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UNESCO & LVMH expand their joint Amazon initiative

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-05-26 09:38:26 – France

LVMH and UNESCO MAB (Man and Biosphere) recently announced the commencement of a joint initiative to prevent deforestation in the Amazon, which is a huge danger to the region's fragile ecosystems.

The initiative is part of the Group's own environmental programme, LIFE 360 (LVMH Initiatives For the Environment), which aims to contribute to the restoration of five million hectares of habitat for flora and wildlife throughout the world while also reducing the environmental effect of its operations.

LVMH and UNESCO announced two sustainability initiatives within biosphere reserves in Bolivia and Ecuador to commemorate the International Day for Biological Diversity, demonstrating how their collaborative effort to protect the Amazon Basin is being implemented on the ground.

The LVMH and UNESCO cooperation in the Amazon, which has a budget of 5 million euros over 5 years, strives to combine environmental conservation and sustainable development while respecting indigenous cultural settings. Reforestation and rehabilitation of degraded lands, as well as the provision of sustainable employment and alternative sources of income for local inhabitants that do not require deforestation, were previously cited as two important challenges.

The first of these objectives is being addressed through a project in Bolivia's UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Beni. The goal is to supply seeds of high-quality native wood species (mahogany) and crops (plantain, coffee, cocoa, and citrus) to families living in four Reserve villages, allowing them to establish agroforestry systems based on fallow lands.

This effort will not only encourage a long-term, sustainable economic activity for indigenous and local peoples, but it will also help to prevent fires – another significant danger to Amazon ecosystems – by avoiding slash-and-burn cycles in other places.

The second initiative focuses on youth empowerment in Ecuador's UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Yasuní. People in the Limoncocha community of the reserve don't have access to basic utilities like water, sanitary systems, or waste treatment, and plastic pollution has become a major issue in the area's rivers.

The Mushuk Sacha (ASORECMUSA) recycling organisation, founded by young people in 2019, collects and turns plastic into new materials, creating jobs and money for local and indigenous youth while also promoting awareness about the necessity of garbage management for ecosystem conservation.

The organization will be able to diversify its recycled plastic product production by enhancing its technical and marketing abilities, as well as upgrading its collecting and transformation infrastructure, with the help of LVMH and UNESCO. A four-day training program for young participants will be developed and implemented, with the project directly benefiting and employing 23 young people in the community.

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