During UNESCO’s 42nd General Conference on the theme “(re)Thinking the Commons, acting together to protect them”, Antoine Arnault, LVMH Image and Environment, and Hélène Valade, LVMH Environment Development Director, took part in a special session on UNESCO’s partnership with member states (Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru) and LVMH, centered on protecting biodiversity in the Amazon.
In his introductory remarks alongside UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, Antoine Arnault reiterated the key objectives of this long-term Amazon project, which launched in 2019 with a five-year horizon and five million euros in funding: reconcile protection of the environment and sustainable development with support for local communities and cultures. Some 41 initiatives are already being supported in eight biosphere reserves in Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. They encompass concrete actions, including ending the degradation of forest ecosystems, training and equipping local populations to fight and prevent wildfires (over 500 people have already completed training) and develop sustainable land management, promoting agroforestry techniques and developing alternative sources of income, and compile a geodatabase to track place-based initiatives.
In his remarks, Antoine Arnault emphasized: “LVMH’s partnership with UNESCO has clearly had a positive impact among our Maisons. Dior Couture is working with UNESCO to support restoration projects in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. Fresh is supporting restoration projects in one of the Biosphere Reserves in Mauritius. And Guerlain is more actively involved than ever with UNESCO in the “Women for Bees” program, which trains female beekeepers and develops new hives in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves around the world. We must continue to take bold actions to reconcile humans and the other living beings on Earth and protect biodiversity.”
Later in the program, Hélène Valade took part in a round table, during which she underlined the importance LVMH attaches to biodiversity, detailing initiatives to limit the impact of the Group’s activities and sharing insights on the Amazon project gained during her visit to biosphere sites several months ago.