We were thrilled to see the 2015 Peter Benchley Ocean Award winner for excellence in 'National Stewardship of the Ocean,' H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, recognized again for his strong global environmental leadership. Right on the heels of the historic United Nations climate conference in Paris this month, he flew to New York to receive an environmental award from Ban Ki-moon, the U.N.’s secretary general. The award was given by the United Nations Correspondents Association (previous recipients have included former President Bill Clinton and Sir Richard Branson) for his efforts on behalf of biodiversity and climate-change research.
The Prince commented that, “The Paris agreement represents a huge step forward,”...“It would have been preferable, of course, to start the process many years earlier, and a lot of question marks remain on how nations will ratify it, adhere to it and report their carbon reductions. But this is a remarkable ray of hope for our planet.”
Prince Albert II is following in his ancestor’s footsteps. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which he founded in 2006, has given away nearly $40 million in grants to support scientific projects involving such areas as ocean acidification, biodiversity and the consequences of overfishing. On his own research initiatives, the prince has traveled throughout the Arctic and has trekked to both the North and South Poles — making him, as he is known to quip, “the world’s only bipolar head of state.” His extensive travels have convinced him that climate change is the most pressing crisis facing the planet today.