Ponant wants to help protect wildlife and the environment areas like Leopold-Island (Image: Studio PONANT-Servane Roy Berton)
French luxury expedition cruise operator Ponant has created Ponant Foundation to support projects that are focused on developing innovative solutions for better understanding and protecting the oceans, polar regions and indigenous populations.
Established as part of Ponant’s efforts to increase sustainable tourism, the foundation will will focus on three key areas: supporting innovative ocean conservation initiatives, helping to develop scientific knowledge about the polar regions, and encouraging exchanges with indigenous populations.
Ponant will allocate a “substantial budget” to the foundation each year, enabling it to support multiple projects. The foundation will decide on a theme for projects each year and the funding recipients will be chosen by the board of directors, which comprise Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO and co-founder of Ponant; Véronique Albertini-Saadé, Ponant’s deputy CEO; Nicolas Dubreuil, director of Expedition Cruises and Sustainable Development for Ponant; and Aurore Asso, World Vice-Champion in team freediving, a documentary maker and an agricultural engineer.
“Well aware of the challenges and the scale of the task, we remain true to our belief as sailors eager to share our passion for the oceans,” said Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of Ponant and member of the Ponant Foundation’s board of directors. “Thirty years after the company was created, that same philosophy still drives each and every one of us today: we protect best what we know best.”
In 2019, the foundation will support Aldabra Clean Up, a project led by the Seychelles Islands Foundation and Oxford University to fight plastic pollution in the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles. Funding will also be provided for Conservation International’s project to protect New Caledonia’s coral reef and the Antarctic’s humpback whales, Plastic Odyssey’s initiative to boost plastic recycling and Pure Ocean’s applied research projects to protect oceans and the people who depend on them. In addition, the Ponant Foundation is also funding a visit by a young Greenlander to its head office in France to encourage cultural exchanges and offer her a foothold into the world of work.
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