29/08/17 – Advocating for sustainable agriculture in Switzerland

In view of the upcoming referenda in Switzerland on food security on 24 September 2017, BirdLife Switzerland, Greenpeace Switzerland, ProNatura and WWF Switzerland have come together and formed an ‘Alliance for an ecological agriculture’. This Alliance advocates for an agricultural and agri-food policy that promotes less intensive and more sustainable agriculture in Switzerland thus ensuring healthy, tasty and safe food.

With support from MAVA, the Alliance will be working to inform the Swiss population about the importance of preserving their agricultural land and not overexploiting the local ecosystems.

More information (in French and German) here.

29/08/17 – Encouraging results further to WAZA educational campaign

WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums)  and its member zoos and aquariums – with their level of public support, credibility and experience in fostering a connection between visitors and the animals in their care – are well positioned to help educate the public about protecting biodiversity. This was recently demonstrated through a global awareness campaign supported by MAVA, in conjunction with the global UN focus on biodiversity conservation for the next 10 years, called the “Decade on Biodiversity” for which WAZA signed up as formal partner.

With a selection of zoos and aquariums in different regions, a modular set of tools has been developed as a recognizable framework, but adaptable to regional, cultural and individual institutional situations. Raising awareness about biodiversity and the potential individual contribution to its conservation was the overall goal of this project.

Several papers have been published highlighting the interesting and encouraging results of this campaign. Download the articles here.

More on Biodiversity is Us campaign here.

16/08/17 - The devil ray’s future is in the details: Gaza research aims to protect the endangered devil ray

Mobula mobular is listed as an ‘Endangered’ species in IUCN’s Red List and is protected under several other Mediterranean-wide conventions, most countries refrain from catching this species. Because of their protected status, low commercial value and highly elusive nature, very little is known about the species and this population inhabiting the Mediterranean. The need to gather more information about the Mobula mobular aggregations off Gaza lead a local scientist (Mohammed Abu Daya of the National Research Center) to assemble a team of local and international experts with the support of the MAVA Foundation to gather and analyze information from the existing fishery with the objective of learning as much as possible about these rays, and with the ultimate goal of gaining them national protection. The research has monitored all elasmobranch catches in Gaza for 2 years, placed a few satellite tags on some rays to learn about their cruising patterns and ecological preferences, and has raised significant awareness about the ‘Endangered’ status of Mobula mobular.

Read the article here.

31/07/17 - Call for proposals: conservation of seagrass beds in West Africa


MAVA is launching a call for proposals for the conservation of seagrass beds in West Africa. The deadline for submission is 15th October 2017.

A single multi-stakeholder and regional project will be selected. You will find all necessary information in the ToRs.

Applicants are invited to submit a proposal by filling in the following canvas:

Project proposal

Budget and Budget instructions

14/07/17 - Call for proposal: MAVA intergenerational leadership programme

Let’s develop and implement a dual approach with young and senior professionals for developing young talents within MAVA partners

The MAVA Foundation is launching a call for proposals to develop and implement a tailor-made intergenerational leadership program. As MAVA will phase out of its funding to all partners by 2022, this new programme will be a key component of its strategy, building institutional resilience within MAVA partner organisations by supporting the professional development of young talents. We are looking for the organisation, or consortium of organisations, that will develop and implement this innovative programme for the value CHF 3 million over the next 4 years.

How to Apply?
Applicants are invited to consult the Call ‘MAVA intergenerational leadership programme – Development & implementation’ which is available in English.
Applications should be submitted in English using the MAVA Foundation Concept Note Template.

Short listed applicants (maximum of 3) will be invited for an interview.
Questions on this call can be addressed to:
The closing date for the submission of applications is Friday, 29 September 2017 at midnight CET. Applications can be addressed to:

10/07/17 - Gediz Delta in Turkey under major threat

Gediz Delta in western Turkey, one of the prime wetlands for Greater Flamingos in the world, is under major threat due to a proposed mega bridge project. Doga and other civil society organisations in Turkey opened a court case asking for the cancellation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, recently approved by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation of Turkey.

Gediz Delta, a Ramsar Site since 1998, is known to host around seven percent of the world population, and up to 30 percent of the European population of Greater Flamingos, during breeding and wintering seasons. Annually, 15 thousand pairs flamingos nest at the Gediz Delta, along with several threatened species such as the Dalmatian Pelican.

Doga has been working in the Gediz Delta since it was established in 2002, in cooperation with Tour du Valat and other allies, and MAVA has been supporting some of its work of the past years.

More details here.

20/06/17 - New horizons for the Luc Hoffmann Institute

A new strategy for the Luc Hoffmann Institute, which MAVA has agreed to fund for three years, was unveiled on 19 June during a gathering of colleagues and partners organisations.

The Institute was created by WWF and MAVA in 2011 to create stronger links between biodiversity science and conservation action. Since then it has worked closely with WWF and a range of partners on a diverse portfolio of projects.

“We need to broker new relationships between scientists, policy-makers and practitioners. Conservation needs a fresh perspective, one that challenges the ‘status quo’ to identify innovative roadmaps for change. This will be the new focus of the Luc Hoffmann Institute.” says Dr Jon Hutton, Director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

More information available here.

16/06/17 - Bačko Podunavlje declared new UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Serbia

MAVA welcomes the decision of the International coordination council of the UNESCO „Man and Biosphere“ program to include the the Backo Podunavlje biosphere reserve into their World List of Biosphere Reserves, at their Paris session on 14 June 2017.

Backo Podunavlje reserve is at the north-west of Vojvodina region, and is part of the „European Amazon“, one of the most undisturbed marshes and swamp regions in the whole course of the Danube river. This unique landscape is of precious biological diversity and is home to rare occurences such as river islands, straits and sandy river shores.

This decision is a very significant step in forming the cross-boundary Mura-Drava-Danube reserve, the first of its kind, spreading across five countries: Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria. MAVA has been supporting WWF-Austria’s work on this subject for several years and congratulates them for their hard work.

15/06/17 – MAVA as Core Philanthropic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

We proud to be supporting the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as core partners since today. As Holger Schmid, Director of MAVA’s Sustainable Economy Programme says: “An economy that uses resources without consideration for our planet’s natural limits cannot continue. Our aim is to help policymakers and businesses alike realise the staggering benefits of a circular economy within natural limits – across human, natural and financial capital. Having supported the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in several successful projects since 2014, we are delighted to further our partnership, to help strengthen the organisation and its work across the scope of the circular economy.”

More info here.

13/06/17 - Mediterranean Pastures recognised in the EU Common Agriculture Policy

After several years of intensive lobbying from all the organisations involved (among others the EFNCP, WWF Spain, Transhumacia y Naturaleza, the Spanish Platform for Extensive Grazing and Pastoralism, FEDEHESA), the Commission of Agriculture of the European Parliament has proposed some amendments to the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) through the so-called Omnibus regulation. The following justification in particular, included in the amendments, is a crucial step forward for the work of MAVA’s partners on the Mediterranean pastures:

“The pastures in the Mediterranean countries have a very important component of woody species that are not taken into consideration in the actual definition of permanent pastures. Many of these woody pastures are of great environmental importance because of the diversity of habitats they offer to wild flora and fauna and their role in biodiversity conservation, soil protection, erosion and carbon storage. The exclusion of those pastures has a very environmental negative effect.”

Full details available here.

After receiving the Parliament and Council’s amendment proposals, the EU Commission hopes to reach an agreement between the 3 institutions. If so, the new package will enter into force 1 January 2018.

MAVA congratulates all those involved for their hard work in helping to highlight the importance of pastures in the Mediterranean region in particular.

29/05/17 - New team member joins the MAVA family!

Ms Marie Madeleine Gomez joined MAVA’s regional office in Dakar in May 2017 to manage the foundation’s West Africa portfolio on fisheries policy and conservation. Her role is to drive the development of multi-stakeholder action plans and assist partners in identifying and implementing projects related to overfishing and the effective management of critical biodiversity sites. Prior to joining MAVA, Marie worked for an intergovernmental fisheries cooperation institution (SFRC) as assistant programmer for scientific research on small pelagics in West Africa. And before that, she held various coordination roles on integrated marine and coastal resource management projects and capacity building for artisanal fisheries actors.
Join us in welcoming her to the MAVA team. She can be reached at

13/04/17 - MAVA’s 2016 Annual Report is out!

We are delighted to be able to present MAVA’s 2016 Annual Report! In this edition, we pay tribute to our founder, Luc Hoffmann, who passed away in July 2016 and whose vision still guides and inspires us today. You will also discover stories on some people who particularly inspired us in 2016 and learn more about the successes of some of our partners’ projects.

The report is available in pdf or online.

03/04/17 - Call for proposal: consultancy Orango Parque Hotel

MAVA is launching a new call for proposal for a consultancy on the management of a tourist infrastructure within a protected area in the Bijagos archipelago in Guinea-Bissau. Details on the consultancy and the submission process can be found here.

The application deadline is 30 April 2017.

20/03/17 - Call for proposal: Building public sector expertise on the deployment of sustainable infrastructure

The MAVA Foundation is launching a call for proposals to build public sector expertise in preparing, procuring, de-risking and financing sustainable infrastructure projects.

The MAVA Foundation will award one grant each, to two different recipients.  Each grant will be of the value CHF 500,000.  We seek proposals that cover 2 years of activity.

How to Apply?

Applicants are invited to consult the Call ‘Building public sector expertise on the deployment of sustainable infrastructure’ which is available in French and English.

Applications should be submitted using the MAVA Foundation Concept Note Template, which is available in French and English.  Applicants can use either language template to develop their proposal.

Short listed applicants will be invited for an interview and to submit a full application.

Questions on this call can be addressed to:

The closing date for the submission of applications is Monday, 22 May 2017 at midnight CET. Applications can be addressed to:

21/02/17 - Prespa Transboundary Park agreement ratified

The Prespa Transboundary Park agreement was recently ratified by Greece. This ratification comes seven years after the three states sharing the Prespa basin joined with the European Union and signed the International Agreement for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park Area. The Agreement had remained inactive until now because the Greek side had not ratified it.

This is a major step forward for the conservation of the region and a great victory for the organisations  – EuroNatur, Frankfurt Zoological Society, KORA, MES, Plantlife, PPNEA and the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) –  who have been working hard on this for the past years.

The Park aims to protect the ecological values of the area through collaboration between the three states, and also to promote the economic prosperity of the local communities in the three countries. The Transboundary Prespa Park is the first transboundary protected area in the Balkans.

14/02/17 – New circular design guide

IDEO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation recently released the first thinking guide for the circular design, with the support of MAVA. Created to drive awareness of the circular economy, the practical guide encourages innovators, entrepreneurs and corporate change-makers to ask new questions about value creation and long-term business health, and apply circular principles to their own organisations.

Have a look at this interesting guide here.

01/02/17 – Innovating conservation finance

Financing is a recurring a key issue in conservation. Therefore, MAVA has paid special attention to this subject in its new strategy, the aim being notably to ensure sustainability of its impacts. This is a complex subject with no unique solution : each situation requires a specific approach involving a mix of complementary mechanisms. In order to better identify the most innovating conservation finance mechanisms, MAVA commissioned a report that you can read here. Although there is a specific emphasis on the Mediterranean and West Africa, the scope of the document is global.

By addressing the issue of conservation finance, MAVA’s objectives are two-fold: to contribute to the ongoing reflections on conservation finance, and to implement some of these mechanisms within its programmes.

For more information contact Thierry Renaud, Director, Impact & Sustainability at MAVA.

19/01/17 – Fintech and Sustainable Development: assessing the implications

Financial technology, known as ‘fintech’ is taking more and more place in today’s financial sector business models. Together with the Rockefeller Foundation, MAVA has supported the publication of a report on how the financial system’s core functions are likely to be disrupted by fintech innovations and how they could help – or hinder – efforts to align financing with sustainable development. Have a look at the full working paper.

16/01/17 - New action plan to profitably reuse and recycle 70% of plastic packaging globally

More than 40 industry leaders endorsed a new action plan at the WEF in Davos to tackle global plastics issues, and have begun working together to create a more effective global systems for plastics. The action plan is presented in a new study by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action). MAVA is a major funder of the new plastics initiative.
The study reveals that concerted action by industry could result in reuse and recycling of 70% of all global plastic packaging, up from today’s recycling rate of just 14%. The remaining 30% of plastic packaging, equivalent to 10 billion garbage bags per year, needs fundamental redesign and innovation.

11/01/17 – A new European Breeding Bird Atlas

The European Bird Census Council, together with its partners across Europe, is working on producing a new European Breeding Bird Atlas (EBBA2), to update the first ground-breaking atlas (Hagemeijer & Blair 1997), which is now 30 years old. This atlas will document the distribution of breeding birds in Europe and the changes since the first atlas was produced. It will also increase capacity for conservation and monitoring by engaging citizen scientists and supporting organisations in selected countries.

The fieldwork is currently ongoing with some support from MAVA. However full funding for the project is not yet secured. Therefore, Vogelwarte Sempach (the Swiss Ornithological Institute) who is coordinating this ambitious project, has just launched the Species Sponsoring Campaign on the EBBA2 website. Have a look and support your favourite species!

20/12/16 - EU’s flagship nature laws saved

After two years of uncertainty, the European Commission recently declared that the EU Nature Directives were fit for purpose. This decision is a huge victory for nature as these EU nature laws are a fundamental tool for nature protection in Europe. Should the Directives have been reopened, there was a serious risk that their content would have been weakened. Even better, the discussion is refocusing on better implementation of existing policies.

This huge win for conservation is the result of an unprecedented campaign that mobilised over half a million people in protest. Within this frame, MAVA supported a coordinated group of NGOs (BirdLife, European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth, WWF EPO) to help them redirect the discussions in a sense that was favourable to the Nature Directives in their original form and to fend off calls for their revision.

MAVA is particularly pleased with the outcome of this successful campaign and warmly congratulates all those involved.

25/10/15 - Two new staff members at MAVA!

We are happy to announce that two new team members have recently joined the MAVA family.

Ms Bousso Dramé joined MAVA’s regional office in Dakar in September 2016 to manage the foundation’s West Africa portfolio on fisheries policy and conservation. Her role is to drive the development of multi-stakeholder action plans and assist partners in identifying and implementing projects related to overfishing and the effective management of critical biodiversity sites. Prior to joining MAVA, Bousso held the position of Senior Policy Advisor for Greenpeace Africa where she developed and implemented a policy strategy for the Oceans Campaign and carried-out advocacy/lobbying work at regional and continental levels in favor of sustainable fisheries policies and oceans protection in West Africa.

Mr Luis Costa joined MAVA’s Mediterranean Basin programme in October 2016 and is in charge of the programme’s freshwater, terrestrial and species aspects. Luis is already well known to MAVA since, before joining the team, he was one of the founders and the Executive Director of SPEA’s (Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves) from 2004-2016 – one of MAVA’s long-lasting partners in Portugal. At SPEA, Luis earned several awards for large-scale projects, e.g. Life+ Best of Best project awards for the Azores bullfinch conservation, Safe islands for seabirds in the Azores and the identification of marine IBA’s. Previously, Luis worked at the Nature Conservation Institute, overseeing the aquatic bird census and the wetland conservation plan, also being member of the team of wetland inventory and monitoring and author of the MedWet standard methodology for inventories.

We are delighted to welcome Bousso and Luis to the MAVA family, and look forward to sharing their experience and expertise with our partners.

28/09/16 – MOOC on Protected Areas Management now available in English


One year after having launched a MOOC on Protected Areas Management in French, the IUCN Program on African Protected Areas and Conservation (PAPACO) has now launched the same course in English with the support of MAVA.

Course description:
This course will help you learn about conservation challenges in Africa and how protected areas can help face them, from local to global level. The MOOC deals with issues of management, governance, sustainability etc. and includes 57 videos, readings, 16 training quizzes, 7 online exams, 1 on-site exam (after which successful candidates may receive an EPFL diploma and ECTS credits) and multiple exchanges with the teaching team (forum, Facebook, live chats…).

Register for the course for free (registrations open on October 3 and are permanently open after that):

Watch the teaser:

23/09/16 - Dr Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), retires

Dr Stuart has been a central figure in IUCN for 30 years and Chair of the SSC since 2008. He has now served two terms in this prominent position, the maximum allowed by IUCN Statutes, and will be taking on new responsibilities at Synchronicity Earth. MAVA wishes to thank Simon for his dedication and relentless work in favour of SPECIES rather than biodiversity conservation over the past years.

The SSC is a science-based network of more than 10,000 volunteer experts from almost every country of the world, all working together towards achieving the vision of, “A just world that values and conserves nature through positive action to reduce the loss of diversity of life on earth”. MAVA has been supporting the remarkable work of this commission for many years, as species have always been at heart of MAVA’s preoccupations and figure prominently in our current Mediterranean and West African strategies.

Jon Paul Rodriguez has taken over the role of SSC Chair. A Venezuelan citizen, Jon Paul was the former SSC Deputy Chair. He is a Professor at the Centre for Ecology, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigation and the founder and president of Provita. More details here.

27/0/2016- MAVA is lauching 2 calls for tender on Networks and Young leaders

MAVA foundation is launching its new strategy 2016-2022. We have several challenges ahead of us, and therefore we are looking for people who could help us on two subjects: Network sustainability and supporting the emergence young leaders.

 We are launching 2 calls for tender:

1.    Networks: “The key to the sustainability of networks and collaborative structures: Recommendations for a MAVA-tailored approach to supporting networks during its 2016-2022 Strategy”

2.    Young leaders: “Overview for recommendations for MAVA approach to engage and support Young Leaders during its 2016-2022 Strategy for sustaining conservation actions”

 Deadline for application is August 25th for the network piece, and August 28th for the young leaders one.

lWork is excepted to start in September.

Please see the ToRs for further details.

22/06/16 - Two young Bearded vultures released in Lozère

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016, two new young bearded vultures were released in Meyrueis by LPO Grands Causses, on the territory of the Cevennes National Park. They have been welcomed by pupils from local schools, elected people of the territory and partners of the program. The two young females, named Cayla and Aigoual by the children, were placed in a cavity in a cliff of the “Causse Mejean”. They will spend a few weeks there, prior to take off. Until they fly in the sky of the Massif Central, the two vultures are closely monitored by a team of observers of LPO Grands Causses and the Cevennes National Park.

The two bearded vultures were born in the breeding center of Guadalentin (Andalusia, Spain). Both females are the tenth and eleventh bearded vultures reintroduced in the Great Causses since 2012.

This fifth release carried by the LPO Grands Causses, in close partnership with the Cevennes National Park and the Regional Park of Grands Causses, is implemented within the framework of the European LIFE funding program GYPCONNECT, cofunded by the MAVA Foundation. The objectives of this program are to recreate a population nucleus of bearded vultures in the Massif Central and Drôme and thus enhance genetic exchange between the Alpine and Pyrenean populations of this species.

For further information, please consult the LPO website here.

09/05/16 - MAVA is searching for a Manager, Freshwater and Landscape Issues

MAVA Fondation pour la Nature is recruiting an experienced and dynamic person to lead the implementation of freshwater and landscapes issues in its 2016-2022 Mediterranean strategy. The Manager will work under the supervision of the Mediterranean Basin Director and be based in Gland, Switzerland.

MAVA is a family-led philanthropic foundation that promotes biodiversity conservation. It provides financial support to partner organisations – mostly NGOs – that implement conservation projects via four priority programmes: the Mediterranean Basin, Coastal West Africa, Switzerland, and Sustainable Economy. In addition MAVA supports projects via its global portfolio. The work of the foundation is managed by a team of 20 based in Gland, Switzerland, and Dakar, Senegal.

The Programme Manager will be responsible for developing then overseeing a portfolio of projects focusing on the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable management of water in selected freshwater basins, the promotion of cultural landscapes supporting high levels of biodiversity, and the reduction of poisoning, collision risk with power infrastructures, and illegal killing for four target species groups. S/he will be responsible for the quality of project implementation and the sustainability of the results obtained. S/he will promote synergies between her/his portfolio and other related themes developed within the Mediterranean programme or by other programmes of the foundation.

Required experience and skills:
Masters or PhD. in biological or environmental sciences, natural resource management, environmental economics or similar fields. At least 10 years of experience in project implementation and/or supervision at international level, preferably in the Mediterranean. Significant experience with freshwater and/or landscapes issues. Strong knowledge of Mediterranean conservation challenges. Excellent analytical and communication skills. Perfect command of English and French. Ability to perform well in multicultural contexts.

A detailed description of the position is available in the Terms of Reference available here.

To apply for this position please send by June 6th 2016 a cover letter, a detailed CV, and the contacts of three references to:

19/04/16 - Guidelines for the protection of the Bonelli Eagle

Guidelines for the conservation of Bonelli Eagle populations have recently been published by the Conservation Biology Group of the University of Barcelona. Thanks to the work carried out by this group in the past years, the population in Catalonia has shown encouraging signs. These guidelines should help promote this experience on a larger scale so as to have an impact on the whole population which remains very fragile.

More information here.

06/04/16 - Appel d'offre de consultance

L’UICN et la MAVA lancent une évaluation finale du projet « Richesses en partage » mis en œuvre de 2012 à 2015 dans la région de Cacheu, en Guinée Bissau. Ce projet est important comme modèle pour le pays dans sa démarche de cogestion des ressources halieutiques avec les communautés de pêcheurs  et il est nécessaire d’en tirer les bonnes pratiques et les leçons pour les futures actions. Les Termes de référence peuvent être téléchargés ici.

Les intéressés sont priés d’envoyer leur candidature, avant le 1 mai 2016 à : avec copie à;;;

30/03/16 - MAVA is searching for a Manager, Politique des pêches et gestion des ressources halieutiques

La Fondation MAVA pour la Nature recrute une personne dynamique et expérimentée, qui participera à la mise en œuvre de sa stratégie 2016-2022 en Afrique de l’Ouest, au poste de manager pour les politiques de pêches et gestion des ressources halieutiques, au sein de l’équipe du programme Afrique de l’Ouest basée à Dakar.

La MAVA est une fondation philanthropique familiale basée à Gland. La fondation travaille au travers de 4 programmes : Bassin méditerranéen, Zone côtière d’Afrique de l’Ouest, Suisse, et Economie durable. Le fonctionnement quotidien est assuré par une équipe d’une vingtaine de passionnés, dont 10 basées au siège situé à Gland, et 10 dans notre représentation à Dakar.

Le manager, politiques des pêches et gestion des ressources halieutiques est un nouveau poste à la MAVA. Nous cherchons une personne pour piloter le développement des plans d’action et accompagner les partenaires dans l’identification et la mise en oeuvre des projets relatifs à la surpêche des petits pélagiques, à la gestion efficace des sites critiques pour ces espèces et au bycatch des oiseaux marins et tortues marines. Il/elle assurera  la qualité des actions mises en œuvre et la durabilité des acquis dans ce domaine et développera des synergies entre différents les programmes de la fondation sur des thématiques communes en lien avec les pêches.

Compétences requises :

Diplôme universitaire, niveau master, en sciences politiques, sciences économiques, gestion des ressources naturelles, économie des ressources naturelles, ou équivalent

Expérience d’au moins cinq ans et solide compréhension des enjeux en matière de politiques des pêches et gestion des ressources halieutiques en Afrique de l’Ouest et au niveau global

Expérience pratique pertinente en développement et gestion de projets.

Excellentes capacités de communication et de dialogue multi-acteurs et multisectoriel.

Capacités de travail en équipes multiculturelles.

La maitrise orale et écrite du français et de l’anglais est obligatoire; la connaissance du portugais est un atout.

Une description détaillée du poste est fournie dans les TdR ici.

Les personnes intéressées par ce poste sont priées d’envoyer, au plus tard le 25/04/2016, leur CV détaillé, avec une lettre de motivation et les coordonnées de trois références à :

Sokhna Ndiaye (

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