A 2009 vintage of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris has been dedicated to IUCN in recognition of its work and to mark the International Year of Biodiversity (2010). Julia-Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN, whose headquarters are located near Geneva, received the wine from La Vigne des Nations from Canton Geneva’s official vineyard at a ceremony on 15 June.
Each year since 1995 the ‘Vigne des Nations’ awards a production of its State-owned grapes to one of the international organizations in the region, in appreciation of their work and to build strong links between the international and diplomatic community and the local population hosting them.
Geneva is home to 250 NGOs and 23 International organizations, many of which are agencies of the United Nations to which IUCN has Observer Status. The region also boasts a 2,000-year tradition of wine growing.
“This award honours the thousands of people and organizations working for the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity,” said Julia Marton-Lefèvre at the ceremony. “Just like a vineyard depends on a healthy ecosystem to produce high-quality wine, nature depends on healthy ecosystems to sustain humanity’s livelihoods”.
“In the international year of biodiversity, by dedicating the produce of its vineyard to IUCN, the State of Geneva wants to show its recognition for the invaluable contribution your institution brings to our community,” said Mrs Michèle Künzler, head of Canton Geneva’s Department of the Interior. “We are proud of maintaining, exploiting and introducing you to our unique heritage.”
The plot produces a maximum of 5,000 bottles each year, and Geneva’s state-owned vineyards are supported by a programme of environmentally-friendly innovations and research. Previous recipients of a dedication of the Vigne des Nations include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).