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Monaco thinks, acts green

"MONACO citizens always bear in mind that this small territory has to be protected like a jewel. That's what we do, and that's what we want to transmit to the future generations," said Catherine Fautrier, commissioner general of Monaco Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

"Monaco is the second smallest country in the world (after Vatican City). Our territory is only 2.5 square kilometers. Thus protecting our environment has always been important," Fautrier said.

The pavilion's theme at the World Expo is "Monaco: Past, Present, Future: The Challenge of an Evolving City-state."

"Our theme explains to visitors that even if it is one of the smallest countries in the world, Monaco has a very long history and through the ages it has succeeded in its development," Fautrier said.

Monaco has a great plan to promote environmental protection.

"The future of the planet is an important global issue. Our sovereign, Prince Albert II of Monaco, created in 2006 his foundation dedicated to the protection of the environment. It also seeks to defend and protect the values of the planet," Fautrier said.

"The Prince Albert II Foundation strives to act as an accelerator of projects and solutions for the environmental question. It promotes sustainable and equitable management of natural resources and places the individual at the center of its projects," Fautrier said.

"The foundation encourages the implementation of innovative and ethical solutions in three main areas: climate change, biodiversity and water. Thus, it has a lot of partnerships with other associations. In that kind of global issue, everybody has to work together, hand-in-hand," Fautrier said.

Monaco is a small sovereign city-state in southwestern Europe on the north central coast of the Mediterranean Sea, with a land border on three sides with France. It is about 16 kilometers from Italy.

It has an estimated population of about 33,000, and thus it is the world's most densely populated sovereign country. An average person takes less than one hour to walk the length of the country.

Foreigners make up a majority of the population, at around 84 percent. Its main income comes from tourism, and its casinos and pleasant climate are a draw with tourists.

"Shanghai Expo 2010 is a very huge event. It is very important to present Monaco as an environmental model. If the Chinese people remember actions taken by Monaco to protect the environment, well, how to say, a part of my mission will be successful," Fautrier said.

"The future of the planet is our future," she said.


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