Learn More About the Foundation
Dr Luc Hoffmann established MAVA in 1994 as an expression of his long personal commitment to conservation. Its creation anchored a lifetime’s work inside a legal structure, providing a base from which the next Hoffmann generation could continue in the founder’s footsteps. André Hoffmann, his son, became MAVA President in 2010, leading the small team of dedicated people who now make up our organisation.
We are a family-led, Swiss-based philanthropic foundation with an exclusive focus on the conservation of biodiversity. What began as Luc Hoffmann and a part-time assistant, has grown to become one of Europe’s main environmental foundations and a major donor to global conservation.
Our philosophy has always been to work through partnerships rather than implement projects in our own right. Since we started, we have supported more than 560 projects, implemented by over 220 different organisations. These include international and local NGOs, research institutions, universities and occasionally government bodies or individuals.
We have four different programmes. Three are region-based: the Alpine Arc and Switzerland, the Mediterranean Basin and Coastal West Africa. In each place we have strived to help build extensive conservation capacity, to create and support conservation institutions and influence policy. Along the way, we have gained a solid understanding of the issues and threats involved and have grown to become a significant conservation donor in these three regions.
Addressing policy frameworks – the “rules of the game”- is also necessary to ensure long lasting impact of the regional projects we support. Our fourth programme, the Sustainable Economy programme, provides opportunities to affect global trends and have an impact that goes beyond our priority regions. The programme explores how to ensure economic prosperity, within the resources of one planet, addressing the issue of overconsumption of natural resources beyond their capacity to regenerate.
We also fund other work that reaches beyond our four programmes through our global portfolio of projects.