Blue Economy, environmental philanthropy and ocean acidification on the COP28 agenda for the FPA2

As COP28 unfolds in Dubai, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is set to make a profound impact with its dynamic presence and a focused agenda rich in discussions and initiatives for ocean conservation and climate action. 

As the global community focuses on COP28 in Dubai, happening from 30th November to 12th December, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2) is gearing up to make a substantial impact from 1st to 4th December.  

The schedule 

Kicking off on 1st December, the FPA2 will host the ‘Ocean Innovators Platform Roundtables’. This event, stretching from 9am to 4pm at the St Regis, promises in-depth discussions on marine ecosystem protection, the latest in marine CDR technology and innovations in green shipping.  

The day will continue with the event entitled ‘Building the New, Blue Economy: Investing for Sustainable Oceans and Climate’ from 5pm to 6.30pm that will present the importance of sustainable investments. The day’s activities will conclude with the OceanXplorer cocktail reception from 6pm to 9.30pm at Dubai Harbour, an event dedicated to fostering innovation for ocean health. 

The momentum will continue on 2nd December with the session called ‘Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement: A Guide to Responsible, Transparent, and Inclusive Research’ from 8am to 9am at the Ocean Pavilion. 

This will be followed by ‘The Role of Environmental Philanthropy in the Implementation of UN Process’ from 9am to 12.30pm at the Science for Climate Action Pavilion. The day will later feature the ‘Sea of Change’ discussion from 11am to 12pm, which will focus on combating plastic pollution and protecting blue economies in the Mediterranean. 2nd December will wrap up with the ‘Ocean Innovators Platform High-Level Meeting’ from 5pm to 6pm at the Jameel Arts Centre. The central theme of the session will be ‘Blue Capital’ and its impact in ocean innovation. 

‘Ocean Decade Foundations Dialogue: Philanthropic Cooperation for Effective Action in Ocean Science for Climate Action’ will lead the programme on 3rd December, and will take place from 1.15pm to 2.45pm at the Science for Climate Action Pavilion.  Following this, from 2pm to 4pm at the IAEA Pavilion, the focus shifts to ‘Ocean Acidification in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean: Scaling Down Risks and Scaling Up Solutions’. 

Finishing off on 4th December, the FPA2 will shift its focus to regional perspectives with ‘Implementation of the Ocean Decade in Africa: Looking at Oceans from a Specific Regional Perspective’ from 12.30pm to 2pm at the Moroccan Pavilion. This session will underscore the unique challenges and solutions pertinent to the African context. 

Throughout these four days at COP28, the FPA2, along with appearances by Prince Albert II, will foster dialogues and partnerships aimed at a sustainable and resilient future for our oceans and the planet.  


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Photo source: Vicko Marozo, Unsplash

Prince Albert makes tech-focussed visit to Singapore en route to COP28

Before joining world leaders in Dubai for COP28, and on the back of his  first official trip to Malaysia, Prince Albert made a fleeting visit to Singapore on Thursday, where he met with leaders of start-ups specialising in bio-technologies and pharmaceuticals.

With the support of Jacky Deromedi and Jean-Marc Deromedi, Consuls of Monaco in Singapore, the Prince spoke with officials from the island of Sentosa on the theme of eco-responsibility in the hotel sector.

Prince Albert in Singapore with his Foundation. Photo credit: Michael Alesi / Palais Princier

Prince Albert also met with Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore.

Monaco’s Head of State had just concluded a four-day official visit to Malaysia, the first of its kind.

At the end of the evening, Prince Albert and his Monegasque delegation, which includes members of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, left the city-state to go to Dubai to attend COP28.



Climate ambitions and oil realities on the table as COP28 begins


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Main photo credit: Michael Alesi / Palais Princier



Paternity leave extended for fathers working in Monaco’s private sector 

paternity leave monaco

New fathers working in the private sector in Monaco can now enjoy the same period of paternity leave as their contemporaries in the public sector following a unanimous vote in favour of the move by the Conseil National. 

On 28th November, a month after the No.1083 bill promoting the extension of paternity leave for workers in Monaco’s private sector was tabled, the Conseil National voted unanimously in favour of the motion.  

The move brings the private sector into line with the paternity leave accorded to fathers working in the Principality’s public sector, which was similarly extended in 2022.  

New fathers will now be able to access 21 consecutive calendar days of guaranteed paternity leave, up from 12 previously. For multiple births – twins, triplets or more – fathers can now spend up to 28 instead of 19 consecutive days at home with their families. This also applies to families who are welcoming their third or more child.  

Brigitte Boccone-Pagès, the President of the Conseil National, welcomed the update to the law, calling it a “progress” for “work-life balance”.  

Although all councillors were in agreement with the adoption of Bill No.1083, there were reportedly comments made by some on the need to establish a similar law for independent workers as well as make it possible for fathers to divide their paternity leave into two or more time periods.  


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Photo source: Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash


Prince’s guard attacked in Palace Square

A 49-year-old man was arrested after launching an unprovoked attack on a palace guard on Wednesday night.  

The incident took place shortly after 8pm in the Place du Palais in Monaco, according to Monaco Matin.

The man, who is known to Monaco police, allegedly elbowed the carabinier (guard) and kicked him in the genitals in front of stunned onlookers.

The man was swiftly subdued by palace guards and held on the ground until he was arrested by police.

The 49-year-old reportedly suffers from schizophrenia and was already known to the Monegasque police services for having attacked a police officer.

He was admitted to the psychiatric department of the Princesse Grace Hospital Center.

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Main photo: The attack took place in the Place du Palais, in front of the Prince’s Palace. Photo by Monaco Life. 

Climate ambitions and oil realities on the table as COP28 begins

Against a backdrop of environmental urgency and economic complexities, COP28 has begun in Dubai, marking a significant moment for global climate discussions in one of the world’s leading oil states. 

COP28, taking place in Dubai’s Expo City from 30th November to 12th December, brings global attention to the UAE. 

This key climate summit is unfolding in a nation deeply rooted in the oil industry, sparking discussions about its influence on climate change policies. The UAE’s role as host for COP28 highlights the intricate dynamics between reliance on fossil fuels and the pressing demand for environmental action. 

Global leaders gather at COP28 

COP28 is bringing together a remarkable array of global leaders and key figures.  

Sultan Al Jaber is the UAE’s Minister for Advanced Technology and acting COP28 President, but also leads the national oil company Adnoc, highlighting the complex interplay between environmental policy and the oil industry at the summit. 

Other key voices include UN Secretary-General António Guterres, King Charles III of the United Kingdom and Monaco’s own Prince Albert II, who will be there to present the Principality’s commitment to environmental issues from 1st to 4th December.  

Other prominent attendees include: Simon Stiell, the UNFCCC’s executive secretary; Ajay Banga, the World Bank president; John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate; Wopke Hoekstra, the EU climate commissioner; China’s climate envoy Xie Zhenhua; and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. 

Key challenges and ambitious goals 

At COP28, key discussions will centre on enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to encompass emissions from all sectors, including agriculture, and improving accountability for climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.  

A major focus is on financial support for climate action, with developed nations nearing the goal of providing $100bn annually to assist developing countries. The summit will also address the ‘Loss and Damage’ fund, which was established at COP27 to aid countries affected by climate disasters, with the European Union ready to contribute, though other major economies’ commitments are uncertain.  

Notably, there will be a crucial debate on the future of fossil fuels, weighing options between a gradual reduction or a complete phase-out, especially significant in the context of the summit’s oil-producing host nation. 


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Photo via COP28UAEOFFICIAL / Instagram 

France will soon ban smoking on all beaches, parks, forests and near schools

france smoking

France has pledged to raise the first “tobacco-free generation” by 2032 with an ambitious national anti-smoking plan that will see the habit banned in thousands of public spaces, including on beaches and in parks.  

Following President Emmanuel Macron’s promise to establish “the first tobacco-free generation” by 2032, the French government is stepping up its national strategy to curb smoking, a habit enjoyed by at estimated 12 million people in France.  

Taking the responsibility away from local authorities, the French government will soon control the zones and areas where people can and cannot smoke, as announced by Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau on 28th November.  

“We are now shifting the responsibility and establishing a principle which will become the rule,” Rousseau said of the plan to designate many public spaces no-go zones for smoking, such as parks, forest areas, beaches, and near schools.  


There are currently 7,200 French smoke-free zones, including numerous spots in Nice, which was among the pioneering cities to take concrete actions against ant-social smoking. Nice established its first “smokeless” beach in 2012. 

Dozens of other towns and cities have also since installed non-smoking areas on beaches, from locally along the Riviera and in Monaco to Saint-Malo and Biarritz. The concern about smoking on the beaches is two-fold, with the health aspect joining the environmental one. Cigarette butts left on beaches are the second biggest litter problem on coastal areas, after plastic bottles. 

Smoking has also been forbidden in restaurants in France since 2008, and despite initial concerns that it would ruin businesses, it has been a success, meeting with approval by the public.  


To strengthen the case, government is planning on hitting smokers further in the pocketbook, saying taxes on cigarettes will be raised so that a pack of 20 will soon cost about €11. This will incrementally increase to €13 by 2027. 

The main objective of the new plan is to prevent young people from ever taking up smoking in the first place, and the measures taken so far seem to be working. There has been a steady decline in smoking for young people since 2017, which will no doubt continue as high prices become a more of a deterrent.  

In addition to traditional cigarettes, there is also a movement in the government to ban “puffs”, the popular single-use disposable vapes favoured by young people. These devices are said to be environmentally unfriendly as well as health hazards.  

“Every year, France pays a heavy price for smoking, which remains the leading cause of avoidable mortality,” said Rousseau.  

Smoking causes up to 75,000 preventable deaths each year in France. 

Click here for more information on the national programme.

Read more:

Could France ban “bad habit” electronic cigarettes?


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Photo source: Gerrit Frohlich, Unsplash