In Pictures: Gen.T And VisitMonaco Co-Host Event On Building A Greener, Post-Pandemic World

By Chong Seow Wei

On May 26, Gen.T organised a two-hour event at the Tatler House in Singapore featuring talks on sustainable tourism and the challenges of environmental advocacy, in partnership with VisitMonaco

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Cover  Speakers at the event included Marc Allen, Neo Mei Lin, Chong Seow Wei, Benoit Badufle

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How can governments work with the private sector to build a more sustainable nation? What are the opportunities for a small country like Singapore in pushing for sustainable development—and what can it learn from Monaco? What are the challenges of environmental advocacy, its impact on environmental professionals and how can we tackle them? 

These questions and more were discussed at Gen.T's sustainability-themed event held in partnership with VisitMonaco, on May 26 at the Tatler House. The two-hour event, titled Beyond the Pandemic: Building a Greener Future, featured talks and a panel discussion with environmental leaders from both Singapore and Monaco. 

The programme kicked off with Jessica Sbaraglia dialling in for a virtual fireside chat from Monaco. The agriculturalist is the founder of the urban farming company Terrae and one of the principality's most prominent figures in the sector. In conversation with VisitMonaco’s regional director of Asia, Benoit Badufle, she described the values of permaculture, the power of learning to garden, and how she's creating vegetable and fruit farms on the rooftops of Monaco's buildings. 

"Learning to garden is learning 'the passage of time', learning to respect one’s environment. And it helps [us to] remain connected to the earth and to humanity," she said.

Read more: In Monaco, Sustainable Tourism Isn't Just A Buzz Phrase

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Above  Jessica Sbaraglia, founder of the urban farming company Terrae, dialling in from Monaco for a virtual fireside chat

In late 2020, Monaco announced that it will cut down its greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by the year 2030. It also aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

In order to achieve these goals, the principality has set out an elaborate roadmap, says Estelle Antognelli, head of the corporate social responsibility department at the Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority, during her virtual presentation at the event. "Sustainable tourism is part of a process of continuous improvement. Efforts must be put constantly by the entire tourism sector and monitored by visitors. The tourism industry in Monaco is defined by five major strategic pillars: Train and raise awareness; communicate and improve visibility; reduce impact; develop tourism for all and by all; and measure." 

The event also featured a live discussion with Marc Allen, co-founder of climate tech startup Unravel Carbon, and marine ecologist Neo Mei Lin, who gave insights on their respective experiences and challenges as environmental advocates, including how they manage the emotional stress that can come with the job.

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Above  A live discussion on the challenges of environmental advocacy took place, featuring Allen and marine ecologist Neo Mei Lin

Describing one of her challenges working with stakeholders, Neo says: "Every time we start a conversation, it takes a while to get their trust and get things going. But when someone quits, we have a completely new person who we have to restart [the conversation with] again. That's tiring, but I see this as a marathon and we can't give up."

For Allen, the depiction of the kinds of challenges that climate advocates face in the Netflix film Don't Look Up hit close to home. "I live this every day!" he quipped.

Although, he adds that there has been a positive shift in the way businesses approach climate change today. "In the past, if there was a discussion about the climate and reducing emissions, it would sit within corporate social responsibility. In the last few years, there's been this realisation by businesses that [climate change] is actually a business risk and it sits within the strategy department."

More ideas and conversations about sustainable and climate solutions were shared after the panel, as guests were invited to network over canapes and drinks. A curated cocktail menu was prepared that day, with each concoction infused with a gin from Monaco's first and only distillery, La Distillerie de Monaco

Scroll through the slideshow below to see more images from the event.

Credits

Photography   Max Chan

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