Livelihoods at the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Bucharest, July 2012
Representatives of Livelihoods were invited to share the experience of the Livelihoods Fund and Livelihoods Network with the participants of the 11th Conference of Parties on Wetlands that is taking place in Bucharest.
Ramsar is an International Convention with 160 members countries under the auspices of the United Nations. Its mission is to promote the preservation of wetlands throughout the world and sensibilise all public and private stakeholders of their importance for water filtration, biodiversity, resources for human beings.
The story started in 1998 when Danone and its Evian flagship brand signed a partnership agreement with Ramsar which was deeply rooted in its longstanding policy on water catchment protection and natural water resource management. In 2008, the partnership went one major step further with the creation of the Danone Fund For Nature with Ramsar and IUCN, which aimed at experimenting large scale projects of wetland restoration through carbon finance mechanisms and started the first projects with local communities in Senegal. After 3 years, seeing the success of the first pilots, Danone decided to open the fund to other companies and created the Livelihoods Fund in 2011 along with Credit Agricole, CDC Climat, Schneider Electric and more companies, including French Postand Hermes International that joined in 2012.
Emmanuel Faber, Vice Chairman of the Board, Danone, was invited to the opening ceremony of the Ramsar Convention in Bucharest, to present along with Anada Tiega, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention and Julia Marton-Lefevre, Director General IUCN, the Livelihoods experience on mangrove restoration with local NGOs, Oceanium in Senegal, NEWS in India, Yagasu in Indonesia, as a concrete example of how private and public actors can join forces to co-invent solutions that work on a large scale. In addition, Bernard Giraud, President Livelihoods Venture was invited to present the Livelihoods Fund in a special event, and share his views on scalability and sustainability of the projects with 200 experts from governments and NGOs attending the Ramsar Convention.