Upon his accession to the throne, Prince Albert II made environmental protection, a major challenge of the 21st century, one of the priorities for his international action. Within this context, the Prince has placed special focus on the Polar Regions, areas of our planet that are particularly vulnerable and yet are vital.
In 2006, the Prince visited the Arctic and, after a four-day trek, reached the North Pole on 16th April. There, he was able to assess the effects of global warming on the thinning sea ice. In the light of this alarming evidence, the Prince decided to set up a foundation dedicated to the protection of the Environment.
On 5th January 2009, the Prince has embarked upon a second Polar voyage, this time to Antarctica. Initiated on the invitation of the international scientific community, the crossing from West to East, during 17 days, has been marked by a number of visits to Polar bases.
Prince Albert II’s 2009 Antarctic expedition had three main objectives:
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- To alert international public opinion on the dangers of global warming and urge everyone to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,
- To promote scientific research in these Polar regions by lending support to the men and women working there,
- To bring to attention article 2 of the Madrid protocol, entered into force on 14th January 1998, which stipulates that “the Antarctic is a natural reserve devoted to peace and science”.