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  • Writer's pictureXPEDITION Magazine

Guerlain and UNESCO celebrate first class of female beekeepers in “Women for Bees” program

Guerlain has teamed with UNESCO for its “Women for Bees” program with support from French beekeeper training center the Observatoire Français d’Apidologie (OFA). Angelina Jolie is the godmother of the program. The first promotion of women has completed a month of training to learn the theory and practice of beekeeping. On July 20 and 21, Guerlain presented its broad range of commitments to protecting biodiversity and passing on the wonders of nature to future generations.

For over 14 years Guerlain has made preserving nature and its wonders a pillar of its activities. The Maison is now going further with the “Women for Bees” program, a perfect illustration of initiatives that fuse female entrepreneurship with the preservation of bees. The first cohort for this groundbreaking beekeeper training program counted eight women. Aggelina, Charlotte, Dorothée, Léopoldine, Lorène, Maël and Oriane have successfully completed their training, which began on 21 June 2021 at the Observatoire Français d’Apidologie (OFA) in the Sainte-Baume mountain ridge in the Provence region. Working with OFA experts, they learned how to create and manage a sustainable apiary. Thanks to this training, these entrepreneurs will join a global community of women beekeepers, contributing to the preservation of biodiversity and passing on their skills to others.

These committed women received their degrees on July 21 at the OFA during a ceremony attended by Véronique Courtois, CEO of Guerlain, Noëline Raondry Rakotoarisoa, Director of the UNESCO Ecological and Earth Sciences Division and head of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program, Guerlain muse and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and Thierry Dufresne, founder and President of the OFA.

The program’s exceptional Godmother met the beekeepers after their intensive one-month course. “Guerlain has a genuine commitment to the environment, sustainable development and the communities they work with. That’s what brought us together, and ‘Women for Bees’ is a wonderful extension of that,” said Angelina Jolie, who has been a Guerlain muse since 2016.

The “Women for Bees” program will be implemented in UNESCO biosphere reserves. In the coming years it will train female beekeepers around the world, from Russia to Ethiopia and Cambodia. “By 2025 this partnership will have established 2,500 hives in 25 UNESCO biosphere reserves, repopulating some 125 million bees. The 50 women who will have completed the program will be trained and supported as they create their own apiaries while contributing to a vital initiative with tangible positive social impact,” said Véronique Courtois.

The Guerlain x UNESCO “Women for Bees” program is the first initiative deployed within a broad partnership between LVMH and UNESCO. The Group is partner to the agency’s Man and Biosphere intergovernmental scientific program. As Antoine Arnault, LVMH Image and Communications notes: “Guerlain was the first LVMH Maison to launch an initiative within the scope of this partnership. The “Women for Bees” program with UNESCO and in collaboration with OFA is an important milestone in Guerlain’s commitment to empowering women, protecting bees and, more broadly, taking actions with positive impact.”


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