GUCCI’S LION’S SHARE: Gucci is once again raising funds to combat the changes in nature and biodiversity globally. To this end, the Italian company has joined the Lion’s Share Fund — the first fashion and luxury brand to adhere.

Led by the United Nations Development Programme and a coalition of businesses, the fund aims to raise more than $100 million a year within the next five years for animal conservation, biodiversity and climate by asking brands to contribute 0.5 percent of their media spend every time an animal is featured in their advertisements.

“The Lion’s Share Fund is an important addition to our conservation strategy,” said president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri. “Nature and wildlife provide Gucci with inspired creation that is an integral part of our narrative through our collections and campaigns. With the increasing threats to the planet’s biodiversity, groundbreaking initiatives like the Lion’s Share Fund have the potential to be transformative by organically connecting the business community with direct action to protect our natural habitats and most threatened species.”

Launched in September 2018, the fund has already provided a grant to improve critical radio systems for law enforcement officers protecting wildlife in Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve. It has also helped reduce the elephant poaching rate in the reserve to zero, and provided a grant to help secure land for endangered orangutans, elephants and tigers in North Sumatra in Indonesia.

“This partnership with Gucci marks the continuing evolution of this innovative fund, which provides a unique opportunity for brands across all industries to join forces and help preserve and protect biodiversity across the globe,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP administrator. “Wildlife populations are half the size they were just 50 years ago, and their habitats and ecosystems destroyed at an unprecedented rate due to human activity. The Lion’s Share is an idea that is as innovative as it is simple — and it makes a real impact on wildlife conservation.”

Animals appear in about 20 percent of all advertisements in the world, according to Gucci, “yet despite this, animals do not always receive the support they deserve. The Lion’s Share gives brands the opportunity to take urgent and significant action and play their part in protecting our planet.”

In September, Gucci and parent group Kering revealed they were committing to becoming carbon neutral across the board and throughout their entire supply chain.

Gucci is also taking action and is supporting REDD+ projects and investing $8.4 million in the Peruvian Amazon, in Kenya, in Indonesia and in Cambodia, as reported. (REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation.)

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