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“Our principle? Acting at the source of the problem”

Interview with Sébastien Lubert, Treasurer, Director of Finance and Development of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.


Founded in 2006, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation acts to protect the environment and promote sustainable development around the world. It supports public and private initiatives in research, technological innovation and responsible economic practices. The challenge? To act as far upstream as possible. IFGR, a new partner of the Foundation, invited Sébastien Lubert, its Treasurer and Director of Finance and Development to speak.

What is the Foundation’s role and areas of action?

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has three missions: establish partnerships to take action and limit the effects of climate change, combat deforestation and increase public awareness (in particular with posters providing information on the fish to be consumed according to season), and encourage remarkable initiatives. For example, to protect red tuna we have invested in a project led by WWF International that consists in developing responsible fishing techniques and consumer practices. Likewise, we have set up a fiduciary fund (editor’s note: fund reserved for emergency situations) dedicated to protected marine areas. There are many of them but they suffer from a lack of personnel to maintain them. Our actions obey one principle: that of acting at the source of the problem, where it is often most difficult to set things in motion.

Do you take the same approach to plastic pollution?

Yes. We concluded that faced with plastic pollution, public opinion and the different actors concerned tend to think “clean the beaches”, which means a solution downstream of the problem rather than taking action upstream. That’s why we’ve made it a priority at the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which develops and supports projects in this direction. That’s the purpose in particular of BeMed –Beyond Plastic Med, an operation launched in March 2015 at the international conference “Plastic in the Mediterranean: beyond acknowledgement, what are the solutions?” in partnership with the Fondation Tara Expéditions, Surfrider Foundation Europe and the Fondation Mava. 25 projects proposed by NGOs and small companies have already received support, from the installation of sorting bins on a beach in Albania, to spreading awareness among the population of Libya.

Key figure:

3,000 billion micro-plastic particles pollute the Mediterranean Sea


Is your recent partnership with IFGR an answer to the need to manage water resources by taking a global approach that includes both freshwater and seawater?

Although more is said about freshwater, which is used and consumed by the population, managing water resources involves taking water into account in a global way. Certain rivers are drying up, climatic risks are increasing, … Our partnership with Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers has become logical. Together, we’re going to try to protect water, a life source, and protect the environment.

What joint messages do you want to put across?

Rivers are too often underestimated whereas they are the source of seas, oceans, the water that we drink, and that in which our children bathe. Rivers are connected and mesh territories and bodies of water. Pollute one and you pollute them all. It’s become urgent to watch over our daily use of rivers and take on our responsibilities.  We cannot simply limit ourselves within our respective ecosystems, we have to look further, since all ecosystems interact with each other on the global scale. Without water, there’s no life.

credits photos: pmondielli / s.agnelli

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