The Pelagos Sanctuary, created by a treaty between Monaco, France and Italy for the protection of local species of marine mammals, has created a voluntary fund that is now also welcoming support from individuals interested in the cause.
The Pelagos Agreement, signed in 1999 by Monaco, France and Italy, started the ball rolling for the creation of a 87,500km2 marine protected area that was and is unique in that it is managed by three different nations’ authorities, and includes coastal areas that form a large bionetwork of scientific, socio-economic, cultural and educational interests.
The area encompasses over 8,500 macroscopic animal species that contain somewhere between 4% and 18% of all marine species, including endangered monk seals, dolphins and whales. This is a remarkable figure considering the small size of the Mediterranean.
Now, the three countries adhering to the treaty have created a voluntary fund to help support the work they are doing to preserve and protect the sea creatures living in the sanctuary.
The endowment is already gaining traction and has been given €500,000 in contributions from France’s Ministry of Ecological Transition, the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security in Italy and Monaco’s Department of External Relations and Cooperation for the Government as well as the association Nage Libre France.
Soon, it will also be set up to accept donations from private individuals on the new dedicated website of www.pelagos-sanctuary.org, but for now, people who would like to help can email the association directly on email@example.com.
“This fund will make it possible to finance priority initiatives included in the new Management Plan through funding from member states of the Agreement and through donations from individuals and citizens,” said Monaco’s government in a statement.
These first contributions will go toward developing a cohesive communication and fundraising strategy, strengthening the governance of the agreement and expanding on cooperative activities. Additionally, the Nage Libre France funds will assist in co-financing a submarine noise risk map for cetaceans.
Photo credit: Catherine Drouard / Parc National de Port-Cros