The Wood Forever Pact is an initiative established in 2010 by Prince Albert II of Monaco. It’s part of his Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The Foundation focuses on protecting the environment and encouraging sustainable development. The Wood Forever Pact strives to combat deforestation and the related increase in greenhouse gas emissions. To that end, it has a new initiative aimed at megayacht owners. They’re invited to become Ambassadors of Wood Forever Pact. A one-time donation of 10 euros per ton of displacement goes toward one of the Foundation’s projects. (The logic is the larger the displacement, the more wood likely onboard, and therefore the more deforestation, even if certified timbers are used.) Owners can specify which Foundation project should get funding, too. Regardless, all of the money goes directly to the project, not overhead fees.
Wood Forever Pact Ambassadors will also receive other benefits. A flag and emblem will be provided for your yacht, for example. Exclusive event invitations, networking with likeminded individuals, and updates on Wood Forever Pact projects are further gains.
Here, Philippe Mondielli, head of Wood Forever Pact, says, “Many owners are already very environment-aware, but some will have already bought yachts, perhaps built before becoming so aware, and now wish to make a tangible contribution and help to spread the word.” Here, as part of our Leadership Series, Mondielli explains more about the initiatives.
Megayacht News: What inspired the Wood Forever Pact?
Philippe Mondielli: Monaco hosts one of the biggest international yacht shows. The organizers of the Monaco Yacht Show have strong environmental convictions, and we naturally started to work with them in this sector. Even modern yachts are full of precious and endangered wood species. We think that changing mentalities in an elite community such as the yachting industry could make all the other sectors follow their lead.
Megayacht News: A few yacht builders have joined forces with Wood Forever Pact. Did your team approach these shipyards, or did they come to you? What are they required to do as supporters?
Philippe Mondielli: Burger Boat Company and Viareggio Superyachts both got in touch with us to join the Wood Forever Pact, with a strong will to change their wood supply chain and to be become more virtuous in terms of environmental issues. Yacht builders who sign the Wood Forever Pact work with our technical partner to establish a cartography of their wood supply chain. Our technical partner carries out a risk analysis of this chain and helps the yacht builders to make the best choice possible in terms of sustainable wood purchase.
Megayacht News: What measurable environmental differences have resulted since Wood Forever Pact was established, and what have resulted from the yacht builders lending support?
Philippe Mondielli: It is a bit too early to have measurable environmental differences, especially due to the complicated political position in Myanmar where all the natural teak is sourced.
Megayacht News: Why is your team now approaching yacht owners? For example, is there a lack of awareness about deforestation? Or is there an assumption that certified forests have eliminated most problems?
Philippe Mondielli: We think that by raising awareness about deforestation among the yacht owners, we will be able to have a real influence on the yachting sector, as the clients always make the final decisions regarding what material they want to have on their yacht. We would like them to understand that the wood used on their yacht has a story and that when building their yacht, they are adopting the story of the wood it is made from. This story could either be about deforestation or, on the other hand, responsible forestry practices.
Megayacht News: Have any yacht owners pledged support yet? If so, which one(s)?
Philippe Mondielli: Not yet, however we have only just started to promote the idea. We are optimistic!
Megayacht News: Do you have a specific goal in mind for the number of Wood Forever Pact Ambassadors and yacht builder supporters?
Philippe Mondielli: We don’t have a specific goal in mind, but we believe that the more supporters Wood Forever Pact will have, the easier it will become to reach new supporters and to get them to work with us towards sustainable practices.
Megayacht News: Are there other ways that people who are concerned about deforestation can get actively involved?
Philippe Mondielli: People concerned about deforestation can daily make the conscious decision to choose FSC and/or PEFC wood and wood-related products (paper, for example). They can also support the Foundation by making a donation that will go towards our “Fight against deforestation” projects in the major forested areas of the planet such as Southeast Asia, the Congo Basin, or Amazonia, or support directly the Wood Forever Pact initiative.