Climate action: LVMH and CBA introduce regenerative project for cotton agroforestry in Africa
08 Nov 2022 --- As the COP27 climate summit commenced in Egypt yesterday, world leaders set an urgent tone for the two-week event, heaving on the world to collectively combat global warming. In a bid to do its part, LVMH announced a new project in collaboration with Circular Bioeconomy Alliance (CBA) to develop environmentally sustainable cotton production in Africa in a regenerative agroforestry system.
Part of the Great Green Wall project – an initiative to increase the amount of arable land in the Sahel, the region bordering Africa’s Sahara Desert – LVMH will support CBA’s Living Lab in Lake Chad, Central Africa.
The collaboration between CBA – established in 2020 by His Majesty King Charles III when he was the Prince of Wales – and the French luxury goods conglomerate brings together local governments, research organizations and a diversity of partners from multiple areas of expertise. This joint effort includes the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Reforest’Action, European Forest Institute and Pretaterra.
“Through its Life360 environmental strategy, LVMH has committed to making the protection of biodiversity and fighting climate change an absolute priority,” says Hélène Valade, LVMH’s environmental development director.
“LVMH has set the target to implement regenerative agriculture in all strategic supply chains and to preserve 5 million hectares of land by 2030. Already supporting regenerative cotton production in Turkey, LVMH is proud to support its new project in Chad to preserve local biodiversity and fight climate change and desertification.”
Living Lab in Lake Chad
CBA’s Living Lab uses a landscape restoration project as the starting point to catalyze the development of circular bioeconomy value chains while restoring biodiversity and local livelihoods.
“This is a very special project for the CBA as we demonstrate how the need to decarbonize economic sectors like the fashion industry can act as a catalyst to restore degraded landscapes – turning them into regenerative ones while providing jobs, prosperity and hope to Africa,” says Marc Palahí, chair at CBA.
“The climate-poverty-land degradation crisis affecting Africa requires holistic approaches, connecting regenerative landscapes to sustainable markets.”
With the support of LVMH, Living Lab in Chad will focus on improving soil fertility and water retention, increasing biodiversity while boosting local farmer income. The project also aims to support access to equipment and advanced technologies, better existing cotton value chains and create a market for complementary crops.
“The IRC has seen first-hand the growing toll of climate change across Africa – and the significance of innovative programs like this one for the millions already living with the consequences,” says David Miliband, president and CEO at International Rescue Committee.
Climate urgency at COP27
On the opening day of COP27, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the delegates present to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels and speed funding to poorer countries struggling under climate impacts that have already occurred. “Humanity has a choice: Cooperate or perish,” he said.
“People in Africa, South Asia, South and Central America and the inhabitants of small island states are 15 times more likely to die from climate disasters. These disasters displace three times more people than war. And the situation is getting worse,” he underscored while unveiling a US$3.1 billion plan to achieve early warning systems for all by 2027.
PersonalCareInsights had previously reported on the UN’s Adaptation Gap report published ahead of COP27.
Inger Andersen, executive director at United Nations Environment Programme, emphasized the international community “must urgently increase efforts” to adapt to climate change impacts that are here and for those to come and “must urgently decrease” greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through a transformation of energy, industry, transport, financial systems and much more.
Additionally, Unilever flagged that the world must halve GHG emissions by 2030 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. “Already, extreme weather events have disrupted global supply chains and adversely affected the livelihoods of smallholder farmers,” the company stressed.
In light of the ongoing climate crisis, the LVMH collaboration with CBA is an initiative to protect biodiversity and combat the effects and industrial impacts of global warming.
By Radhika Sikaria
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