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French Announcements at the Ajaccio Conference


On Oct. 26, the French Minister of Ecology announced several significant environmental initiatives at the Ajaccio Ministerial Conference for Ocean Conservation.

Philippe Marin, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and H.S.H. Albert II of Monaco jointly dislosed the creation of a Trust fund for marine protected areas in the Mediterranean.

Its purpose is to ensure the sustainable financing and contribute to the effective action of MPAs in the region. It will help them to organize as a network, an ambition to which the ministers of Tunisia, Italy, Monaco, and Cyprus also publicly voiced their support.

Additionally, Mr. Martin provided details on the financial commitments of France to marine-conservation projects worldwide. Over the next two years, they will receive more than 20 million Euros from the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) and the French Development Agency (AFD), with the Mediterranean receiving € 3 million, West Africa € 3.7 million, the Indian Ocean € 5.5 million, the Caribbean € 1 million and the Pacific € 6.5 million. The Minister of the Comoros in charge of Production, the Environment, Energy, Industry and Artisanship seized the occasion to thank France for its support to Mohéli Marine Park, in amount of 3 million Euros.

France announced it was joining the Global Partnership for Oceans, a World Bank initiative.

Finally, and following up on the visit there last June of French Minister of Transport, the Sea and Fisheries Frédéric Cuvillier, Mr. Martin announced the official institution of the Bay of Arcachon Marine Nature Park, whose creation decree is to be signed in the coming weeks. In this remarkable site located along the Atlantic coast of southwestern France, governance and enforcement methods will help combine multiple, competing uses with the conservation of marine environments.

As for Corsica, Mr. Martin announced the launch of a feasibility study on the creation of nature marine park around Cape Corsica. He also said France and Italy would submit to UNESCO a joint application toward the inscription on the World Heritage List of both the Strait of Bonifacio International Marine Park and the Maddalena Archipelago National Park, in Sardinia.

Mr. Martin and his Italian counterpart, Andrea Orlando, further took opportunity of the congress to move forward together on several important issues. Two agreements were signed in front of members of the press, one regarding the joint submission to Unesco's "Man & Biosphere" program of Mount Viso and the other on the management of waste generated by the construction of the second channel of the Tende highway tunnel between France and Italy.

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