[enviro-vlc] Danone, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature
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Thu Oct 30 01:09:49 EST 2008
Danone, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature
A breakthrough program to restore biodiversity and fight global warming
Changwon, Republic of Korea, October 29, 2008 – During the 10th meeting of the
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands' Conference of Contracting Parties, presently
under way in the Republic of Korea, an original and ambitious partnership
agreement aimed at fighting global warming has been entered into by the Ramsar
Convention, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and
the Danone Group.
Fighting global warming through wetlands protection and restoration
The purpose of this innovative program is to capitalize on the essential role
played by wetlands ecosystems, especially mangrove swamps, in carbon
capture.Representing 6% of land area, wetlands fix 20% of the earth's carbon and
produce 25% of the world's foods (fisheries, agriculture and hunting). These
areas, vital to biodiversity and the survival of many populations also enable
the natural purification of freshwater and groundwater's recharge, and serve as
effective barriers against coastal storms. Nearly half of these areas, however,
have been destroyed over the past century.
The agreement signed today is in many ways a concrete response to the call that
went out last July to the international community from 700 scientists of the
International Association for Ecology (INTECOL), emphasizing the global
importance of wetlands conservation.
After a ten years partnership with Ramsar, a new stage in Danone's commitment to
For Danone, the first steps taken under this program will be led by Evian. As
the world's leading brand of mineral water, Evian has a long experience in
protecting water resources, particularly through the protection of the catchment
zone that feeds its own spring. In addition, the brand has worked for many years
to reduce its environmental impact in the areas of energy consumption, packaging
and transportation. As a result, between 2000 and 2011 Evian will have shrunk
its carbon footprint by half.
As no human activity can claim in itself environmental neutrality, Evian
simultaneously intends to develop voluntary initiatives making it possible to
absorb the remainder of its carbon footprint. From 2009, as part of the
partnership announced today, Evian will support specific programs to store
carbon, by restoring wetlands with Ramsar and the IUCN.
This twin effort-to reduce emissions on its own and to restore areas that will
fix large quantities of CO2-will enable Evian to become carbon neutral, from
An agreement leading to the creation of a Danone Fund for Nature
In concrete terms, Danone's commitment will take the form of a fund. The mission
of the Danone Fund for Nature is to support projects that combine water
resources management, the conservation of biodiversity, quality improvements in
food resources emanating from wetlands and the strengthening of their natural
capacity for storing large quantities of CO2.
Administered by the three partners, this Fund will rely scientifically and
technically on Ramsar and the IUCN.
The first pilot project will be implemented in 2009, followed by a larger scale
roll-out, and tracked by reliable and recognized measurement methods.
"The Danone Group and Evian have been working with us for ten years," said Anada
Tiega, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention. "What makes our partnership
work is that we share the same goal of protecting water resources. We are
delighted to reach a new level with Danone and Evian alongside IUCN with even
more ambitious goals."
"This project fits perfectly into the IUCN's mission of promoting biodiversity
as a fundamental pre-requisite for ecosystems to be able to support the fight
against climate change and poverty," observed Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN
Director General. IUCN will leverage its network and expertise in providing the
program's technical and operational co-ordination."
"We're glad we've been able to answer the appeal made by the Ramsar Convention
and IUCN, and to do so through an original and promising partnership,"added
Franck Riboud, Chairman and CEO of Danone, What this means is putting in place
the financial, technical and human resources required for rehabilitating
ecosystems where we can fix a portion of our carbon footprint. The wetlands
restoration program, with the fixation potential that it represents and its fit
with Evian's vocation and long-term commitment, is a natural complement to our
ongoing efforts to reduce our corporate environmental impact."
About the Ramsar Convention
The international Wetlands Convention signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971 under the
sponsorship of UNESCO is an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework
for actions by nations and for international cooperation to conserve and make
considered use of wetlands and their resources. The Convention presently has 158
signatories, who have placed 1,820 wetland areas totalling 168 million hectares
on the List of internationally significant wetlands.
For more information visit: www.ramsar.org
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the oldest and
largest international network in the environmental movement. It includes over a
thousand members (countries, governmental and non-governmental organizations and
nearly 11,000 volunteer experts from 160 countries.
The IUCN's work is carried out by a staff of over 1,000 professionals working in
62 national and regional offices. IUCN headquarters are located near Geneva,
For more information visit: www.iucn.org
About Danone and Evian
The mission of the Danone Group is to provide health through healthful eating to
the most people it can. With 150 manufacturing sites and about 76,000 employees,
Danone is a health foods leader. The Danone Group is included in the main social
responsibility indexes-the Stoxx and the World Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes,
the Eurozone ASPI and the Ethibel Sustainability Index.
For more information visit: www.danone.com
The Evian brand can be found on five continents and in over 120 countries. Its
balanced mineral composition results from being filtered for over 15 years in
the heart of the French Alps. At the end of this journey, Evian natural mineral
water emerges in the Cachat Spring in the French town of Evian-les-Bains on the
shore of Lake Geneva. Evian has a long-standing commitment to lowering its
environmental impact. It has reduced the weight of its bottles by 20% over the
past ten years, makes its bottles from 25% recycled PET and in Europe takes
two-thirds of its production to market by train.
For more information visit: www.evian.com
Ramsar : Sandra Hails – hails at ramsar.org
UICN : Sarah Horsley - sarah.horsley at iucn.org
Groupe Danone: Laurence Foucher - laurence.foucher at danone.com - + 33 1 44 35 39 19
Evian : Bertrand Legret – blegret at hopscotch.fr - + 33 1 58 65 00 32
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
The Evian Brand
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