A partnership between the Ramsar Convention, the Danone Group and the Evian brand
Why a partnership?
16 years of close collaboration…The relationship between the Ramsar Convention and the Danone Group dates back to 1998. The first partnership agreement, signed on 27 January 1998, resulted in the creation of the “Danone – Evian for Water” Fund for the protection of wetlands. This Fund is intended to raise awareness among a wider public of global water and wetlands-related challenges.
This pioneer partnership – the Ramsar Convention was the first international convention to enter into a partnership with the private sector – resulted in synergies between private enterprises, national and international decision-makers, and the public at large that led to increased awareness of the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of water and wetlands resources, thanks in large part to sharing of knowledge and skills surrounding the management of natural sites.
Danone–Evian Fund for Water
The Danone–Evian Fund for Water was created in 1998; it provides business support to a large portfolio of projects, educational products and seminars. Among the more high profile examples of this collaboration include the communications materials (posters, brochures, films, games) prepared by the Secretariat every year for World Wetlands Day, on 2 February; the websites www.ramsar.org and the community page http://community.ramsar.org/; the active presence of the Convention on social media; and the Evian Special Prize awarded in conjunction with the Ramsar Prize for Wetlands Conservation.
The Evian Water Protection Institutes
The Evian Water Protection Institutes programme was launched in 2008 to assist local communities to sustainably manage water resources and improve their livelihoods. To date, three field projects have been successfully implemented with local NGOs and populations at Ramsar Sites in Argentina, Nepal and Thailand. A fourth project is in development in Japan at the Lower Maruyama River Basin Ramsar Site.
Livelihoods Fund / Livelihoods Venture
In 2008 the Danone Group created the Danone Fund for Nature, as part of an agreement with Ramsar and IUCN. As of 2011, this fund has expanded to become the Livelihoods Fund and Livelihoods Venture. The Fund works by using the carbon absorption capacity of ecosystems, such as mangrove wetlands, to finance economic development of village communities through the restoration of these key environments. The Fund invests in 3 families of projects during an investment period of 3 to 4 years, and then co-manages the projects with its local NGO partners over a period of up to 20 years. The 3 types of projects invested in are agroforestry, rural energy, and ecosystem restoration projects. The NGO partners of Livelihoods have planted more than 100 million trees to date.
Ramsar virtual community for wetlands
With the advent of Web 2.0, it seemed pertinent to create a virtual and interactive community space to enable a wider public to exchange, discuss, and share questions related to wetlands, the environment, and the work of the Convention. Thanks to the official Convention page on Facebook and account on Twitter, the Ramsar community has grown and diversified.