LVMH reaffirms engagement with UNESCO’s MAB program with launch of partnership between Guerlain and UNESCO for training and long-term support of an international community of beekeepers

Perfumes & Cosmetics


Guerlain, which has been actively involved in initiatives to protect biodiversity for more than 12 years, is expanding its commitments by teaming with UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere intergovernmental scientific program, of which LVMH has been a partner since May 2019. Guerlain is launching a five-year partnership to train new beekeepers, establish beekeeping operations around the world, and measure the benefits of pollination in biosphere reserves.  

Signed last May, the partnership between LVMH and the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) program establishes biodiversity as pillar of the Group’s initiatives. The partnership provides a framework for collaboration between LVMH Maisons and UNESCO’s network experts, as well as for promoting scientific research on biodiversity.

“A Group such as ours, whose activities are intimately linked to the resources offered by nature, simply cannot ignore biodiversity issues,” said Antoine Arnault, Image & Communications LVMH, underlining the motivation behind the partnership between LVMH and UNESCO-MAB.

Bees play an essential role as pollinators, thus ensuring food security across the planet and making the preservation of bees a critical priority. Building on its longstanding commitments to biodiversity – notably bees – Guerlain announced the launch of a new partnership with UNESCO on October 17th. This five-year program is being pursued within the framework of the partnership between UNESCO-MAB and LVMH.

© UNESCO / Christelle ALIX

The partnership between Guerlain and UNESCO-MAB will focus on four areas: training of beekeepers in UNESCO biosphere reserves; creation of beekeeping operations with around 50 hives each, working in collaboration with the Observatoire Français d’Apidologie (OFA, the French Apidology Observatory), which Guerlain has partnered since 2015; technical support and monitoring to ensure sustainable development and a stable business model; and measurement of the beneficial impact of pollination on local ecosystems.

“This partnership marks a new milestone for our efforts to safeguard bees – the symbol of Guerlain – and we are delighted at this opportunity to work closely with experts from the Man and Biosphere program and the OFA,” said Laurent Boillot Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Guerlain.

Guerlain and UNESCO will debut their collaboration in 2020 with a first year of trials, during which eight beekeepers will be trained, two in each of four pilot UNESCO biosphere reserves in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Cambodia and China. Twenty more people will be trained annually over the following four years in ten additional biosphere reserves in ten different countries.

By 2024, this renewable partnership will have trained 88 beekeepers in 44 UNESCO biosphere reserves, establishing an international network of professionals able to share their scientific and local knowledge regarding the critical role played by bees and pollination in ensuring food security for the planet.