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Monaco Ocean Week: Advanced Technologies for MPA Management

Hosted by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Monaco Ocean Week serves as a platform for dialogue, collaboration, and action towards protecting and preserving the Ocean.

Amongst the presentations, panels and workshops ACUA participated in, the Ocean Innovators panel held discussions on key themes that echoed across the conference including:

  1. That the “Blue Economy” is a nascent market but set for huge growth off the back of UN30x30.

  2. Cost efficiency is key to scalable ocean monitoring and protection.

  3. There is a need to take technology from multiple industries that are large enough to provide scale in order to decrease cost and bring those into MPA management. This includes an increasing investment in dual-use technology.

  4. There needs to be a multi stakeholder and regional approach to MPAs.

The ocean conservation market is poised for exponential growth but the question remains; “Where will the financing come from?”. With initiatives like UN30x30 setting ambitious targets for marine protection, the demand for innovative solutions is on the rise but despite the market need, efforts from start ups and well established companies alike, the lack of sustained funding behind these initiatives is limiting growth.

To combat the current lack of financial support to SDG14 and the wider Ocean space, cost efficiency is critical in ensuring the scalability and long-term viability of marine conservation efforts. This highlights the necessity of spreading costs across multiple stakeholders, making Marine Protected Area (MPA) management not only economically feasible but also scalable. For example, technologies developed for industries such as renewable energy, maritime transportation, and communications should be dual-use and capable of being deployed and integrated into marine conservation efforts. This efficiency paired with innovative financing mechanisms such as Blue Carbon Credits, and PES could see huge sustained support for the Ocean and stakeholders working within it. All this must be done while considering the unintentional impact of innovation and compounding stress placed on the natural environment.

©JC Vinaj-FPA2

The success of marine conservation efforts also hinges on collaboration and cooperation among diverse stakeholders. Monaco Ocean Week emphasised the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach to the set up, monitoring and protection of MPAs, where regional governments, NGOs, industries, and local communities come together to co-create and manage these areas. 

ACUA Ocean advocates for and is actively participating  in inclusive partnerships that leverage the expertise and resources of all stakeholders, ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of conservation initiatives.

The growing interest in marine conservation and the abundance of new technologies signal a promising future for ocean conservation efforts. However, we must recognise that success will require long-term investments and a steadfast commitment to sustainable practices. 


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