The Livelihoods Fund
In 2008 the Danone Group created the Danone Fund for Nature, as part of an agreement with Ramsar and IUCN. Since 2011, the Fund for Nature has expanded and is now an independent entity called the Livelihoods Fund. The Livelihoods Fund finances projects in reforestation, sustainable farming, and energy production for and by rural communities. The mission of Livelihoods is to encourage the positive efforts of small-scale producers by working within their communities on the foundations of their ecosystems: trees, soil fertility, the water cycle and biodiversity to encourage effective and sustainable production methods.
Photos © J-F. Hellio and N. Van Ingen
From the “Danone Fund for Nature” to the “Livelihoods Fund”
Thanks to the “Danone Fund for Nature” the Danone Group has developed a new approach to the carbon economy by creating the “Livelihoods Fund”, an Investment Company with Variable Capital (ICVC) enabling it to develop carbon sequestration (like the mangrove restoration project) or energy efficiency projects in developing countries. This Fund works by using the carbon absorption capacity of certain ecosystems, such as mangrove wetlands, to finance economic development of village communities through the restoration of these key environments.
Watch the video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJaeQeAJHT4
The Livelihoods Fund includes the following components:
Livelihoods Venture is the services company which provides expertise to the Fund. Livelihoods Venture is a small permanent team of specialists working with external experts. Livelihoods Venture is mandated by the Fund to make a selection of the best projects, conduct due diligence, monitor the implementation of carbon methodologies, project registration, and more. Livelihoods Venture is the "operational arm" of the Fund.
The Livelihoods Network comprises NGOs, experts, specialised organisations and corporations who are seeking mutual enrichment by sharing, pooling and coordinating skills, expertise, and good practices related to Livelihoods projects in order to make the initiatives stronger, secure long-term positive effects, and innovate together. The communities that participate in Livelihoods projects benefit by increasing their food security, producing additional income and business opportunities, and building local capacity and sustainable ecosystems.
Livelihoods Partners include internationally recognised public and private partners, including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM).
The Livelihoods Advisory Board is made up of representatives from companies and international organizations, including Christopher Briggs, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; Julia Marton-Lefevre, Director General of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature); Luc Guyau, Independent President of the Council of the FAO; Tony Simons, Director General of ICRAF, the World Agroforesty Centre (Nairobi); and Michel Griffon, agronomist and researcher, President of the Scientific Council of the French Global Environment Facility. The companies engaged with Livelihoods include the prominent firms of Danone, Schneider Electric, Crédit Agricole, Hermès International, SAP, CDC Climat, La Poste, Voyageurs du Monde and Firmenich.
The Livelihoods 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 environments. As an investment fund, the Livelihoods Fund is made up of companies that are committed to combating climate change by reducing the carbon emissions caused by their activities, through voluntary offsets. Livelihoods projects benefit the companies through carbon footprint reduction, social and environmental innovation, and showing their commitment to the environment.
Livelihoods projects are recognised through a collaboratively developed methodology that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) approved. For more information about this methodology, which evaluates the impact of mangrove restoration on efforts to combat climate change, see: http://cdm.unfccc.int/methodologies/DB/CKSXP498IACIQHXZPEVRJXQKZ3G5WQ
For further information on the IUCN-Ramsar-Danone partnership: