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 for another 30 years of conservation philanthropy. André Hoffmann, his son, became MAVA President in 2010, leading the small team of dedicated people who now make up our organisation.

“Conservation is not the protection of nature against human development, but the preservation of life supporting systems and processes as a basis for a lasting development.”

Luc Hoffmann, MAVA Founder

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 a major donor to global conservation.

Our approach has always been to work through partnerships rather than implement projects in our own right. Since we started, we have supported more than 750 projects, implemented by over 300 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: Switzerland, the Mediterranean Basin and West Africa. In each place we have strived to help build extensive conservation capacity, to create and support conservation institutions and influence policy. Our fourth programme, the Sustainable Economy programme, provides opportunities to affect global trends and have an impact that goes beyond our priority regions.