It was no coincidence that as the UN kicked off World Ocean Week on June 8, UBS launched “Sea Beyond The Blue,” a guide on the oceans for philanthropists and changemakers.
Oceans provide more than half of the oxygen we breathe, according to Fundingtheocean.org, and help regulate global climate. Yet, despite receiving much attention, ocean conservation has received less than 1% of all philanthropic funding since 2009 and remains the least funded of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
As Marine Biologist and Founder of Mission Blue Sylvia Earle states in the report, “The biggest challenge facing the oceans is that people take them for granted.”
Agnès Falco, Country Head of UBS Monaco, tells Forbes Monaco, “A growing number of our clients want to do something good for the oceans and they seek advice on how to do so through charitable giving and, increasingly, through impact investment.”
Monaco’s first female CEO adds that UBS, with its worldwide network of experts, can catalyze change. “We also offer high-impact preselected projects via our UBS Optimus Foundation to help save the oceans and investment strategies to reduce CO2 emissions.”
Sea Beyond The Blue highlights stellar organizations and impactful initiatives, without investors having to reinvent the wheel. Just look at Andonis and Filippos Lemos, entrepreneurs and philanthropists in Monaco, who tell Forbes Monaco, “For us, it goes beyond taking action. Our family’s history has been forged at sea through our origins, our business, and our passion. We want to drive real change and have a lasting, positive impact.”
The brothers believe that solving the ocean plastic crisis requires a systemic approach and willingness to partner with others. “This is why have been focusing our efforts through our organization Common Seas to find sustainable solutions that address plastic pollution and its consequences for our health. We are now working on a partnership with UBS Optimus Foundation to take our vision to scale and increase our impact further.”
Ultimately, we know how to save the oceans. We just need to get it done. As Prince Albert pointed out in his message for World Oceans Day this week, “Since the coronavirus we have seen our ocean change. Water is clearer and less polluted, species are reappearing in areas that were once deserted and ecosystems are regaining some of their health.”
The Prince’s 11th edition of the Monaco Blue Initiative in March had to be curtailed due to the Covid-19 epidemic. In its place, three online workshops were launched, the second taking place this week: “What lessons can be learned from community-led initiatives in the management and preservation of protected areas.” The next workshop is on June 24.