(Updated on July 10th) – On July 4, 2018, in the presence of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, HE Mrs. Susi Pudjiastuti, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (Indonesia), and Dr. Russel Reichelt, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority (Australia), France, represented by Mrs Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, handed over the Presidency of the International Coral Reef Initiative to Monaco, Australia, and Indonesia at a ceremony which took place at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.
In his address, His Serene Highness the Sovereign Prince reiterated the large responsibility of human society, whose development, based essentially in short-term interest, threatens the coral reefs in their diversity. With this in mind, over the course of its presidency, Monaco will focus on strengthening political tools, emphasizing the management and preservation of reefs, augmenting the understanding of the evolution of human interaction with coral reefs, mobilizing the public, and introducing new financial support.
His Excellence, Bernard Fautrier, Minister Plenipotentiary and Vice President of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, participated in a review of the international commitments to the reefs, which addressed the widespread coral-bleaching events and ocean acidification, both consequences of the increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
Minister Susi asserted that Indonesia’s involvement in ICRI is an ongoing engagement towards coral reef conservation and management. She further assessed that maintaining food security, people’s welfare, and maritime-related issues are Indonesia’s top commitment.
Acting as co-chair of the Initiative until 2020, the Princely Government will continue to promote the Coral Reef Life Declaration, initiated by the Sovereign Prince and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
Dr. Reichelt welcomed the opportunity to partner with Indonesia and Monaco to build on the momentum generated by France’s leadership. Dr Reichelt emphasised Australia’s ambition to build scientific capacity and innovation in reef management in the face of increasing impacts of climate change – especially for coastal communities most vulnerable to declines in coral reef health.