Biodiversity & Ecosystems

A commitment to the preservation of biodiversity
Fostering a harmonious relationship between humans and ecosystems. Taking inspiration from populations who are as one with fragile ecosystems, who call upon ancient practical skills to make use of raw materials and resources. And focusing the Foundation’s activities on making more information and training available on sustainable practices for growing crops, breeding livestock and developing the built environment.
© Brainseeders
© L'Atelier Paysan

A commitment to prioritising local gestures and knowledge. The transmission of respectful trades and skills that transform matter, but also of a world capable of responding to the needs of future generations. “The love of creation, in harmony with nature.” This is the trajectory followed by the actions of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, both upstream – by supporting research – and via targeted interventions out in the field.

These actions, whether upstream or out in the field, are made possible thanks to the Foundation’s partnerships and as a direct result of an ongoing dialogue with a variety of other entities, aimed at transmitting precious biological diversity.

Back in 2008, in the year of its birth, the Foundation established a partnership and dialogue with the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (Iddri), a think tank founded by Laurence Tubiana. The institute acts as an interface between research and decision-making, shedding light on the political and international issues related to sustainable development and global governance. The fruits of the partnership can be seen in a cycle of annual conferences aimed at encouraging mobilisation and improving our appreciation of biodiversity-related issues, which also provide a platform for public researchers to share their findings. 

© Iddri
"Observacteurs", Vigie-Nature, 2016 © Ophélie Ricci - Natureparif

In 2016, the Foundation initiated a partnership with the WWF, as part of the latter’s Africa-TWIX programme (Africa - Trade in Wildlife Information Exchange). Five countries in central Africa have signed up to the programme, which is leading the fight against the trafficking of wild species through the use of a digital information and training platform. Support has also been provided for the Brainseeders Association in Morocco, which provides training on the transmission of technical skills in areas such as water management, soil rehabilitation and the development of sustainable habitats, and the French National Commission for UNESCO, for a travelling exhibition entitled "Earthen Architecture Today" and its accompanying workshop “Earthen construction: workshops on the technique of rammed earth”, developed as part of the TERRA Award – COP22.

Because the biodiversity that we encounter in our everyday lives is also threatened by global warming, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès committed in 2019 to supporting two initiatives based within France: a participatory science project that seeks to observe and monitor the nature that surrounds us, and a cooperative that promotes sustainable practices amongst farmers. The Foundation accompanies Vigie-Nature École, a project conceived for pupils in schools and spearheaded by the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. Thanks to the project’s rigorous observation protocols, schoolchildren from primary education onwards can gather data on pollinating insects, birds and wild plants that are then transmitted to researchers for analysis. Vigie-Nature École offers a playful means of engaging young people with their environment by inviting them to participate in a scientific effort that is essential for understanding the consequences of global climatic changes. It is also in response to these phenomena that the Foundation supports L’Atelier Paysan, a French co-operative that accompanies farmers in the design and manufacture of tools and buildings adapted to small-scale agroecology. By reintegrating craft into the agricultural world, this collective encourages the revival of specialised skills and techniques – such as animal traction – that are respectful of the natural environment. Such changes in the world of farming are essential for ensuring the preservation of rural biodiversity.

Supported projects

See also