4 February 2022 • ACTUALITÉS

3 Questions to Amandine Hersant, Executive Director of Planète Urgence

Planète Urgence has just celebrated its 20th birthday, what is your assessment of the past 20 years? 

Planète Urgence was born from the conviction – daring at the time – that the world of solidarity and that of business could help each other and the 20 years that have just passed have proved it right: we are now all convinced that the Sustainable Development Goals will only be achieved thanks to the collaboration of all! 

The origin of the association dates back to 1992 in the midst of the Gulf War, in a field of intervention by a large humanitarian NGO, where experience has shown that the sharing of specific skills of employees could be a real lever of success for solidarity actions. The association was then created around the Congé Solidaire® which is still today and more than ever a means of strengthening local development actors but also a great opportunity to engage citizens and companies on the objectives of sustainable development.  

Then in 2006, while we were working to build the capacity of communities on the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia, we saw the communities very weakened following the tsunami, the impact of which was aggravated by the disappearance of the mangroves. We understood the urgency of having an integrated response between the strengthening of women, men and the preservation of natural spaces. 

20 years later, we work with a hundred partners from 15 countries, we have enabled more than 10,000 volunteers to participate in our associative mission and we support local collectives in Madagascar, Cameroon and Indonesia to strengthen their solutions based on the forest in favor of the climate, biodiversity and the resilience of the territories. 

 

What are the singularities of Planète Urgence ?

With the hindsight of these 20 years, I believe that we have 3 elements that distinguish us, beyond the classic actions of NGOs for international solidarity and forest preservation: 

We have a pragmatic approach to social and environmental issues and provide extremely local responses thanks to our teams based in 8 different countries. This allows us to build concrete projects in close proximity with local actors in particularly fragile areas. 

When we work on development projects, we realize the importance of having an integrated approach and approaching a problem in all its complexity. At Planète Urgence, we act at three levels: on the preservation of forests and biodiversity; on local economic development and environmental awareness – particularly in schools. 

Finally, we work with hundreds of French and international companies, and we allow them to concretely engage their employees in international solidarity, through Congé Solidaire® but also e-volunteering. 

 

And how do you see the year 2021 coming up? 

2021 will probably be another difficult year in our daily lives, and particularly for NGOs which will have to manage growing social, climatic and environmental issues with uncertain means. This context requires us to redouble our energy to strengthen people for a united and sustainable planet, and we will do it. I also believe that 2021 can be a year of metamorphosis. Last year, we abruptly changed our ways of being, as we saw through more sober consumption, political elections favourable to ecology and living together… 

 

In 2021, I think we are going to touch on being and this can really bring about a profound transformation of our society. In any case, I wish! 

 

 

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