In 1998 the Danone Group and the Ramsar Convention signed the first partnership agreement between a global environmental convention and a private company. Within the framework of this agreement the Danone Group established the Danone-Evian Fund for Water and the Danone Fund for Nature to support the Convention’s work to raise awareness and promote the sustainable use and management of wetlands as a source of water.
The Danone-Evian Fund for Water supports:
• the World Wetlands Day global awareness campaign;
• the “Evian Special Prize”, a cash prize of US $10,000 awarded to three recipients of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards in recognition of their efforts for the wise use and conservation of wetlands; and
• country projects that generate methodologies on the restoration of wetlands, sustainable management of water resources, and better livelihoods. In 2007 the Evian Water Protection Institute programme was launched and restoration projects completed in Argentina, Nepal, Thailand and Japan.
In 2008, Danone, the Ramsar Convention and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) created the Danone Fund for Nature to restore degraded ecosystems, redevelop local economies and combat climate change. A notable outcome was the development of a methodology to fund development projects through carbon credits gained from mangrove restoration. This methodology is recognized under the Clean Development Mechanism of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change.
Danone extended the Fund after a successful pilot project in Senegal. In 2011 the Danone Fund for Nature became the Livelihoods Carbon Fund, an independent entity that continues to invest in mangrove restoration, agroforestry and rural energy projects whilst generating carbon credits for its investors.