Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 11:32 EDT

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Forms Partnership with the American Museum of Natural History

December 16, 2011

NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation 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.

About The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
In June 2006, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco decided to set up his Foundation, in order to address our planet’s alarming environmental situation. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is dedicated to the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development at an international level. The Foundation supports initiatives conducted by public and private organizations within the fields of research, technological innovation and activities to raise awareness of the social issues at stake. The Foundation funds projects in three main geographical

regions: the Mediterranean Basin, the Polar Regions and the Least Developed Countries. The Foundation’s efforts focus on three main sectors: Climate change and renewable energies, biodiversity, and integrated and sustainable water resource management together with the fight against desertification. To find out more: www.pa2f.org

About American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls and galleries for temporary exhibitions, the Rose Center for Earth and Space with the Hayden Planetarium, state-of-the-art research laboratories and five active research divisions that support more than 200 scientists in addition to one of the largest natural history libraries in the Western Hemisphere and a permanent collection of more than 32 million specimens and cultural artifacts. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the first American museum to grant the Ph.D. degree. In 2012, the Museum will begin offering a pilot Master of Arts in Teaching degree program with a specialization in earth science. Approximately 5 million visitors from around the world came to the Museum last year and its exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum’s website and growing collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit www.amnh.org for upcoming exhibitions.

SOURCE Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation – USA

Source: PR Newswire