16 February 2021
Planète Urgence has just celebrated its 20th anniversary. What is your assessment of the last 20 years?
Planète Urgence was born out of the conviction - a daring one at the time - that the world of solidarity and the world 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 Objectives will only be achieved thanks to the collaboration of everyone !
The origin of the association dates back in 1992 in the middle of the Gulf War, in the field of intervention of a large humanitarian NGO, where experience has shown that sharing the specific skills of employees could be a real lever of success for solidarity actions. The association was then created around the concept of Congé Solidaire® (solidarity leave) which is still today, more than ever, a means of strengthening local development players but also a tremendous opportunity to engage citizens and companies in the objectives of sustainable development.
Then in 2006, while we were working to build the capacities of communities on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, we saw the communities that had been made very fragile by the tsunami, whose impact was aggravated by the disappearance of mangroves. We understood the urgency of having an integrated response between the strengthening of women and men and the preservation of natural spaces/strong>.
220 years later, we are working with a hundred or so partners in 15 countries, we have enabled more than 10,000 volunteers to participate in our associative mission, and we are supporting local collectives in Madagascar, Cameroon and Indonesia to strengthen their forest-based solutions in favor of climate, biodiversity and the resilience of territories.
What makes Planète Urgence unique ?
Looking back over these 20 years, I believe that we have 3 elements that set us apart, beyond the classic actions of NGOs for international solidarity and forest preservation :
We have a pragmatic approach of social and environmental issues and provide extremely local responses thanks to our teams based in 8 different countries. This enables us to build concrete projects in close proximity to local players in particularly fragile areas.
When we work on development projects, we realize the importance of having an integrated way and approaching a problem in all its complexity. . At Planète Urgence, we act on three levels : on the preservation of forests and biodiversity ; on local economic development and on environmental awareness – particularly in schools.
Finally, we work with hundreds of French and international companies, and we enable them to concretely engage their employees ininternational solidarity,through theCongé Solidaire® (solidarity leave) but also throughe-volunteering.
And how do you see the year 2021 ahead?
2021 will probably be another difficult year in our daily lives, especially for NGOs, which will have to manage growing social, climate and environmental issues with uncertain means. This context requires us to redouble our energy to strengthen people for a sustainable and supportive planet,and we will do so.
I also believe that 2021 can be a year of metamorphosis.Last year, we have abruptly changed our way of being, as we have seen through more sober consumption, political elections favorable toecology and to living together... In 2021, I think we are going to touch being and this can really bring about a profound transformation of our society. In any case, I hope so !