fondation total
entretien avec Guy Sallavuard


When and why did the Group create The Total Corporate Foundation for biodiversity and the sea?
It was in 1992, just after the Rio summit on the environment and sustainable development that The Total Corporate Foundation for biodiversity and the sea was created. This was in response to an expressed wish of the staff of the Group to see Total commit to the protection of the environment through sponsorship.

Alongside other operations, it expresses concretely that one of the community engagements of the Group is in favour of the environment and of sustainable development.

What is the Foundation’s mission?
The Foundation concentrates on the preservation of biodiversity, specifically in marine and coastal spaces.

The objectives of the Foundation are to:
- contribute to the protection of vulnerable areas,
- further knowledge by supporting scientific research programs on biodiversity and ecosystems,
- raise awareness and inform the public, particularly young people, of the stakes involved with regards to biodiversity,
- contribute to promoting an environmental culture amongst the Total teams.

In order to achieve these objectives, the Foundation puts the financial means of the Group at the disposal of public scientific parties and those from associations, who have both the drive and the ability to study and preserve the biodiversity of the sea.

How does the Foundation select the projects that it wishes to support?
The Foundation supports the projects proposed by the subsidiaries and workers of the group as well as by external partners. From a formal point of view, the projects proposed by the outside partners are submitted for approbation to the administration Council which is presided over by Thierry Desmarest, and composed of external scientists and representatives from Total.

The projects proposed by the subsidiaries and the personnel of the Group are validated by an evaluation committee bringing together collaborators who represent the different branches and sectors of the Group.

Regarding the contents of the projects, the Foundation favors three axes of intervention:
- research and reinforcement of the knowledge of marine and coastal ecosystems and the issues linked to their preservation.
- Raising awareness, for the spread of knowledge by fact-finding operations and education within and outside the Group.
- regeneration, to contribute to the maintenance of the biodiversity of fragile ecosystems, to preserve rare or endangered species which live there, and eradicate the invasive species.

Who are the partners that the Foundation works with?
The Foundation supports a number of partners such as the National History Museum (France), the national park of Port-Cros, the Conservatoire du littoral, IFREMER the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea, the World Conservation Union, the Sloan Foundation and other international scientific organizations.

Could you give examples of some projects supported by the Foundation?
Since its creation, the Foundation has supported more than 150 projects across the world in 40 countries.

To show some examples, I would cite the set up of a surveillance network for biodiversity on the Atlantic Coast of Brittany coordinated by Ifremer, the construction of educational paths to explore the mangroves in (French?)Guyana, Guadeloupe and Martinique with the Conservatoire du Littoral, the eradication of the invasive algae, Cauerpa Taxifolia, in the Mediterranean, the tracking and protection of marine turtles in Oman, the protection of dugong in the United Arab Emirates, the carrying out of an inventory of the ENTOMOFAUNA in Qatar, the inventory of sea life with the Sloan Foundation. These are some examples which illustrate the diversity of projects which are financed by the Foundation.

A brief overview of the Foundation:
• Over the past 15 years, it has supported more than 150 programs in 40 countries
• There are 25 ongoing projects which will be completed in 2007
• There has been an allocation of 8 million euros from the Group over the period of 2003-2007