Prince to host meeting at Sunnylands

Rising sea levels on agenda

Ranchco Mirage - The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will hold a meeting at Sunnylands in October about rising sea levels and ocean acidification, it was announced Wednesday.

The confab at the former estate of Ambassador Walter Annenberg in Rancho Mirage will ``address two of the most pressing issues impacting our planet,'' with policymakers, scientists and engineers set to participate, according to a statement from Sunnylands.

The meeting -- an exact date wasn't announced -- is being convened by Monaco's reigning monarch; Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution and vice chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego; and Geoffrey Cowan, president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands.

Rising sea levels and ocean acidification -- chemical reactions caused by carbon dioxide absorbed by seawater -- are both connected to greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the climate, according to the Sunnylands statement.

Prince Albert II said that ``by preserving the environment, and in particular the oceans which cover more than 70 percent of the world's surface, it is simply a question of making sure that future generations live on a planet which is not hostile towards them."

Cowan said that while other meetings ``have addressed mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases, there is also an urgent need to encourage the development of adaptation strategies. The October retreat will enable a gathering of top minds to provide leadership for adaptation strategies, with a special focus on the Pacific.''

The meeting will be followed by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Awards, which will be held in the United States for the first time.  The awards will recognize ``excellence in ... climate change and renewable energies, biodiversity, and integrated and sustainable water management.''

The 56-year-old prince, who started his foundation eight years ago to focus on those areas, is the son of the late Prince Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly, who was killed in a car crash. He became the principality's monarch in 2005.

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