The Livelihoods Carbon Fund was created in 2011 as an evolution from the Danone Fund for Nature, created by Danone, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2008. Since 2011, nine other companies have joined this fund: Schneider Electric, Crédit Agricole S.A., Michelin, Hermès, SAP, CDC Climat, La Poste, Firmenich and Voyageurs du Monde.
The current MedWet Coordinator Delmar Blasco signed the original agreement in his capacity as Ramsar Secretary General, with the Danone PDG and the then French Minister of Environment Ms Dominique Voynet.
The Livelihoods Carbon Fund mission is to help rural farming communities restore their ecosystems in order to sustainably improve their incomes and livelihoods. The Carbon Fund started from the premise that the food-producing ecosystems – e.g the immediate environment of rural populations (water sources, woods, and soils) – have to be truly preserved, if those local residents are to have decent lives.
The award was given to the Fund based on a poll of 1,000 firms in the carbon market, in recognition for the efforts made by the partners to use the carbon economy as a lever for improving the lives of rural populations. It also celebrates companies working together and joining forces both to carry out large-scale projects and to develop solutions with a significant positive impact.
As Bernard Giraud, President of Livelihoods Venue, affirms, “It is important to know that Livelihoods is not in competition with other funding sources. In Burkina Faso, for instance, we have partnered with the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency), and in Guatemala, we have signed a partnership with the national government. Our work complements what is being done by stakeholders as a whole”.
In addition, all the projects financed by the Livelihood Carbon Fund are implemented by NGOs. They provide not just money but also expertise to carefully prepare each project with their private, public and NGO partners, in consultation with the local populations.
In 2008, the Danone Group together with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) created the Danone Fund for Nature to restore degraded ecosystems, redevelop local economies, and combat climate change. In 2011, the Danone Fund for Nature opened to outside investors and evolved into the Livelihoods Fund as it is known today.
In 2006, the Livelihoods Fund partnered with Oceanium, a local NGO in Senegal, to restore a highly degraded mangrove forest. The project involved the large-scale replanting of mangroves in approximately 500 villages in the Sine Saloum Delta in the Casamance along the west coast of Senegal, resulting in the largest mangrove reforestation project in the world. In 2015, Oceanium was awarded the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award for Innovation in recognition of this achievement.
The Ramsar Convention and Danone – Evian enjoy a 18 year long standing relationship, which began in 1998 and was the first partnership agreement between a global environmental convention and the private sector. Each year since 1998, Danone-Evian has supported the Convention in promoting World Wetlands Day, celebrated on 2 February each year to raise awareness about the vital role of wetlands.
Source: Ramsar Convention Secretariat
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