At the origin of artisanal skills, there is often a raw material, a resource that is extracted, gathered and transformed by artisans. This process takes place in territories and ecosystems that they have learned to care for, so that their work may be as sustainable as possible. The findings of scientific research are also crucial in our understanding of human impacts on biodiversity, now and in the future. The Foundation’s partnership with the Iddri was prompted by these observations, as well as a series of fruitful exchanges between two institutions that complement each other and share the same values, the same vision of a more sustainable world.
The need to make findings on biodiversity available to the wider public, and to mobilise all economic actors, led the two foundations to launch a joint programme that has already gone through several stages of development. Initially, between 2009 and 2012, the research funding concentrated on “market instruments, economic appraisals and public policies”. It then shifted focus, between 2013 and 2015, to a new programme entitled "Invaluable", which aims to critically analyse the role played by market instruments in the choices of political decision makers. Since then, this research funding has targeted the issue of “local biodiversity and the governance of global value chains”.
The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès has hosted numerous conferences alongside the Iddri, bringing researchers together to explore common problems and share scientific progress with the public. These have included “Biodiversity 2010: what next?” in 2010, “Politicians versus nature? Towards reform of harmful biodiversity subsidies” in 2012, and “Innovation to the rescue of biodiversity?” in 2014.
Finally, the Iddri has accompagnied the Foundation with two international calls for projects. The first one (2011-2012) was all about encouraging innovative interfaces between local producers and consumers, with a particular focus on the artisan skills employed in local production techniques and their role in the preservation of biodiversity. The projects chosen were "Micromegas" (France – Morocco) by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier and "From Biocultural Community Protocols to the Ark of Livestock Biodiversity" (India – Pakistan – Kenya) from the League for Pastoral Peoples and Endogenous Livestock Development. The projects chosen following the second call for projects (2014-2015), on the theme of ‘Biodiversity and local knowledge: adaptation strategies and the heterogeneity of local knowledge in the face of standardisation’, were "The Traditional Farming System of Rio Negro, Northwest Brazil" by the Development Research Institute (France), "FloreS" by the University of Lausanne – Swiss Institute of Geography and Sustainability and "RESEMINA" by Swissaid, Colombia Programme.
A conference entitled “Reducing imported deforestation: what impacts on consumption and policy choices in Europe and France?” was held at Sciences Po Paris on November 16, 2017.