The Initiative

The Pelagos Sanctuary is the first transboun­dary area in the Mediterranean dedicated to the protection of marine mammals. Covering 87,500 km2 between France, Monaco and Italy, this area is home to remarkable biodiversity. Particularly rich in plankton, it boasts various species of whales and dolphins, some of which are on the IUCN red list of threatened species. Climate change, heavy maritime traffic and heavily populated tourist destinations along most of the Sanctuary's coastline are all threats that put pressure on organisms and ecosystems.

Today, less than 9% of the Mediterranean is under protected status, and the Pelagos Sanctuary alone represents half of this area. However, less than 0.2% of the Mediterranean is under strict protection, and most of the Pelagos Sanctuary is not highly protected.

In 2021 the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foun­dation (PAF2), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conserva­tion of Nature (IUCN) and the Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas Network (MedPAN) decided to coordinate their efforts by creating the Pelagos Initiative.

This partnership between several key civil society players in the Mediterranean finances activities that protect, conserve and promote the Sanctuary, in support of the implementa­tion of the management plan of the Pelagos Agreement, established by the three countries responsible for the Sanctuary.

The Pelagos Initiative has the following objectives :

  • To support and promote collaborative studies and activities in the Pelagos Sanctuary in order to contribute to the conservation of marine mammals
  • To raise awareness about the Pelagos Sanctuary, its characteristics and ongoing activities by engaging the different stakeholders
  • To promote interactions and coordinate joint activities between the different Marine Protected Areas within the Sanctuary
  • To raise funds and launch calls for projects to implement the above actions and contribute to the protection and conservation objectives of the Sanctuary


Each year, the initiative is launching a call for projects to support actions that participate in the protection and the conservation of the Sanctuary.

The Pelagos Initiative is supported by: