The Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature (AMPN) was born from the wish expressed by Prince Rainier III that the Principality of Monaco make a concrete contribution to safeguarding the Mediterranean.

In September 1975, he instructed Professor Vaissière, then Director of the Scientific Center of Monaco, to focus on the creation of a protected marine area along the coast.

This task was entrusted to a team of Monegasques, all volunteers, driven by the common desire to contribute to the protection of the marine environment. Thus was born, on October 22, 1975, the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature, chaired by Mr Eugène Debernardi.

Gradually the elements were put in place which led in April 1976 to the creation of the first "Monaco Underwater Reserve". Located in the eastern part of the Monegasque coast, in front of the beaches of the Larvotto district, this 33-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) is mainly home to a Posidonia meadow, a species endemic to the Mediterranean.

The enthusiasm aroused by the results obtained in terms of preservation led the AMPN to create a second reserve in 1986. With a smaller surface area (2 hectares), the Tombant des Spélugues MPA, located at the entrance of Port Hercule, was mainly set up to protect the only coralligenous drop-off in the Principality.

The AMPN has managed the Larvotto and Spélugues MPAs since their creation. Today, in line with Prince Rainier III, these MPAs are very strongly supported by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, His Foundation and His Government. Jewels of which the Principality is proud, they are akin to a real challenge: reserves in an urban environment, true laboratories in a natural environment that have made it possible, for 45 years, to carry out monitoring and innovative research work.

Considering the importance of raising awareness among young people about preserving the environment, the AMPN has also set up, since 2018, the Monaco Marine Educative Area.

To find out more...
- Text Professor Denis Allemand, 2008
- MonacoInfo report 40 years of AMPN, 2015
- Movie of the 40 years of the AMPN