The 2019 Cannes Film Festival is underway and there is an important new event on the calendar this year, a star-studded gala and celebration of Ocean Impact Day organised by Monaco Better World. Monaco Life was able to talk with Manuel Collas de La Roche, founder of MBW, to discover the motivation behind this event and how Ocean Impact Ambassadors are being recruited to carry the cause.
Manuel, can you please tell us about Ocean Impact Day and how it fits in with the Monaco Better World concept?
Monaco Better World is a global platform of thought leaders and influencers committed to innovate on traditional thinking and standard approaches to humanitarian action, business innovation and environmental security. We use the combined power of entertainment, brands, culture and politics to ignite effective change and raise the awareness of millions of people around the world.
Ocean Impact Day is both a celebration and a call to action for our precious oceans. Our star studded gala will host international celebrities and dignitaries dedicated to the cause of ocean health such as Shakira, Helga Piaget, Kiera Chaplin.
The gala will also serve as a platform to recognise and honour those who have done so much in advancing the cause of our precious oceans, such as The United Arab Emirates for its commitment to climate action that goes hand in hand with continuous economic development, the ‘Country of Honour’ award will be received by his excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed al Zeyoudi Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
We will also recognise documentarian Rob Stewart with the ‘Ocean Conservationist Hero’ award for his heroic legacy and final film Sharkwater Extinction, which shined a light on the plight of the ocean’s apex predator through illegal fishing activities because of the demand for shark fin soup.
Lastly, we will feature a wonderful and unique opportunity to go on an Aquatica Submarines scientific research expedition to the British Virgin Islands this July with Sir Richard Branson. Two tickets will be auctioned with the proceeds going to our foundation to continue our work of advancing ocean causes and the pursuit of solutions for the health of our coastline territories and their populations.
What is Green Cross and how are they involved?
Green Cross was founded by President Mikhail Gorbachev as a non-profit and non-governmental organisation that works to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through a combination of high level advocacy and local projects.
In partnership with Monaco Better World Forum, Green Cross is setting up an Ambassador program during Ocean Impact Day to enable the training and activation of 40 Ocean Impact ambassadors.
Why are Ocean Impact Ambassadors important?
Keeping our ocean, islands and seashore safe is only possible by making every citizen aware of both the beauty and fragility or our precious ecosystems. Ocean Impact Ambassadors will serve as beacons to their communities, activating the interest, awe and love for the oceans while developing local commitments to action based on sensible grassroots solutions.
We want to empower our Ocean Impact Ambassadors to learn from each other, share their enthusiasm for saving the oceans and developing plans of action to activate people on a massive scale and create continuous, effective and positive change.
The training session is a unique opportunity for change makers, network leaders and activators to meet, learn and share their rationale and roadmap to action in a systematic way.
Who is expected to attend the gala on Saturday 18th May?
The list of attendees include presidents, prime ministers, ministers, influential entrepreneurs, celebrities and other VIP guests which will be revealed during the press conference.
Confirmed attendees include: Helga Piaget, Kiera Chaplin, His excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed al Zeyoudi Minister of Climate Change and Environment of UAE, Aleqqa Hammond, First female PM of Greenland, Brendan P Kelly, Chief Scientific Advisor to Obama, and Executive Director for the study of Environmental Artic Change, David Emmit, VP of Conservation International, and Laurent Lamothe, Former Prime Minister of Haiti.
Is this the first event of its kind?
Yes, this is the first Ocean Impact Day we are hosting with a mission of bringing together global thought leaders, dignitaries and celebrities with the objective of creating a global mobilisation to advance public policies as well as accelerate private initiatives within different nations.
The weekend will bring a series of events including a star studded gala and mastermind brunch, all with the objective of creating actionable solutions towards positive ocean impact.
We will build upon President Macron’s ‘Paris One Planet Summit’ within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by identifying mechanisms to connect global elites with emerging youth movements through the MBWF ‘Digital Environment Engagement Platform’ (DEEP).
What do you hope to achieve from this event?
We hope to shed light on the precarious plight of our oceans, celebrate those affecting positive ocean impact and raise funds to continue our work for this important cause.
The pursuit of solutions such as a circular economy to advance health, food, water treatment, waste and plastic pollution is vital to the health of coastline territories and their populations. Ocean Impact Day will address the essential need for humanity to refocus our values to serve future generations through our actions, and the oceans are a critical component to the empowerment of every human being to flourish.
Who is Manuel Collas de La Roche?
After having produced ‘Darshan – The Embrace’, directed by Jan Kounen and selected out of Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Manuel Collas de la Roche was the president of the Cinéma Vérité Festival Geneva with the support of Sharon Stone, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, Carole Bouquet, Catherine Deneuve, Queen Noor of Jordan, Jody Williams and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.
Manuel Collas de La Roche recently co-produced ‘KaLaChaKra’ (The Enlightenment), a feature documentary produced and directed by Natalie Fuchs with the exceptional participation of H.H. The Dalai Lama and Uma Thurman as the narrator.
On March 23, 2018, Manuel Collas de La Roche was awarded the Gold Medal of the ‘Universal League of Public Good’ for his service to Humanity at the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Paris.