and entirely predictable third-quarter drop-off wasn’t enough for Asvel to return within striking distance. Heading into the final 10 minutes with a four-point advantage, defences asserted their control for the first time in the match. An intensity seeped into Asvel’s game, but their attempts were ultimately futile, Monaco inflicting their fourth defeat on their French rivals (87-75), and keeping within two wins of the Euroleague summit. 

Post-match, manager Sasa Obradovic was critical of the performance but grateful for the result. “The win is the most important thing. Five days of rest is never good for us. Honestly, the game wasn’t at a Euroleague level, but we won. It is important that we learn a lesson, but this is not how we want to play,” he said. 

Responding to Monaco Life, Obradovic also reflected on Asvel’s drip-off this year, which has allowed them to be the undisputed top French league side in European competition. “This is not the real Asvel. In the four games, maybe the second we played the one we wanted to play. Absences on Asvel’s side maybe made them relax, we thought maybe things would be easier,” he said. 

The Roca Team now have a break from European action, with the Euroleague returning on 24th February with a trip to Barcelona.

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 

Photo by AS Monaco Basket