The Danone-Evian Fund for Water


On 27 January 1998, the then Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Mr. Delmar Blasco, signed the first partnership agreement between a global environmental convention and the private sector with Mr. Franck Riboud, CEO of the Danone Group, Yves Buchsenschutz, Director General of the Evian Water Company, France, part of the Danone Group, and Mrs. Dominique Voynet, French Minister for the Environment. The Danone–Evian Fund for Water was born. Its mission is to raise awareness among decision-makers and the public at large of the importance of water resources through a portfolio of projects and educational products.

This fund, the first of its type established with Danone–Evian, is based on a 5-year agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the Danone Group makes a contribution of € 250,000 per year towards a range of agreed activities to assist the Convention with the implementation of its strategic plan. Evian mineral water was the first private-sector partner of the Ramsar Convention.

The strategic pillars and objectives of the 2011-2015 agreement between the Danone Group, the Evian brand and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat include:

1. To enhance visibility and communication among the public at large of the Ramsar Convention and its mission, the wetlands activities undertaken with Danone–Evian, and the partnership itself;

2. To highlight the strengths and achievements of the partnership;

3. To develop together field-based projects intended to conserve and restore wetlands throughout the world.

Our achievements 

The main projects and activities accomplished thanks to the Danone–Evian Fund for Water include:

1. Resources for World Wetlands Day (WWD)

Thanks to financial support from Danone, each year communications materials for WWD – posters, information brochures, stickers, and children’s games – are produced in the Convention’s three official languages (English, French and Spanish). Each year, governmental bodies, non-governmental organizations and citizen groups from all levels of society receive this material in a range of different formats (paper, web, InDesign files) which they can then adapt to their local cultures and translate into their own languages.

See here the material developed for WWD 2014. Reports of previous World Wetlands Days are available here.  

2. Evian Catchment Area listed as a Ramsar Site 

The 2009 listing of the Evian Catchment Area “Impluvium” as a Ramsar Site was an acknowledgement of the decisions and activities put in place to protect this natural heritage site by different stakeholders including the Evian Water Company. Evian is the first natural mineral water whose catchment area has been recognized as a wetland of international importance (Ramsar Site no. 1833).

Maravant © Jean-Jacques Beley

The Association for the Protection of the Evian Mineral Water Catchment Area (APIEME) was created to protect the source of the water and to support activities intended to guarantee the long-term quality and purity of the natural mineral water. It is funded by the different stakeholders, including the Evian Water Company, the surrounding communes (Evian, Publier, Neuvecelle and Maxilly) and the Lake Léman communes.

evian® website

APIEME website

Evian tourist board website

IUCN Building Bridges News article (English, published 2014).

3. Support for the Ramsar Prize through the endowment of the Evian Special Prize

The Evian brand has supported the Ramsar Prize for Wetlands since its creation in 1999. It awards the three winners of the prize a reward of US$ 10,000, known as the “Evian Special Prize”. These prizes, given every three years during the Conference of the Parties, are awarded in three different categories: (1) Management (for activities that have considerably enhanced the long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands), (2) Wetland Science (for internationally-recognized contributions to wetland science), and (3) Education (for outstanding initiatives in the areas of communications, education, awareness-raising and participatory action for wetlands).

For more information about the Ramsar Prize and the Evian Special Prize and the winners, click here.

4. World Wetlands Day (WWD) in France with the French League for Bird Protection (LPO)

As part of World Wetlands Day in France, the Ramsar Secretariat collaborates closely with the Evian brand and the French League for Bird Protection (LPO), the official Birdlife representative in France, to prepare communications materials. These materials are intended to strengthen public activities organized on French soil. Since 2009 a brochure in French about WWD and its chosen theme is distributed to all participants in activities organized by the LPO (paper and e-brochure): 

A dedicated WWD website with a range of information about wetlands, the Convention, LPO, Evian and its listed “Impluvium” Ramsar site, as well as all the activities organized each 2 February can be found online in French at:

The LPO WWD 2014 video can be viewed here, in French:

Finally, a short film produced in 2012 to promote WWD in pictures can be viewed at:

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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