In conjunction with International Women’s Day, Guerlain and UNESCO announced the official launch of “Women for Bees”, a groundbreaking female beekeeping entrepreneurship program conducted with support from the French Observatory of Apidology (OFA).
The five-year program will be deployed in UNESCO biosphere reserves and train women beekeepers from around the world to create and manage sustainable apiaries. These entrepreneurs will help strengthen local biodiversity and will in turn cascade their know-how to others.
This stellar initiative will also generate income and improve food security for populations in areas with minimal agricultural production. The program calls for the creation of 2,500 hives in 25 UNESCO biosphere reserves by 2025, with restocking of 125 million bees.
Guerlain muse Angelina Jolie will be the godmother of the 2021 class and will meet the beekeepers and follow their progress throughout this inaugural year. “When women gain skills and knowledge, their instinct is to help raise others,” said Angelina Jolie.
Angelina Jolie created the MJP Foundation in Cambodia in 2003, which is dedicated to alleviating extreme rural poverty, protecting the environment and conserving wildlife. The partnership between Angelina Jolie and Guerlain was born in Cambodia in 2016. “Guerlain have a genuine commitment to the environment, sustainable development and the communities they work with. That’s what brought us together, and ‘Women for Bees’ is a wonderful extension of that.”
This program is part of a broad partnership between UNESCO and LVMH.
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General said: “This program encourages women to be ‘designers of change’, to create, educate and experiment with sustainable beekeeping as a way of living on Earth in harmony with other species. Such is the spirit of our commitment to biodiversity and the purpose of our global partnership with LVMH.”
Guerlain has been committed for over 14 years In the Name of Beauty to helping create a more beautiful and more sustainable world, with the bee as a sentinel. This commitment is motivated by a duty to act and pass on the wonders of nature to future generations. Guerlain Chief Executive Officer Véronique Courtois said: “I’m very proud of the Guerlain x UNESCO Women for Bees program, which combines two core pillars of our Maison, protection of bees and the empowerment of women. Every organization has a role to play to work towards a more beautiful and responsible world. Guerlain is eager to contribute with both humility and deep conviction.”
Across the globe women are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which multiplies the challenges they face in their daily lives. As the United Nations has shown, taking action to support gender equality is a pillar of a more peaceful, more prosperous and more sustainable world.
The Guerlain x UNESCO “Women for Bees” program aims to make a concrete contribution to promoting diversity, to protecting biodiversity and to inspiring young generations.