On December 15, 2011, H.R.H. Prince Philippe of Belgium attended a conference on logistics in the area of the Belgian-Dutch Delta, held at the Provincial House in Antwerp. Also in attendance was H.R.H. Prince Willem-Alexander of Oranje.
During the conference the heirs to the Belgian and Dutch thrones participated in a working lunch with top officials in the port economy in the Belgian-Dutch Delta. This conference is the result of a first cross-border meeting, held in December 2010, in Hoeven, Netherlands. These conferences are a joint initiative and a common organization of the provinces of Noord-Brabant (Netherlands), Antwerp and the Benelux Union.
On December 15, 2011, T.R.H.s Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa along with Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg attended Mass at St. Michel de Luxembourg, in memory of their Aunt Elisabeth, Princess of Luxembourg who passed away on November 22, 2011.
The late Princess Elisabeth was the second child of the late Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Luxembourg. She was the wife of the Duke of Hohenberg and Franz’s mother Anita of Hohenberg and Sophie de Potesta.
The Foundation Prince Albert II de Monaco and its US chapter have teamed up with the world-renowned American Museum of Natural History to support the Museum’s conservation efforts in the biologically rich and diverse Solomon Islands. To mark this collaborative partnership, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between them has been signed.
The MoU underscores the mutual missions and goals of the two organizations and agreement to the co-ordination of future projects, knowledge-sharing, and fund-raising activities and events. Under this two year, renewable agreement, the Foundation and the Museum will each appoint a representative to a coordination committee to oversee joint activities.To kick-off the alliance, the Foundation’s US chapter will grant funding for the implementation of the Museum’s project for integrating community-driven protected areas and biodiversity research to strengthen conservation gains across the Solomon Islands.
The Solomon Islands lie at a crossroads, separating the rich continents of Australasia and the isolated islands of a sprawling Pacific. Few oceanic archipelagos support a greater proportion of the Earth’s living diversity, or a richer array of human ways of life and languages. The Solomons’ biological and cultural wealth is imminently threatened by poorly regulated large-scale resource extraction. The Museum partners directly with customary landholding communities to counteract these threats through protected area initiatives based upon Community Conservation Agreements (CCAs) that stipulate partnerships providing educational and livelihood benefits for landholding groups in return for community-driven biodiversity conservation.
In this project, with the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA, CCA initiatives will be strengthened at two focal sites that provide a model for conserving biodiversity and essential connectivity to customary land within the largely subsistence-based economies of the Solomons. These CCA partnerships also provide opportunity for ongoing Museum research programs to function as broader community outreach mechanisms. In the latter stages of this project, the Museum will leverage collaborative research within areas of key biodiversity significance to expose people across the Solomons to community governance and conservation gains at the project’s two most well-established sites. Ultimately, the project’s goals are to: 1) strengthen existing protected areas initiatives, and 2) increase indigenous capacity to achieve meaningful community-driven biodiversity conservation at priority sites across the Solomons.
“The American Museum of Natural History is proud to partner with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and its US chapter in supporting conservation efforts in the Solomon Islands, where the Museum has worked for many years,” said Ellen V. Futter, President of the Museum. “This agreement will further the mission of the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation to mitigate critical threats to global biological and cultural diversity, while bringing scientific research to bear on policy and community-building efforts around the world.”
“The biodiversity and living systems of the Solomons provide cultural and physical sustenance to its people and serve as a critical natural laboratory for global scientific research,” said Dr. Eleanor Sterling, director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History. “Conserving these systems will take a major step forward as a result of our partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Working together with the Foundation to forge Community Conservation Agreements assists our efforts to partner directly with indigenous people working to implement resource management strategies. The incentive for landholding groups to achieve their development and livelihood goals is provided, and balanced in exchange for the delivery of community-based biodiversity conservation efforts.”
“With similar missions and matching goals, there is a remarkable synergy between the Museum and the Prince’s Foundation and both these distinguished organizations are committed to using our complementary resources and mutual compatibility to benefit the people and the threatened biodiversity on the Solomon Islands,” said Maguy Maccario, consul general of Monaco and vice president of the Foundation’s US chapter, on whose initiative the MoU was signed.
To learn more about Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco as well as the American Museum of Natural History please click the links below:
On December 16, 2011, H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco visited the Charles III College to meet with the students. Upon her arrival the princess was greeted by Mr. Paul Masseron and Mrs Marie-Hélène Gamba. After spending time with the students and touring the school Princess Charlene attended a mass which was:
…celebrated by Father Bill inside the building. In the evening, the Princess also took part in the Christmas celebrations with the children of the staff at the Prince’s Palace.
Tomorrow, Princess Charlene will be in Berlin, Germany to participate in the charity fundraising gala, Ein Herz fur Kinder, to be broadcast live on the German television network, ZDF. During the event she will be awarded with the Golden Heart for her dedication to humanitarian causes.
If you are interested you may have a chance to watch the event here.
On December 15, 2011, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands attended a concert held at the Agora Theatre in Lelystad in honor of Kingdom Day.
The purpose of the concert aims to demonstrate the connection between the Netherlands and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. The hosts for the event were the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the city of Lelystad.