01/12/17 - Exchanges around support for civil society organisations in West Africa (Gorée, Senegal, 21-22 November 2017)

A workshop recently took place in Gorée (Dakar, Senegal) gathering experts who provide support to NGOs in West Africa. This workshop, which was jointly organised by MAVA and the PeaceNexus Foundation and took place at the Gorée Institute, enabled more than a dozen experts from Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso and Niger to get together. In a relaxed setting, the experts firstly talked about the specific issues of West Africa’s civil society before focusing on their support work, and more specifically on their various roles (coach, mentor, partner, facilitator, trainer, model, observer, technical advisor, expert). This is a key question when driving a support process for an organisation where many different roles may be needed (and clarified). PeaceNexus and MAVA, who are both working on supporting partner organisations in West Africa, also discussed the, often delicate, triangular relation between an organisation, the donor and the support expert.

MAVA and PeaceNexus sincerely thank the workshop participants as well as the staff from the Goree Institute for their warm welcome.

27/11/17 – Saving the Raso Lark Alauda razae from extinction in Cabo Verde

The NGO Biosfera is one of MAVA’s key partners in Cabo Verde. Biosfera has been working for a number of years to save the Raso Lark Alauda razae from extinction. This critically endangered species breeds only on the very small and unhabited Raso islet (7 km2), part of the Marine Reserve of Santa Luzia.

Together with Michael Brooke, a Professor at the University of Cambridge (UK), and SPEA, the Portuguese member of Birdlife International, they are organising the translocation of this species to another island in the reserve, where it previously bred and became extinct because of the predation of feral cats. Professor Brooke is now training young Cape Verdean university students to make sure that these efforts will last.

This initiative is funded by MAVA within the framework of a new project to support the sustainable management of S. Luzia marine reserve in Cabo Verde. It is jointly run by SPEA, Biosfera and the National Directorate for the Environment in Cabo Verde (DNA), in close cooperation and with the support of RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).

20/11/17 - Actors supporting NGOs to gather in Senegal (Gorée, Senegal, 21-22 November 2017)

Supporting the strengthening of civil society is a key issue which knows no frontiers, neither geographical nor sectorial. MAVA is therefore happy to be materialising a partnership with the PeaceNexus Foundation, working together in West Africa.

MAVA and PeaceNexus work on different specific themes, however they have both placed organisational support to their partners as a key element in their respective strategies.

Both organisations face common issues in francophone West Africa in terms of identifying the right resources to support organisations with inclusive organisational development approaches.

Therefore, MAVA and PeaceNexus have gathered a small panel of professionals based in West Africa who are experienced in supporting and accompanying various stakeholders, but especially civil society organisations. The gathering which will take place in Dakar on 21/22 November aims at enabling contacts, and concrete and open exchanges between professionals on their challenges and practices.

At the end of the workshop, the two foundations wish to create a list of interested consultants who may be called upon for possible future support missions.

01/11/17 – New report on how overfishing risks leaving investors stranded

The world’s oceans are one of mankind’s most important shared resources, providing a critical source of protein. But there is increasing scientific evidence that marine seafood resources are being overexploited, leading to the risk of the collapse of key fisheries, with associated environmental, social and economic impacts.

The Fish Tracker Initiative sought to better understand the role of listed companies in seafood extraction, to help identify opportunities and risks for investors with exposure to the sector.

This has resulted in a new report just launched by Fish Tracker, Empty nets, which details how poor disclosure and poor sustainability management across publicly listed companies with revenues from seafood are placing investors at risk.

Read more here.

23/10/17 - Second simultaneous south eastern European Pelican Census

Covering all of South East Europe, Ukraine and Turkey, a second pelican census was carried out on 6 May 2017. Simultaneous counts took place at 119 wetlands in 8 countries, all in the space of one afternoon.

This international census concerned two pelican species: the globally endangered Dalmatian Pelican and the Great White Pelican. It was an initiative and was coordinated by the Society for the Protection of Prespa, one of MAVA’s long-lasting partners based in Prespa, Greece. Organisations and individuals from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, the FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine took part in the census.

The results of the census and more information about the activity can be found here.

17/10/17 - How people’s cultural values and community participation contribute to positive conservation of wetlands

We are pleased to announce the recent publication of a new report ‘World Heritage and Ramsar Conventions: Converging Towards Success, which is the result of a collaboration between the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, with the support of the Ramsar Culture Network as well as CEPA colleagues.

This report examines how cultural values and community participation contribute to positive conservation outcomes in exceptional wetland areas with dual World Heritage and Ramsar status. Six case studies from around the world illustrate the challenges – and successes – of integrating both nature and culture in the management of internationally designated wetlands, including in the Okavango Delta (Botswana), Mont-Saint-Michel (France), Wood Buffalo (Canada), Banc d’Arguin (Mauritania), Sian Ka’an (Mexico) and Itsukushima Shinto Shrine (Japan). ‘Lessons learned’ from experiences at these outstanding wetlands are intended to support both site managers and broader policy-makers in making the most of the powerful role that cultural values and community participation can play in wetland conservation and wise use.

MAVA has been the main supporter of the Ramsar Culture Network since its creation. We acknowledge the deep link between the cultural and natural dimensions of wetlands, and we believe in the power of nurturing cultural values and practices of natural wetlands to secure their long-term conservation.

Click here to download the report.

09/10/17 – A small grants programme for emerging NGOs in North Africa

Since 2013, in partnership with the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM), MAVA has initiated, co-financed and supported the Small Grants Programme for civil society organisations in North Africa (PPI OSCAN), whose principal objective is to reinforce technical, administrative and financial capacities of civil society organisations in Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. The programme is coordinated by IUCN-Med.

This project is now in its final stages and an external evaluation, undertaken by BRL ingénierie, highlighted the programme’s successes in terms of civil society structuring: “several of the young associations which received support have indeed reached a good level of professionalism and are involved in the implementation of environmental public policies”. The evaluators gave a particular emphasis to seven replicable success stories, whereas in Libya, the programme helped maintain some civil society organisations active in a particularly difficult context. The following activities, among many others, are particularly interesting: the activities developed by El Bahdja Association d’Activités des Jeunes in Algeria to raise environmental awareness, the first eco-labelled hiking-fishing trail created by the Fly Fishing Club of the middle Atlas region in Morocco, or the promotion and management of the Sebket Soliman coastal lagoon in Tunisia (by the Association de l’Environnement et du Développement de Soliman). The study also highlights IUCN-Med’s good overall management, as well as the excellent work of the national coordinators who supported the civil society organisations locally.

On the basis of this experience, FFEM and MAVA are today considering, together with their partners, a second phase of PPI OSCAN, in order to support further the civil society organisations working towards the conservation of nature in North Africa.

Read more about PPI OSCAN and the civil society organisations on facebook.

05/10/17 – MAVA commits to supporting marine biodiversity over the next 5 years

Within the frame of the Ocean Conference taking place in Malta on 5/6 October 2017, we announce a 70 million Euro commitment over the next 5 years to the conservation of marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean Basin and in West Africa for the benefit of people and nature. More specifically, MAVA will provide 12 million to reduce environmental impacts of plastic pollution and oil and gas activities; 7 million to stimulate a blue economy focusing on coastal infrastructure development; 28 million to support sustainable fisheries for the benefit of local livelihoods and biodiversity; and 28 million to promote MPAs as a tool for protecting marine species, habitats and fish resources.

This is a continuation et reaffirmation of MAVA’s long-lasting engagement in favor of coastal and marine biodiversity, especially in the Mediterranean and West Africa.

03/10/17 - Promoting the conservation of sea birds in Cabo Verde

The action plan ‘Promoting the conservation of sea birds in Cabo Verde’, funded by MAVA and steered by BirdLife International, was officially launched during a workshop recently organised in Praia, the capital of this outstanding North Atlantic archipelago. The representatives of all the delegations of the National Directorate for the Environment (DNA) were present as well a few dozen experts coming from 15 national and international organisations. During the workshop it was possible to clarify and discuss the best approaches to the implementation of some project activities as well as particular aspects of the action plan’s governance, management and communication. The workshop was widely publicised in the local media.

Written press: Sapo Viajar, A Semana, A Naçao, Cabo Verde government and on television.

With MAVA’s support and the strong commitment of all the partners involved, the seabirds of Cabo Verde become a prized natural heritage for Cape Verdians.

02/10/17 – MAVA at Our Ocean Conference

Paule Gros will be representing MAVA at the Our Oceans conference hosted by the EU in Malta (5/6 October 2017). The aim of this conference is to inspire joint solutions and ambitious commitments for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans. MAVA’s intention in participating will be to get a clear understanding of global investments on the marine themes in which we are interested and in the marine geographies where we operate. It will be an opportunity to position MAVA’s action by stating in which fields we will invest in the next five years. Making our engagement visible by presenting our approaches and by indicating the amount of funding we have decided to invest will help us identify implementing and financial partners with whom to join forces.

27/09/17 - 25 years of work to recover traditional transhumance in Spain

On 21 September 2017, the Mesta association in Spain celebrated 25 years of work aiming to recover traditional transhumance along the canyons restoring the profession of shepherd, essential to a sustainable territory management.

Since then, some 60 herds have collaborated with the Mesta association, covering more than 90,000 km of cattle trails throughout Spain with about 350,000 sheep, goats, cows and horses. In addition to contributing to soil fertility and the biodiversity conservation, transhumance ensures connectivity between ecosystems, carbon in the grasslands and the fight against forest fires. Transhumance also supports social interrelations between the rural and urban world, spreading the importance of the ancient pastoral culture.

The revival of transhumance routes was supported by Dr Luc Hoffmann in its initial steps, then by MAVA Foundation. It remains at the heart of MAVA’s 2016-2022 strategy that seeks an amplification of the impressive work done in Spain to other Mediterranean countries where transhumance remains traditionally anchored.

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 (

17/03/16 - MAVA’s 2015 Annual Report is available !

AR15We are pleased to share with you MAVA’s 2015 Annual Report and invite you to join us in celebrating some of the highlights of our partners’ conservation work. The report also contains a brief overview of the direction MAVA will take in the coming years.

We hope you will enjoy reading about our partners’ work and that you are inspired to join us in continuing to deliver innovative and effective conservation with them!

Download the report here.

11/03/2016 – MPAs : a winning card for sustainable tourism

With the support of various partners, among which MAVA, the WWF Marine Mediterranean Initiative has recently released a video that highlights the common objectives of MPAs and of the sustainable tourism sector: maintaining a healthy ocean and supporting local economies. In the video, you can learn about best practices that have been put in place in various Mediterranean MPAs to encourage a sustainable tourism.


MPAs A winning card for sustainable tourism from Claudia Amico on Vimeo.

04/03/16 - The Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust is searching for an Executive Director

The Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust is searching for an Executive Director.
Information about the position can be found here.

Expressions of interest should be submitted electronically by 15 April 2016, in English, with all the material in a single document, to Michael Brombacher

03/03/16 - Scholarships for the M2 du master « Gestion des Aires Protégées » at Senghor University, Alexandrie

MAVA is proposing 5 scholarships as part of a project implemented by IUCN PAPACO on protected area management. These scholarships are for west-african students who are in a position to integrate directly the M2 of the master “Gestion des Aires Protégées” at Senghor university in Alexandrie. More details (in French) can be found here.

The new call for applications, for the 2016 university re-opening, is now open until 14 April 2016.

Applicants must:

  • Be holder of a M1
  • Have a professional experience of at least 1 year
  • This MAVA scholarship covers all the student’s expenses, except for transportation.

02/03/16 - Expert for final external project evaluation

IUCN is looking for an expert for the final evaluation of the project co-financed by MAVA: Richesses en partage : un partenariat pour les ressources naturelles du Rio Cacheu, Guinée Bissau. The Terms of Reference (in French) can be downloaded here.

Please send your application before 15 March 2016 at 24hrs GMT, comprised of a motivation letter, your CV, your technical offer with a detailed methodology and chronogramme, as well as your financial offer to the following address:

22/01/16 – Dr Jonathan Hutton appointed Director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute


MAVA is pleased to welcome Dr Jonathan Hutton who has been appointed as the new Director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute as from 1 March 2016, based at WWF International’s headquarters in Gland, Switzerland.

Dr Hutton holds a BA from the University of Cambridge in Natural Sciences and a DPhil in Zoology from the University of Zimbabwe, and brings 25 years of experience in nature conservation and rural development issues in Africa. He comes to the Luc Hoffmann Institute from the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) where he served as Director since 2005 and where he distinguished himself by building a sound reputation for UNEP’s biodiversity assessment arm.

The Luc Hoffmann Institute was set up in 2011, with a development grant from MAVA, which is intended to become a CHF 20 million commitment over 10 years. Dr Hutton will serve as the leader of a critical interface between the science and conservation communities to help generate evidence-based, practical and scalable solutions and bring them to conservation action.

20/01/16 - Latest report on the New Plastics Economy launched

EllenMacArthurFoundation_TheNewPlasticsEconomy_19012016 1

On 20 January 2016, the  Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched its latest report THE NEW PLASTICS ECONOMY: RETHINKING THE FUTURE OF PLASTICS at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce negative externalities such as leakage into oceans, according to this report.

The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides for the first time a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed. Mainly funded by MAVA, this breakthrough report presents a compelling opportunity to drastically increase the system effectiveness of the plastics economy.

Download the report here.

09/12/15 – Launch of the Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

With the support of MAVA, the Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation has recently coordinated the development of a new Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (SuRe®) together with other stakeholders.

SuRe® is a global voluntary sustainability standard for infrastructure projects. Its aim is to help project owners and developers build in sustainability and resilience aspects in their planning process. It also seeks to help infrastructure investors identify responsible and resilient investment opportunities.

Given the growing and fundamental role that infrastructure plays in our societies, this standard is an important pre-requisite to a sustainable economy. More information here.

11/11/15 - How Green Public Procurement Contributes to Sustainable Development in China

Given China’s huge expenditures on government purchases, greening the country’s public procurement could drive massive change and stimulate a global green economy.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has just published a new report which provides targeted recommendations addressing the development areas identified to improve green public procurement in China. MAVA supported this research as part of its Sustainable Economy programme.

The report can be downloaded here.

05/11/15 - Dam plans likely to be stopped in Mavrovo National Park

Mavrovo National Park (Macedonia) is among Europe’s oldest national parks and a hotspot of Europe’s biodiversity, in particular the endangered Balkan lynx.

A controversial dam construction project within the park has been threatening the park’s status, ecosystems and species for several years. However, the project is now likely to be stopped after experts from the Bern Convention recently concluded that the planned hydropower project was not compatible with the status of protection of the park and should therefore be abandoned.

For MAVA, who has been engaged in this area since 2006 working with EuroNatur on the Balkan lynx recovery programme, this recommendation comes as a strong signal for national parks and is mainly the result of the tireless work of Euronatur and Riverwatch in cooperation with many local NGOs.

See full information on EuroNatur’s site.

24/08/15 – Frederic Hoffmann appointed as member of MAVA’s Board of Trustees

We are pleased to announce that Frederic Hoffmann has joined the MAVA Board as of August 2015. Frederic is the grandson of MAVA’s founder Luc Hoffmann and represents the involvement of the first representative of the third generation of the Hoffmann family on the MAVA Board.

Frederic recently earned a Bachelor in Geography and International Development Studies from McGill University in Montreal, and is pursuing a Masters in Environmental Policy and Regulation at the London School of Economics. His sees big potential for progress through feeding debates with scientific evidence and designing sustainable solutions with shared environmental knowledge and empowered stakeholders.

The MAVA Board is delighted that Frederic has joined its ranks and wishes him a very warm welcome.

06/07/15 – Meseta Iberica transboundary biosphere reserve (Spain/Portugal) added to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves

arribes FNYH web
The International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), which met from 8-12 June 2015 in Paris, has added 20 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, of which the Meseta Iberica transboundary biosphere reserve (Spain/Portugal).

This area contains many flagship species such as the Iberian wolf or the black stork. It covers an area of 1,132,606 hectares and encompasses the provinces of Salamanca and Zamora in Spain and Terra Quente and Fria in Portugal. MAVA has been supporting the work of two partners in the region, Fundación Naturaleza y Hombre (FNYH) and Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN), for several years.

FNYH has greatly participated in the preparation of this application. More information on this nomination (in Spanish) here.

29/06/15 – A toolkit for policymakers on circular economy

Circular Economy toolkit
On 26 June, the  Ellen MacArthur Foundation presented the results of a research funded by MAVA which provides for the first time an actionable toolkit for policymakers who wish to embark on a circular economy transition.

Delivering the circular economy – a toolkit for policymakers offers a ‘how-to’ guide inspired by the vision of how the circular economy could look, as explored in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s report Growth Within: A circular economy vision for a competitive Europe, which was launched on 25 June.

The toolkit provides a step-by-step methodology including 11 tools, which aim to:

  1. assess a country’s circular economy starting position, define its ambition level, and select focus areas
  2. systematically screen sector-by-sector circular economy opportunities, identify barriers that limit these opportunities and analyse policy options to overcome these barriers
  3. assess economy-wide implications.

Read the news release and download the research here

23/06/15 – Two new protected areas part of the natural forest network in the Austrian Kalkalpen

Blumaueralm_-®_np_kalkalpen_g.punz webThe Northern Kalkalpen is an alpine biodiversity hotspot in Austria and a conservation priority area. The Kalkalpen National Park is working on securing contiguous protected areas of different categories and sizes in this region with the aim of strengthening and formalising collaboration between protected areas, communes and private landowners for improved land use planning, nature protection and sustainable development.

The Kalkalpen National Park, which MAVA has been supporting since 2012, recently managed to secure two new protected areas as part of a mosaic of natural forests: Steinwald, municipality of Landl, Steiermark, 38,1 hectares and Buglkar/Hochsur, municipality of Rosenau, Upper Austria, 54,8 hectares. This excellent news means that the surface of the network of natural forests of the region has now reached 130 hectares.

More information here.

18/06/15 - Ibrahim Thiaw appointed as member of MAVA’s Board of Trustees

I Thiaw - UNEP (4)
We are pleased to announce that Ibrahim Thiaw has accepted the invitation of the MAVA Board of Trustees to join as a permanent member of the Board as of June 2015. Mr Thiaw was previously a member of the FIBA Board until its merger with MAVA.

Ibrahim Thiaw took office in August 2013 as the Deputy Executive Director for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) upon his appointment by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Thiaw served as the Director of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) at UNEP. Before joining UNEP in 2007, Mr. Thiaw worked as the IUCN Regional Director for West Africa and later as the Acting Director-General of IUCN. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of natural resource management at the national, regional and international levels, Mr. Thiaw’s specific contributions have been in the successful development and implementation of large scale environmental programmes and projects.

The MAVA Board is delighted to be able to benefit from Mr Thiaw’s profound knowledge of the West African sub-region and of conservation in general.

16/06/15 - Unknown Mediterranean hotspots recognised by the Ramsar Convention

(c) WWF Greece
Greece has brought to the spotlight the urgency to conserve the fragile island wetlands of the Mediterranean, through a resolution that was unanimously adopted on June 8th by the plenary of the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on Wetlands of International Significance.

This important development is the outcome of a decade of systematic work by one of MAVA’s long-lasting partners, WWF Greece, aimed at conserving the fragile wetland hotspots and defending them from the mounting human induced pressures. The immense values of island wetlands include shielding coastal areas from erosion and desertification and protecting island communities from the impacts of climate change. They also form unique landscapes that add to the touristic attractiveness of Mediterranean islands.

MAVA warmly congratulates WWF Greece on this achievement which is solely due to their good work.
More information here.

05/06/15 – Tour du Valat receives the Ramar Convention Award for Merit 2015

(c) M. Renaudin MedWet - ceremony ramsar award TDVOn 3 June 2015, the Tour du Valat received the Ramsar Convention Award for Merit at the 12th Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention in Punta del Este (Uruguay). This award comes in recognition to the Tour du Valat’s 60 years of research and action for the study, management, and preservation of Mediterranean wetlands.

The Tour du Valat is one of MAVA’s longstanding partners and we warmly congratulate all its staff for this award. We are delighted that the excellent work on wetlands and conservation in general of this research center is recognized in such a way.

For more information click here.

28/05/15 – Spring hunting of birds will continue in Malta

On 11 April 2015, the Maltese citizens voted at a narrow majority against the banning of Spring hunting of birds on the island. This subject has been an issue in the country for a long time as it is prohibited under EU law but successive Maltese governments have implemented a derogation allowing the killing of certain migratory birds.

Malta lies along the migratory route between Africa and Europe, and is an important nesting place for many migratory birds as they journey north to breed. This decision will therefore not only have negative consequences in Malta but also for bird conservation in Europe in general.

MAVA has supported the work of BirdLife Malta to end the killing of migratory birds for many years. Although the outcome of this vote is disappointing, it has widened the debate about conservation issues among the Maltese people.

More information on the website of BirdLife here.

21/05/15 - MAVA's 2014 Annual Report is available!

It is with great pleasure that we introduce MAVA’s latest Annual Report.

2014 has been a momentous year: not only did we celebrate the foundation’s 20th anniversary, but we also merged with the Fondation internationale du banc d’Arguin (FIBA) in West Africa becoming one single organisation and thereby increasing our impact and effectiveness.

Throughout this major evolution, we have continued to support conservation work. This annual report is an opportunity for us to highlight just of few of the many conservation successes our partners delivered in 2014. We hope that you will enjoy reading them!

Download the report here.

18/05/15 - Article in Nature on Sea Around Us project

For several years MAVA has been supporting a project on catch reconstruction in West Africa, led by Dr Daniel Pauly from the University of British Columbia for the Sea Around Us project. The aim of this specific project is to increase available data in the West Africa sub-region while assisting stakeholder in the understanding and use of this data; ongoing support to individuals and organisations in the region; and ongoing profiling of marine conservation at the international level.

See here the interesting article published on 25 March by the international weekly journal of science ‘Nature’ on the work done by Sea Around Us.

06/05/15 - The Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust is searching for an Executive Director

The Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust is searching for an Executive Director.
Information about the position can be found here.

Expressions of interest should be submitted electronically by 10 June 2015, in English, with all the material in a single document, to Michael Brombacher

20/04/15 – Moving science forward, even on a broken-down boat!

20141210_094237Last December, at the time of the “Ecosystem Approach to the Management of Fisheries and the Marine Environment in West African Waters” Conference organised by the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission in Dakar Senegal, the ornithologist teams involved in the Alcyon (BirdLife) and Biodiversité-Gaz-Pétrole (GIZ) projects organised an expedition off the coast of Dakar to observe paleagic seabirds. This was a good opportunity to strengthen ties between the teams, even the more so as the boat broke down several kilometres off the coast. But the ornithologists kept their spirits up and continued their observations to make the most out of their long waiting time until the rescue team arrived. It is during that time that they saw a small sparrow being attacked by a pomarine skua about eight kilometres off shore. This rare observation has now been published in the journal of the West African Ornithological Society ‘Malimbus’. To read it, click here.

10/04/15 – Summary of the international Conference “Plastic in the Mediterranean: Beyond the observation, what solutions?”

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Tara Expéditions, Surfrider Foundation Europe and MAVA organised an international conference on 10 and 11 March in Monaco in order to bring together the main stakeholders in the plastics industry. This conference aimed at establishing an assessment of the current situation, but also – and more importantly – at committing to practical actions to help our environment and counter the impact of proliferating plastic waste in the Mediterranean.

The declaration issued by the conference organisers is available here. You can also watch the summary reportage in the video below:

09/04/15 – Tribunal delivers an Advisory Opinion on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities

Industrial trawler

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea recently delivered its Advisory Opinion on the Request submitted to the Tribunal by the West African Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) concerning illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities which affect many coastal countries and contribute to the progressive depletion of fishery resources.

The ruling clarifies the obligations of the flag States where IUU fishing activities are conducted. It rules that the flag States can be held liable for IUU fishing activities conducted by vessels sailing under their flag in the territorial waters of other states.

The continued commitment of PRCM and WWF for this cause certainly greatly contributed to this encouraging decision.

More details are available on the tribunal’s website:

02/04/15 – A series of events to celebrate the FIBA/MAVA merger

fusion FIBA/MAVA
In order to mark and commemorate the FIBA/MAVA merger, a series of events were held with our friends and partners in the region during the week of 23 March 2015 in Dakar (Senegal) and Nouakchott (Mauritania).

These events were an opportunity to celebrate, in a spirit of reflexion, FIBA’s achievements and to present MAVA’s new West Africa programme. MAVA’s President, André Hoffmann, reiterated his gratitude and sincere thanks to all those who helped shape FIBA over its nearly 30 years of existence, thereby now enabling MAVA’s new West Africa programme to build on a wide range of competences and on the established credibility of both foundations.

See the leaflet commemorating FIBA’s achievements here.

11/03/15 - PRCM celebrates 10 years of service to conservation in coastal West Africa

On 4 February, the Regional Marine and Coastal Conservation Programme for West Africa (PRCM) marked its 10th anniversary in Dakar in the company of many of its members and partners.

MAVA has been supporting the PRCM since its beginning in 2004. The PRCM which aims to build bridges between the conservation efforts of institutions and civil societies along the littoral of coastal West Africa. Its goals are to increase the effectiveness of conservation actions taken and to pool resources, to highlight regional know-how and foster knowledge and skills sharing.

PRCM has also set up and strengthened management systems for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). In addition, it supports the implementation of regional conservation plans for species such as marine turtles and critical habitats such as mangroves. It stresses the establishment of frameworks for participatory governance.

See more here.

10/02/15 - Promising start of the ‘Small-Scale Initiatives Programme for Civil Society Organisations in North Africa’

The “Small-Scale Initiatives Programme for Civil Society Organisations in North Africa aims at strengthening young Civil Society Organisations in Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia in the field of environment through the implementation of projects on the ground and the participation in several thematic training sessions. It is coordinated by the Cooperation Centre for Mediterranean IUCN and is co-funded by the French Fund for Global Environment Facility and the MAVA Foundation.

The programme was launched in June 2014 and has rounded off the first stage with a promising start. At the closing date of the call for projects, 25 December 2014, IUCN-Med received 248 projects from 233 Civil Society Organisations. This high rate of participation confirms the interest and need in this type of programme in the region.

More information available here.  Or have a look at the general presentation of the programme:

02/02/15 - World Wetlands Day 2015: It’s time for ratification of the Agreement on the transboundary Prespa Park

shutterstock_39386716 web
2 February is not only World Wetlands Day, but also 5 years to the day since the 3 states sharing the Prespa basin joined with the European Union and all signed the International Agreement for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park Area. The Agreement unfortunately still remains inactive because the Greek side alone has not ratified it.

Seven international organisations and MAVA partners – EuroNatur, Frankfurt Zoological Society, KORA, MES, Plantlife, PPNEA and the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) – call upon the new Greek Government to now ratify the Prespa Park International Agreement. The Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) associates itself to this call. This is the only choice for the protection, wise management and sustainable development of this sensitive and valuable place.

Read more in the press release here.

09/01/15 – Looking back at FIBA’s ability to accompany partners

Within the context of the FIBA/MAVA merger, our colleagues from the MAVA, West Africa Programme have recently looked back at the type of support FIBA was able to provide these past years to marine protected areas (MPA) in West Africa. Over the past years, FIBA has actively accompanied the Joal-Fadiouth MPA (situated about one hundred kilometres south of Dakar) and the results of this support were very positive. The document which you can download below provides an overview of this particular experience and demonstrates that the proximity of the FIBA team with the Joal-Fadiouth MPA team was key to the success of this initiative.

This partnership shows how useful it is to promote small-scale financing and accompanying mechanisms in the region. The new MAVA, West Africa Programme will continue to build on FIBA’s successes such as this one.

Click here to read the document (only available in French).

07/01/15 – Solutions to tackle plastics in the Mediterranean

Plastics are filling the oceans, including the Mediterranean. It has become a priority to find solutions to fight this increasing proliferation of plastic waste. In this respect, Tara Expeditions, Surfrider Foundation Europe, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and MAVA are organising an international conference on 10 and 11 March 2015 at the Monaco Yacht Club.

The ‘Plastic in the Mediterranean Sea: What Are The Solutions?’ conference will bring together stakeholders from the industrial sector, researchers, decision-makers and civil society representatives concerned by this issue in the Mediterranean and will work on practical and sustainable measures towards a reduction of plastic waste in the Mediterranean.

Look out for the results of the conference which will be available on our website as from next April.

19/12/14 - Mike Moser to join MAVA’s Board of Trustees

We are pleased to announce that Mike Moser will join the MAVA Board of Trustees as of January 2015.

Mike’s passion and entire career has been in conservation. He held the post of Director of the international NGO IWRB / Wetlands International for 10 years and then returned to the field where he supported a variety of landscape-scale conservation initiatives. Mike has also served on a number of Boards of conservation organisations. The MAVA Board is delighted to be able to benefit from Mike’s extensive conservation knowledge.

This appointment comes in replacement of MAVA Board member Claude Martin who has served the maximum three full terms, totalling nine years, on the MAVA Board. During this period, Claude has devoted much time and energy to the foundation, providing invaluable input on many subjects and taking part in specific missions such as representing MAVA on the Board of the BACoMaB Trust Fund. MAVA warmly thanks Claude Martin for his invaluable commitment and precious advice during his time on the Board.

18/12/14 - Call for application - Environmental and socio-economic impact study on creation of protected areas in Guinea-Bissau

See below – only in French

PAYS : Guinée-Bissau
NOM DU PROJET : Projet de Conservation de la Biodiversité

L’Institut pour la Biodiversité et les Aires Protégées de la Guinée-Bissau (IBAP) recherche un consultant pour réaliser une étude d’impact environnemental et socioéconomique de la création des aires protégées du Complexe Dulombi-Boé-Tchetche.

Les consultants intéressées doivent fournir les informations indiquant qu’ils sont qualifiés pour exécuter les tâches (CV, brochures, références concernant l’exécution de contrats analogues, expérience dans des conditions semblables, disponibilité des connaissances nécessaires, etc..).

Un consultant et/ou les consultants seront sélectionnés en accord avec les procédures définies dans les Directives : “Sélection et emploi de consultants par les emprunteurs de la Banque mondiale” (édition courante).

La maîtrise du portugais et du français (oral et écrit) est obligatoire; des connaissances en anglais seraient un atout. Pour plus d’information, consulter les termes de référence en anglais et en portuguais. Des documents spécifiques sur le projet et sur le cadre juridique en vigueur sur les études d’impact seront fournis aux candidats intéressés.

Les manifestations d’intérêt doivent parvenir à l’adresse suivante au plus tard le 30 décembre 2014 à 12H GMT à l’adresse suivante:
Alfredo Simão da Silva
Director do Instituto da Biodiversidade e das Areas Protegidas (IBAP)
Av. Dom Settimio Arturo Ferrazzetta – Caixa Postal N° 70 Bissau. Guinée-Bissau
Tel. (245) 320 71 06/7 Fax. (245) 320 71 07
Port.(245) 580 38 48 / 664 14 61 / 720 54 54

09/12/14 - A first step towards cross-border collaboration in the Alps

Although geographically based in Ticino in Switzerland, on the border with Italy, the Valley di Bagni di Craveggia has always been an area of encounter and collaboration between the two countries.

In recent months, and with the support of MAVA, the Locarnese National Park project agreed on an alliance with some of the Italian municipalities close to this valley for the conservation of this beautiful alpine area. As a result, this alliance has now recently prompted the Swiss and Italian authorities to discuss the possibility of establishing a legal basis which would allow both countries to work together in favour of the protection of the valley, but also of promotion of tourism and culture in the area.

This is a very positive step in favour of the conservation of this unique area and contributes to recognising the important role the Locarnese National Park project plays for nature protection in the region.

25/11/14 – MAVA to support the new Hoffmann Centre on the Sustainable Resource Economy at Chatham House

In 2013, MAVA set up its Sustainable Economy programme to explore new ways of dealing with the environmental impact of global resource use on our planet, one of the most pressing and systemic issues facing humanity today.

Within the frame of this programme, MAVA is proud to announce that it will be supporting Chatham House to establish the new Hoffmann Centre on the Sustainable Resource Economy. This project, which will be the first interdisciplinary research centre to be established at Chatham House as part of the institute’s Second Century Initiative, aims at transforming the political economy of resource production and consumption to deliver a sustainable resource economy.

For more information:

30/10/14 - New alarming study on the condition of alpine rivers

River Lech, Austria (c) Anton VorauerThe WWF European Alpine Programme has just released a first-ever study on the condition of alpine rivers. Funded by MAVA, this study assesses the current status of 57,000 kilometres of river and found that 89 out of 100 alpine rivers are already substantially harmed. Only 11 percent of rivers are in pristine condition, with the rest having been redirected, altered or impacted by hydro-electric dams.WWF recommends to take the following immediate actions to counter those threats and preserve the unique habitats and ecosystems that rivers offer in the Alpine area:

  1. Improve data quality and availability on the pan-alpine river network,
  2. Define No-Go areas where hydrological and morphological alteration is forbidden,
  3. Restore floodplains, wetlands and large rivers to reverse degradation and provide ecological flood protection,
  4. Develop a Pan-Alpine River Management Plan to ensure the balance between nature protection and human needs.

Read more on this study or download it here.

16/10/14 –‘On the Move’: a photo exhibition on transhumance at the Natural History Museum in Geneva

From 11 October to 30 November 2014, the Natural History Museum of Geneva (Switzerland) is hosting, On the Move, a touring exhibition featuring photos taken by professional photographers mandated by the Mediterranean Consortium for Nature and Culture* on the life, challenges and ecological knowledge of shepherds and transhumant herders in the Mediterranean region.

This exhibition follows research conducted by the Consortium, and supported by MAVA, on the relevance of supporting cultural practices which have a positive impact on biodiversity conservation, theme which is at the heart of MAVA’s mission (see News item of 11/12/13).

Of all the practices presented in the report, the Consortium started by studying more in depth the subject of transhumance in the Mediterranean region and recently published their report here.

For more information :

*The Mediterranean Consortium for Nature and Culture is made up of the following NGOs : Associacion Trashumancia y Naturaleza, DiversEarth, Doga Dernegi, Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (Med-INA), Society for Protection of Nature in the Lebanon (SPNL), and WWF North Africa, with the technical support of IUCN.

01/10/14 – Carbon Tracker Initiative at the UN Climate Summit

Anthony Hobley, CEO of the Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI), was invited by the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban ki-Moon, to attend the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday 23 September 2014 in New York to address both Heads of State and CEOs of the private sector and present their work. This was an exceptional and rare opportunity for CTI to raise awareness among key decision makers about the risks that fossil fuel investments pose to financial stability.

CTI is a not-for-profit financial think tank aimed at enabling a climate secure global energy market by aligning capital market actions with climate reality.  It was one of the first organisations which MAVA decided to support within the frame of its Sustainable Economy Programme. MAVA has recently renewed its support to this dynamic organisation.

See the video of CTI’s public statement here.

28/08/14 - Restoration plan in the Shouf Biosphere Reserve (Lebanon)

The Mediterranean region has been shaped by millennia of human interventions, leading to landscapes that are identified by climate models as particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. They are already strongly affected by global change that includes migration of rural populations to cities, abandonment of agricultural lands and practices, and correlated losses of biodiversity, landscape, and know how.

Under the leadership of LIPU (Birdlife Italy), a consortium of NGOs and private companies with a solid experience in landscape planning and management, are exploring ways to adapt these landscapes to climate and global changes, to the benefit of both the people and biodiversity. The project focus is on two areas in Lebanon (Shouf Biosphere Reserve, Ammiq Wetland) and Italy (Gran Sasso NP, Sirente Regional Park, Penne Lake Wetland). They are all representative of situations found elsewhere in the Mediterranean Basin.

Watch the video presentation about the restoration plan in the Shouf Biosphere Reserve funded by MAVA with technical support of Sylvestris and implemented in Lebanon by ACS and AFDC in collaboration with LIPU Italy.

14/08/14 – Highlight on ATN’s work in Northeast Portugal

Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN) is a nonprofit environmental NGO, created in 2000 in the northeastern part of Portugal, which MAVA has been supporting since its beginnings.

ATN owns and manages the Faia Brava Reserve (800 hectares) in the Côa Valley, the first private protected area in Portugal (FYI it is the first private reserve at the scale of the country). ATN also manages several other reserves in the Northeast of Portugal. The association’s mission is to conserve, value, study and promote the natural heritage of Northeast Portugal through sustainability and community participation, by managing and protecting natural areas.

See this informative video on ATN’s activities:

28/07/14 – New study on Swiss biodiversity politics


In 2012, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the new national biodiversity strategy. The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment is currently working on elaborating an action plan for this strategy which will be submitted for consultation to the concerned federal offices by end 2014.

At MAVA’s request, the organization SVS/Birdlife Switzerland coordinated the preparation of a study on the Swiss biodiversity politics. This study will serve as a useful reference for the upcoming discussions as part of the adoption and implementation of the national biodiversity strategy action plan.

The study confirms that Switzerland is moving in the right direction on biodiversity matters, but that the action plan should be enlarged to reach the objectives fixed for 2020. The publication can be downloaded in pdf format (only in German, summary available in German and French) here.

18/07/14 - Consultancy in the area of conservation financing

FIBA is seeking, in collaboration with the NGO TINIGUENA in Guinea Bissau, a consultant  in the area of conservation financing, with a particular focus on marine protected areas, to carry out the identification and evaluation of  funding options for the Urok islands Community MPA in the Bijagos archipelago, in the framework of the “Biocos” project (Management of marine and coastal biodiversity in West Africa by strengthening conservation and monitoring initiatives in the MPAs).

Perfect fluency in Portuguese and French or English is required.

Applications must be submitted by email no later than 31 August 2014.

For more details on this expertise, refer to the TORs.

18/07/14 - Call for application: Conservation communications expert (FIBA/Océanium)

In collaboration with the Senegalese association Océanium, FIBA is looking for a conservation communications expert to support the implementation of component C3 of the project ‘Gestion de la biodiversité marine et côtière Ouest africaine par le renforcement des initiatives de conservation et de suivi dans les AMP – « BIOCOS »’.

The work will take place over a 12-month period from September 2014 to September 2015.

Further details can be found in the attached ToRs (in French).

Applications will have to be submitted by email by 31 July 2014 latest.

03/07/14 - Good news from Tyrol

The provincial government of Tyrol (Austria) recently took several encouraging decisions relating to the development of hydropower and the protection of rivers in the region.

The government decided to halt plans for a hydropower plant in the Mittlerer Inn region and at the same time defined 30-40 river stretches in very good ecological condition in the Tyrolean Oberland to remain free of any hydropower development.

In addition, a round table will be organized to harmonise the sustainable hydropower vision proposed by WWF-Austria and the development plans of the Tyrolean hydropower company (TIWAG).

These decisions are encouraging and are due in a large part to the perseverance and hard work of our partner WWF-Austria, who has been fighting for an environment-friendly development of hydropower projects in Tyrol for a long time.

27/06/14 - Fundacion Naturaleza y Hombre in the New York Times

Campanarios de Azaba
Fundacion Naturaleza y Hombre (FNyH) is an environmental NGO working in the West Iberian part of Spain, created in 1994 and supported by MAVA since 2009. Its main focus is on the conservation of the natural heritage and traditional human activities, protected natural areas as well as ecosystem restoration and recovery of endangered species of flora and fauna.

The New York Times recently issued a very informative article on the rewilding approach which features the work of FNyH.  Read the article here.

19/06/14 – Join MAVA’s new online community platform: Collaborate4impact

Collaborate4impact (c4i) is MAVA’s new virtual community space designed to bring together global experts to collaborate on ideas that can transform our global financial systems. This is an experimental crowdsourcing concept built within the frame of MAVA’s Sustainable Economy programme.

Currently, the financial systems operate in a business-as-usual approach by focusing on short-term gain and profit without acknowledging the planetary boundaries of our natural systems. How we re-wire these systems to act as agents of change that support and promote sustainable development, while restoring and safeguarding our environment, has yet to be determined.  We believe that c4i can help provide the answers.

So, join our community and share your ideas! Engage with others and their ideas so that together, we can help create the pathways that will bring about change. Read more and to sign up go to:

13/06/14 – Protecting migratory birds in the Mediterranean

MAVA has been working with Birdlife International since 2013 on a project to establish and strengthen a dynamic network of conservation NGOs to better protect key species, sites and habitats on the African-Eurasian flyway. The current focus of the network is on combating bird crime and limiting bird mortality due to the development of wind farms.
See Birdlife’s update on the latest developments of this project here.

11/06/14 – Oil company Soco not to drill in Virunga World Heritage Site

© Brent Stirton / Reportage by Getty Images / WWF-Canon

London-listed oil company Soco International PLC has announced today that it will end its operations in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and is also committing to remain out of all other UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

This announcement is a tremendous victory for conservation and puts an end to the unacceptable pressure that Soco’s oil exploration plans would have put on Virunga’s environment and communities.

This success can be largely attributed to the extremely active campaigning work led by WWF since last summer to protect Virunga National Park, and supported by MAVA. Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and a treasured World Heritage Site. The park is host to invaluable biodiversity and rare animals such as the legendary and critically endangered mountain gorillas. Additionally, over 50,000 families depend on the park’s Lake Edward for jobs, food and drinking water.

More info on WWF’s site.

10/06/14 – Association AGIR winner of Equateur 2014 Prize

The Moroccan association AGIR (Association de gestion intégrée des Ressources) has been awarded the Equateur 2014 Prize for the North Africa and Middle-East region, together with two other organisations. This prize is given every two years by the Equator Initiative and recognises twenty-five local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

MAVA supports the association AGIR since 2012 in the implementation of a sustainable management model for the Al Hoceima National Park. This is being done by involving artisanal fishermen in the creation and management of a network of no-fishing zones inside and around the park.

MAVA warmly congratulates the association AGIR for this prize.

28/05/14 – Laying of the foundation stone at the future ‘Parc animalier de La Garenne’

Enclos des loups et Grande Volière (c) La Garenne
The wildlife park of La Garenne, situated in the Canton de Vaud in Switzerland, will be totally rebuilt to give visitors the opportunity to discover the Swiss fauna in optimal conditions. The laying of the foundation stone ceremony took place on 27 May 2014 and the construction work will last about two years.

MAVA, who supports this initiative together with other donors, has worked with the park on different projects since 1998. With this project, MAVA and the park will be able to accomplish a common objective – the conservation of regional biodiversity.

Thanks to these new facilities, the park will be able to pursue its mission which is: animal care, preservation of threatened species, education about regional fauna and its environment, and presentation of various species in their respective habitats.

14/05/14 - MAVA Annual Report 2013

MAVA Annual Report 2013
MAVA’s 2013 Annual Report is available!

We are pleased to offer you compelling stories celebrating some of the great work undertaken by our partners last year.
2013 has been a challenging and successful year, driven by the unparalleled commitment and motivation of our partners. We hope you will enjoy reading about their work.
Download the report here.

02/05/14 - Luc Hoffmann to receive the Category III Zayed International Prize for the Environment

Luc Hoffmann has been honored with the Zayed International Prize for Environmental Action Leading to Positive Change in Society (category III) for his work in philanthropy and the conservation of wetlands. He will receive this prestigious award on 7 May 2014 at a special ceremony in Dubai.

This prize recognizes and promotes major pioneering contributions in the field of environment and sustainable development, in accordance with the development philosophy and vision of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and in support of global initiatives such as the Agenda 21, the Millennium Development Goals, and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation for Sustainable Development. More information on the prize can be found here.

MAVA wishes to warmly congratulate Luc Hoffmann on this award!

16/04/14 – « Best of the Best » Award for the Society for the Protection of Prespa

The Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP), one of MAVA’s longstanding partners, has been honoured by the European Commission for the second time, with a “Best of the Best” Award for its implementation of the LIFE + Information and Communication project ‘Fish, Fisheries & European Policy in the Prespa Basin’.

The award is given annually by the European Commission to four or five projects out of all those implemented under the European Union’s LIFE funding programme. The award is judged on the best implementation and management of projects according to the original proposal and the project results.

MAVA warmly congratulates SPP for this award.

For more information about SPP, click here.

11/04/14 - Birds' paradise Kopacki Rit on the Danube saved

Danube-Drava confluence in Croatia (c) Mario Romulic
The Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection has decided to stop plans to regulate and channelize a 53-kilometer long stretch of the Danube River. If the plans had gone ahead, the Kopacki Rit Nature Park in Croatia, an internationally renowned bird paradise, as well as Serbia’s most important Danube Nature Reserve – Gornje Podunavlje, would have literally dried out.

This decision comes after massive resistance from conservation organisations such as WWF, Euronatur, Birdlife International, Wetland international as well as local NGOs. The EU Commission and the EU Parliament had opposed the regulation project, which is contrary to EU law.

More information on this campaign which was supported by MAVA here.

10/03/14 - European vultures severely threatened by legal approval of Diclofenac in Europe

Europe’s vultures are facing one their greatest challenges ever: Diclofenac.

Veterinary diclofenac kills vultures and caused a dramatic (99%) and rapid decline in the vultures in the Indian subcontinent. Significant effort has been made to successfully ban the marketing of this drug in that region, as non-toxic alternatives exist. The appearance of this drug in Europe – it is now legally on sale in Spain and Italy, and has been exported from Italy to countries like Serbia and Turkey – represents a new and significant threat to the European vulture populations, and creates a precedent that can have global impact on the world´s vultures. MAVA’s partner, the Vulture Conservation Foundation is taking urgent action to combat this threat.

For more information, click here 

04/02/14 – Guinea-Bissau designates the Bijagós Archipelago on the List of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention

Parc National Marin Joao Vieira Poilaõ_Bijagos (c) Thierry Renaud

Guinea-Bissau has named the large Archipel Bolama-Bijagós as its second Ramsar Site. This nomination recognizes the importance of the archipelago as a wintering site for many waterbirds, and as a refuge for many vulnerable species: marine turtles, Grey parrots, hippopotamus, …

This strong and encouraging political signal is the result of long conservation advocacy work in the field, led by several organisations in the region, of which some are MAVA’s partners such as IUCN and IBAP.

Additional information available on Ramsar’s website here.

31/01/14 – WWF campaign convinces Romania to commit to protecting its living rivers

Minister of Environment Varga and WWF DCP_Romania Director Magor Csibi © WWF Romania
In November 2013, WWF launched a public campaign against the construction of small hydropower plants in protected areas and on rivers in Romania. A petition to the Minister for Water, Forests and Fisheries was signed by more than 18,000 Romanians.

As a result of this intense advocacy work, which has been supported by MAVA, the Romanian government recently committed to prepare a bill on hydropower production in line with the EU legislation on nature conservation.

Read more about this successful public campaign here.

28/01/14 – Don’t miss the 2014 winter paper edition of the French magazine Thalassa which showcases en Haut’s kite aerial photography!

Dessin cerf volant v(c) en haut

The ‘en haut collective has developed a technique that can take spectacular aerial images at low cost. MAVA is proud to be supporting the work of this collective whose technique has been adapted to the needs of Guinea Bissau’s protected area managers. In cooperation with the national Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas (IBAP), kite aerial photography is being used to carry out participatory monitoring of the region’s development, or even to undertake threatened species counts (birds, hippopotamus) without disturbing them.

Read more about the IBAP/en haut project funded by MAVA here.

09/01/14 – Faia Brava Reserve in the New York Times

Faia Brava
Associação Transumância e Natureza is a local environmental NGO operating since 2000 in Northeast Portugal. In 13 years it achieved tangible conservation gains and pioneered novel conservation approaches, such as the creation of the first private nature reserve in the country, Faia Brava.

The New York Times recently issued an excellent article on the work undertaken by Associação Transumância e Natureza in Faia Brava, Portugal. Read the article here.

08/01/14 – Coto Doñana National Park celebrates its 50th anniversary

Sand Dune & Pine TreesMAVA is happy to join WWF-Spain in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the designation of Spain’s Doñana Biological Reserve.

Located where the Guadalquivir River reaches the Atlantic Ocean, Coto Doñana is considered one of the most valuable wetlands in Europe. The region is a sanctuary for millions of migratory birds and endangered species, including the imperial eagle and Iberian lynx.

Coto Doñana National Park was established 50 years ago when WWF agreed to purchase of 6,794 hectares of land. This saved Doñana from destruction and transformed the region into the first biological reserve of Spain.

Throughout Luc Hoffmann’s lifetime in conservation he has helped address threats in selected places of global conservation importance. Coto Doñana is one of these places and work carries on today in Doñana with MAVA support.

Click here for more information on the story of Doñana.

11/12/13 – A new study presents the cultural conservation practices in the Mediterranean

RapidAssessmentReport_web 1

The Mediterranean offers a unique biodiversity with distinctive cultural identities and characteristic cultural landscapes. This rich heritage is partly due to the continuous interaction between nature and culture which are inextricably linked in this region

Some of the cultural values have been integrated into the practices of the Mediterranean populations for centuries, if not millennia. It is only relatively recently that they have started to be discontinued.

Under the auspices of MAVA, a consortium of NGOs* have come together to undertake an assessment of the cultural conservation practices in the Mediterranean Basin. The aim being to understand these practices and contribute to the revival of some of the traditional knowledge, which has so far often not been acknowledged by the conservation community.

The ‘Rapid Assessment of Cultural Conservation Practices in the Mediterranean’, which presents the initial findings of the study, has just been published and can be downloaded here.

Out of all practices presented in the assessment, transhumant pastoralism has been identified as the most cross-cutting practice in this project. The consortium will explore this practice as a case study in 2014.

* The Mediterranean Consortium for Nature and Culture is composed of the following organisations: Associacion Trashumancia y Naturaleza, DiversEarth, Doga Dernegi, Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (Med-INA), Society for Protection of Nature in the Lebanon (SPNL), and WWF, with technical support from IUCN and Fauna & Flora International

05/12/13 – A gathering to address the issue of drying lakes

Lakes are drying out all over the world. In order to discuss the reasons and consequences of this harsh reality, and to find solutions to address them, the Turkish organisation Doğa Derneği hosted a gathering on 17-18 September 2013 in Burdur, Turkey, with the support of MAVA.

The meeting was attended by activists, academics and public officials from Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. All participants face similar problems in their regions and this meeting enabled them to exchange experiences, share best practices in lake restoration and think about how to develop activism to save drying lakes.

One concrete outcome of this gathering was the decision to establish a regional communications platform to exchange information on the situation of drying lakes in the concerned countries and the work undertaken to protect them. The platform will also be open to other people who work to keep lakes alive in Central Asia, Africa, Middle East and Balkans.

For further information, click here.

28/11/13 - MedWet enters a new phase and seeks to appoint a Coordinator

The Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) is a long-term regional cooperation mechanism under the Ramsar Convention. MedWet relocates its secretariat in 2014 to the Camargue (France) for the start of a development phase to firmly establish MedWet as a key mechanism for water and wetland cooperation in the Mediterranean within the next three years. To guide and drive this process, MedWet is seeking to appoint a Coordinator.

More information and online application for this post are available on the IUCN website. IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, provides administrative services for the Ramsar Convention.

Applications are invited from all interested and suitably qualified persons. The deadline for applications is 5 January 2014.

Note: A candidate should submit his/her application online, using the link above. No other method of application will be considered

25/11/13 - Highs and lows for the monk seals in Mauritania

Thanks to conservation efforts of MAVA’s partners CBD-Habitat and Annajah, the monk seal colony in Mauritania now has more than 220 animals. Nevertheless, the situation is still very fragile and the need to maintain the reserve is as important as on day one. As a clear example, on 27 September 2013, a gill net was detected by the surveillance team in front of one of the breeding caves inside the reserve. Sea conditions didn’t allow the marine patrol to remove it and when they finally managed to do so three days later, two young monk seals had been captured by the fishing gear. A three-month old male was saved, but, sadly, a juvenile female died drowned entangled.

See the video below from CBD-Habitat or click here to read more about this story.

15/10/13 – Mario Broggi receives the 2013 EuroNatur Award

EuroNatur president Christel Schroeder and Dr. Mario Broggi © Peter Schmenger

The 2013 EuroNatur Award was recently awarded to Mario Broggi, a long-time friend of MAVA and former Board member. The EuroNatur Award for Environmental Excellence honors an outstanding commitment in the field of nature conservation and preservation, environmental education and sustainable development. The award is presented to personalities who have committed themselves in an exemplary manner to the preservation of natural resources over a long period of time.

Through his tenure as a MAVA Board member and then special advisor to the Alpine Programme, Mario helped  to develop MAVA’s strategy in the Alps. His knowledge and expertise contributed to shaping all of MAVA’s activities.

MAVA warmly congratulates Mario Broggi on this award of excellence.

For more information on EuroNatur and on the prize, click here.

11/10/13 – Luc Hoffmann Institute website launched

The Luc Hoffmann Institute (LHI) launched its public website this week. The LHI was created by WWF, with MAVA’s support, to respond to the most important questions facing global sustainable development and conservation by connecting WWF’s global network of practitioners and scientists with research capacity and multi-disciplinary thought leaders from around the world. The site outlines its purpose, current research projects, and recruitment for new Luc Hoffmann Fellows.

Read more about the Institute on its brand new website:

23/09/13 – Mura-Drava-Danube initiative finalist of 2013 European Riverprize

Arno and Tanja with finalists' award (c) David Prokop

MAVA wishes to congratulate WWF and EuroNatur who were one of the four finalists of the International River Foundation (IRF) 2013 European Riverprize, for the Mura-Drava-Danube initiative.

The IRF European Riverprize is one of the world’s largest environmental awards, which gives recognition, reward and support to those who have developed and implemented outstanding, visionary and sustainable programmes in river management.

The “Mura-Drava-Danube“, also known as the “Amazon of Europe”, will be the world’s first five-country UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Europe’s largest riverine protected area and can be seen as a flagship for regional cooperation and sustainable development based on a “green vision”. It will cover more than 800,000 hectares and be a safe home to the highest density of breeding pairs of White-tailed eagles in Europe and other endangered species such as the Little tern, Black stork, otters and beavers.

MAVA has been supporting WWF’s conservation work for the protection of the “Amazon of Europe” for several years. See more information about this initiative here.

03/09/13 - What does the future hold? This is the question that the Swiss newspaper '24 heures' is prompting its readers to engage in.

From 12 August to 13 September, 24 heures is publishing a special series to reflect on what familiar surroundings might look like in the future (in the fields of biodiversity, neuronal research and health) based on research of 3 local partner institutions: the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV), Lausanne University (UNIL) and Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL).

Every day, the newspaper is presenting a different theme and related scenarios for the future developed by researchers. The readers can then give their opinion on these scenarios by voting on This operation will continue until 22 September during the yearly Swiss national fair in Lausanne (‘Comptoir Suisse 2013’) where visitors will be able to interact directly on a wall of Ipads and also give their opinion on the various themes.

The aim of this project is to enable the public to understand the importance, quality and diversity of research undertaken by local institutions.

MAVA has supported this innovative local project, and in particular in the elaboration of the environment related themes.

06/08/13 - Have a look at the video produced by WWF on the Dinaric Arc Parks project

The “Dinaric Arc Parks“ project aims to create a platform by linking all protected areas that have their own management institutions from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo*, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. The project will help build cooperation with the private sector and improve everyday business through exchanging experiences and examples of good practice.

Due to the financial crisis, among other reasons, the protected areas have fallen off the radar screen of the governments, and are often viewed more as a financial burden than as an asset. However, with their beauty, geographical position and biological and cultural diversity, the Dinaric Arc Protected Areas represent an untapped potential for sustainable local development coupled with nature protection. The “Parks Dinarides” brand has been created as an attempt to give a common identity to the protected areas from the region and help them better position themselves on the nature tourism map of Europe. The video below is intended to promote the region’s natural beauty and make it more interesting as a tourist destination, and thus place the importance of preservation of their natural assets back on the agenda of the decision-makers.

MAVA has been supporting WWF in their work on saving the nature of the Dinaric Arc ecoregion since 2007, and the Dinaric Arc Parks project since 2012.

More information on the project and the participating protected areas can be found here.

05/07/13 - Carbon Tracker receives BusinessGreen Leaders Award 2013

Carbon_Tracker_AwardMAVA congratulates Carbon Tracker who was recently awarded the BusinessGreen Leaders Award 2013 in the category “Best NGO of the year”.

The BusinessGreen Leaders Awards celebrate the leading organisations and individuals from across the green economy who undertake genuinely unique work that can be emulated by the wider business community.

Carbon Tracker is one of the newest partners in MAVA’s new Sustainable Economy Programme. The Carbon Tracker Initiative is aiming to improve the transparency of the carbon embedded in equity markets. This will be done by identifying the scale of unburnable carbon currently listed on stock exchanges around the world in order to demonstrate the systemic risk to markets.

28/05/13 – A continuum between the Alpine and the Pyrenean bearded vulture populations

Carte CARDABELLE 15-05-13

The French ‘Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux Grands Causses’ is working with MAVA’s support to reinforce the bearded vulture population in the Massif Central area. The release of bearded vultures in the Grands Causses, mid-way between the Alps and the Pyrenees, contributes to developing a continuum between the Alpine and the Pyrenean populations, thereby allowing the two populations to mix.

The project recently achieved very promising results. Several bearded vultures released in June 2012 in the Massif Central by the LPO Grands Causses and fitted with GPS beacons, have been observed these past weeks in the Alps and in the Pyrenees.

You can follow the movements of two of the bearded vultures (Basalt and Cardabelle) here (in French).

In addition, you can follow the preparations for the 2013 release here (in French).

15/05/13 – MAVA's Annual Report 2012 is available

MAVA AR 2012 We are pleased to announce that MAVA’s Annual Report 2012 is now available. We invite you to join us in celebrating some of the highlights of our conservation work in 2012. This report offers fascinating stories about inspirational people and ground-breaking projects that demonstrate the extraordinary skill and dedication of our partners. Download the report here.

08/05/13 – Action Plan for marine turtles in Albania

MEDASSETOver ten years ago, Prof. Idriz Haxhiu of Tirana University alerted MEDASSET to the presence of sea turtles in Northern Albania. Long-term research showed that both the endangered loggerhead and green turtle migrate through Albanian waters, and that Drini Bay is an important feeding, overwintering and developmental habitat for the species in the Mediterranean.

Based on the scientific results, and in accordance with MEDASSET’s mission to promote sea turtle conservation throughout the Mediterranean, in February 2012 MEDASSET submitted an Action Plan for the Conservation of Sea Turtles and their Habitats in Albania to the Albanian government. This was formally adopted on November 22nd 2012.

The Action Plan serves as a roadmap for the development of sea turtle research and protection in Albanian waters. This is an important milestone for sea turtle conservation in the Mediterranean. Of course, much work lies ahead for, if sea turtles migrating through Albanian waters are to be monitored and threats against them mitigated, the Action Plan must be properly implemented.

The Action Plan is a result of extensive consultation with Albanian experts and scientists that was carried out during 2011 by MEDASSET and the Minister of Environment, with the support of the MAVA Fondation and under the auspices of the Barcelona Convention and the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas of UNEP’s Mediterranean Action Plan.

25/03/13 – CITES reinforces the protection status of the African manatee and several threatened selacian species

At the 16th meeting of the CITES Conference (3-14 March in Bangkok), the parties decided to better regulate the international trade of the Oceanic Whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus), of three hammerhead shark species (Sphyrna lewini, S. mokarran, S. zygaena), of the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) as well as of two existing manta ray species (Manta birostris, Manta alfredi). They also decided to ban the international trade of the freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon) and the manatee (Trichechus) by transferring these species from Annex II to Annex I. These regulations are an important step towards better conservation of these threatened species in West Africa.

These results recognise the efforts of an international coalition, among which MAVA’s partners working under the umbrella of the PRCM (le Partenariat régional  pour la conservation de la zone côtière et Marine en Afrique de l‘Ouest) played a leading role.

12/03/13 – NATURE Swisscanto Grand Prize awarded to Mathis Wackernagel

MAVA congratulates Mathis Wackernagel, President and co-founder of the Global Footprint Network (GFN), who was recently awarded the Swiss 2013 NATURE Swisscanto Grand Prize.

This Swiss Sustainability Award recognizes outstanding achievements advancing sustainable development in Switzerland. The Grand Prize was awarded to Mathis Wackernagel in recognition of his work on the development of the Ecological Footprint and his help to bring the tool to governments and institutions across the world. GFN has been one of MAVA’s partner for several years and is currently working with MAVA on institutionalizing the Ecological Footprint in the Mediterranean Basin.

For more information on the prize, click here (in French or in German).

12/02/13 - SPNL receives “Best Practices” Certificate

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) recently announced that one of its projects on the conservation of the marine “Hima” in Lebanon (The Conservation of the Marine “Hima” in Qoleileh – Reviving Yesterday’s Community Based Conservation Approach for the Sustainability of Tomorrow’s Generations) has been classified as “Best Practice” by the Dubai International Award for Best Practices (DIABP) to Improve the Living Environment (jointly administered by UN-Habitat and the Dubai Municipality).

This  classification is a way of recognising the project’s significant impact to improving the living environment. The project has been added to the UN-Habitat Best Practice Database as a way to share best practices to communities around the world.

The Qolieleh Hima project aims at preserving the southern Lebanese coast and its natural resources. It focuses on an area stretching from the south of Tyre Coast Nature Reserve to Naqoura village and involves neighboring villages in sustaining the marine Hima. The project benefits the local fishermen by creating job opportunities for them as marine guides, empowering them economically, training them on sustainable fishing methods, and promoting eco-tourism in the area. This also promotes sustaining the livelihood of the local population in general, improving income generation, and valuation of biodiversity by achieving a higher level of awareness and knowledge in support of nature conservation.

MAVA supports SPNL on another important project it is undertaking to restore Hima ecosystem functions through promoting sustainable community-based water management systems in North Eastern Lebanon (in Anjar-Kfar Zabad, Bekaa Valley) , and would like to congratulate SPNL for its commitment to sustaining Himas.

A Hima is a traditional system of governance of land use practices that integrates ecological, cultural and social considerations. It has recently regained much interest in Arabic and Muslim countries.

29/01/13 - New Ramsar site in Tunisia dedicated to Dr Luc Hoffmann

The government of Tunisia and WWF Tunisia have designated a new Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, the Complexe Lac de Tunis.

This designation is dedicated to Dr Luc Hoffmann on the occasion of his 90th birthday for his immense contribution towards wetlands and nature conservation. See the Ramsar website for more information.

22/01/13 – Professor Georg Grabherr nominated Austria’s 2012 Researcher

Prof Grabherr
 MAVA would like to congratulate Prof Georg Grabherr from the University of Vienna who has recently received the award of Austria’s 2012 Researcher.

In an environment that keeps getting warmer, species will be forced to move in order to stay within the temperature range for which they are adapted. Prof Grabherr instigated the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine environments (GLORIA) whose objective is to qualify and quantify the movement of alpine plants as an indicator for climate change. Research results of this project have been published in the most renowned scientific papers such as Science and Nature, and MAVA has been supporting this initiative since 2005.

11/01/13 – MedPAN’s key role at the 2012 Forum of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean

For the first time in the Mediterranean, about 300 key players in the areas of activity involved in the marine environment gathered to share their experiences and develop a joint program of work to advance the network of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean.

See the website of the 2012 Forum of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean for the results of this successful gathering. The role of MAVA’s partner MedPAN was key to reaching a common vision towards a comprehensive, ecologically representative, effectively connected and efficiently managed network of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2020.

14/12/12 – New video featuring the importance of Marine Protected Areas in Croatia

The project “Establishment and improved management of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean” (known as the MedPAN South project), currently in its final stage, is a basin wide effort undertaken by the WWF Mediterranean Programme Office (WWF MedPO) aimed at improving the representativeness and management of marine protected areas (MPAs). In addition to a regional capacity building component, the project focused on five pilot projects in Algeria, Croatia, Libya, Tunisia, and Turkey.

The following video highlights the importance of MPAs in Croatia and the achievements made throughout the project. It was produced as part of the Croatian pilot project which is coordinated by the NGO Sunce, in tight cooperation and with the guidance from WWF MedPO and the Croatian ministry of nature and environmental protection, as well as other national partners.

More information about the MedPAN South project can be found here.

10/12/12 – A step towards protecting the Amazon of Europe

MAVA has been supporting the establishment of the Mura-Drava-Danube biosphere reserve that spans over 700 kilometers of free flowing river and in five countries. Water regulation projects, mainly on the Croatian part, are threatening some of the river stretches of particular biological value.

According to a latest decision by the Croatian Environmental Ministry, the still natural confluence of Mura and Drava rivers, straddling along the Croatian and Hungarian border, will not be channeled. This abandonment is another step towards protecting one of the last great river landscapes in Europe. For more information: or click on the photo below to see a simulation.

06/12/12 – MAVA renews its commitment to IUCN’s conservation efforts

On 4 December, MAVA and IUCN signed a three-year ‘framework’ agreement in support of IUCN’s 2013-2016 Programme as well as a five-year project agreement to help implement the Regional Partnership for Coastal and Marine Conservation (PRCM) in West Africa.

Read more on IUCN’s website.

23/11/12 – Launch of the French edition of Living on the Edge

The French edition of Living on the Edge (Les ailes du Sahel) is hot off the press! This amazing book collects the latest knowledge about migratory birds and the challenges they have to cope with while crossing the Sahara and on their wintering site. Linking climate change, habitat degradation, and population dynamics, rich in maps and pictures, this is great tool for the conservation of threatened birds and ecosystems. MAVA is proud to have supported this translation, making it now available for francophone Africa.

Read more about the book or order it by clicking here (English) or here (French)

Extensive summaries can be downloaded in English or in French.

Living on the Edge – Wetlands and Birds in a Changing Sahel, by Leo Zwarts, Rob Bijlsma, Jan van der Kamp and Eddy Wymenga (2009, ISBN 978 90 5011 280 2) is published by KNNV Publishing, Zeist, Netherlands.

12/11/12 – The first Director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute takes office

MAVA is pleased to welcome Professor Joshua J. Tewksbury’s as Director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute, based at WWF International’s headquarters in Gland, Switzerland.

The creation of the Luc Hoffmann Institute was announced during WWF’s 50th birthday celebrations in April 2011, with a development grant from MAVA, which is intended to become a CHF 20 million commitment over 10 years. Prof Tewksbury’s principal role is to mobilise world-class thinking in science, policy and practice to help deliver the ambitious objectives of WWF’s Global Initiatives

Professor Tewksbury, a US national, was previously the Walker Endowed Professor of Natural History in the Department of Biology and College of the Environment at the University of Washington. Over the past decade, he has built an outstanding record of research on topics ranging from the ecological impacts of climate change, habitat fragmentation, and invasive species, to ecosystem services and food security.

While at the University of Washington, Professor Tewksbury played a central role in the creation of the new College of the Environment. He has a strong track record in collaboration across disciplines, both natural and social sciences, and in bringing nature and conservation issues home to decision makers and the public.

06/11/12 – MAVA met with his Excellency Mr Youssou N’Dour, Minister of Tourism and Recreation of the Republic of Senegal

On 16 October 2012, MAVA received the visit of Mr. Youssou N’Dour, Minister of Tourism and Recreation of the Republic of Senegal. This meeting was an opportunity to share ideas and thoughts on the relationship between tourism and the environment in Senegal. Senegal has plenty of treasures for tourists, both cultural and natural. Tourism development and sustainable management of natural resources are not incompatible objectives, however opportunities do exist to better align national sector-specific policies. MAVA recognises the importance of this matter, as well as the fact that private operators should be included in the thinking. It could support the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism through a project that IUCN is developing with its partners of the regional Partnership PRCM.

01/11/12 - Flamingos, the Camargue and the Tour du Valat on Arte TV

On Monday 5 November, TV channel Arte will broadcast at 19:00 CET a 43-minute documentary on Greater Flamingos. This film is part of a series of three documentaries by Laurent Charbonnier, renowned wildlife filmmaker, on the return of animal species which were previously declining.

The scenes were largely filmed in the Camargue (France), and mobilised several members of the Tour du Valat’s scientific team involved in the safeguarding and monitoring programme of the Greater Flamingos around the Mediterranean basin.

In addition to explanations on the ecology and behavior of the species, we also learn how Luc Hoffmann, Alan Johnson, Jean-Paul Taris and a few others helped to restore the flamingoes by creating an artificial island in the Fangassier pond in the early 1970s, at a time when the species was tending to disappear from the French Mediterranean coast due to various human pressures. A successful and truly beneficial initiative since about 80,000 flamingos were born there since, making the Camargue today an area of high importance for the species across its entire range.

The documentary will be broadcast live on Arte:

  • Monday 05/11 to 19 hrs CET
  • Monday 12/11 at 17:05 hrs CET
  • Monday 19/11 at 13:25 hrs CET

And from 05/11 20 hrs CET to 12/11 on Arte +7:

More information and presentation of the documentary here.

01-02/10/12 - Mediterranean ecological footprint workshop and donors meeting in Venice

On October 1st-2nd in Venice, Italy, MAVA co-organised with Global Footprint Network (GFN) and UNESCO, a two-day international conference on “Securing Competitiveness for the Mediterranean”. The first day was dedicated to the launch of the report ‘Mediterranean Ecological Footprint Trends’, while an expert workshop towards devising the next steps for reducing footprint in the Mediterranean region took place during the second day.

About eighty participants from government organisations, research groups, NGOs, the education sector and funding organisations attended. The spirit of the meeting is best captured in this statement: “We call on governments and international institutions to consider Ecological Footprint and biocapacity to assess the state of ecological assets, and to measure progress towards sustainable development and green economy in the Mediterranean region.”

The report revealed that Mediterranean countries consume 1,5 times more renewable resources than they produce within their boundaries, and that the consumption per capita in the region is much higher than the world average. Within the region all countries except Montenegro run an ecological deficit that has kept increasing since the 1960’s. This situation puts pressure on natural resources worldwide and represents a risk for the Mediterranean economies.

To respond to this challenge and reverse the trend, participants have agreed to disseminate the report throughout their networks and to work even harder on identifying possible solutions to their specific circumstances. After the workshop, the GFN staff left for Ankara to pass on the message to the representatives of higher spheres of decision making in Turkey.

More information on this event can be found following the link:
view event

On the margins of this event, on October 1st, MAVA convened a donors meeting to explore common funding interests for the Mediterranean region on all thematics and biomes. The event included representatives of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, European Foundation Centre, Fondation Ensemble, Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco, Fond Français pour l’Environnement Mondial, Fundacion Biodiversidad, Oak Foundation and MAVA Foundation. Issues such as marine protected areas, integrated coastal zone management and conservation of flagship species rated high on the list of common objectives.

27/09/12 – MAVA President highlights the foundation’s adaptability to change

During its recent 2012 World Conservation Congress, IUCN gathered key environmental philanthropists from around the world to discuss how foundations and philanthropists are viewing and responding to the threats and opportunities of the coming decades. Invited as a panelist, André Hoffmann, MAVA President, strongly emphasized that MAVA is able to react rapidly to the world’s new emerging environmental trends thanks to its flexible structure.

We can come to a clear conclusion quickly” said André Hoffmann, stressing the importance of MAVA’s light and rapid decision-process as well as its capacity to adapt to our changing world. In terms of strategy he also highlighted that MAVA’s long-term thinking is expressed in the projects it supports. However, building on the foundation’s values and experience, MAVA is presently working solidly on converting its vision so as to be able to focus on the world’s new global conservation challenges.

26/09/12 – MAVA announces new financial contribution to the Regional Partnership for Coastal and Marine Conservation (PRCM) in West Africa

PRCM organised a side event at the 2012 World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea, to launch its new regional conservation strategy for Coastal West Africa. During this event, MAVA announced its commitment of 2.25 million Euros for the implementation of the 2012-2016 PRCM strategic programme.

PRCM now represents a vast coalition of organisations, ranging from the local to the regional level, and including civil society organisations, as well as administrations, parliamentarians, or regional networks. The new phase of PRCM will reinforce its role as an innovative platform, facilitating exchange between partners, coordinating their actions and initiating lobbying and advocacy activities. It is co-funded by the Dutch Embassy in Dakar. For more information, click here.

24/08/12 - New MAVA Administration and Finance Assistant

We are pleased to announce that Laurianne Demierre joined the MAVA team on 20th August 2012 as administration and finance assistant.  Laurianne is a Swiss national with a maturité fédérale in modern languages and a diploma in tourism management.  Before joining MAVA Laurianne was HR assistant at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, having returned from Liberia earlier this year where she was responsible for administrative and logistics matters, including finance, HR administration, purchases and fleet management for Solidarités International, a humanitarian NGO. Before this she lived and worked in Palestine, Costa Rica and Switzerland in various administrative and project officer roles.

22/08/12 - MAVA mourns the loss of Martin Schneider-Jacoby

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing of Martin Schneider-Jacoby after a sudden, quick illness. Martin has worked for our long time partner Euronatur for over 20 years, and was the leader of several important projects dealing with the protection of migratory birds, karst poljes, as well rivers in the Balkans. His presence was always considered an immeasurable asset because of his enthusiasm and knowledge of the area.

Ever since his PhD work on the stork populations in the Sava river floodplains, Martin has been on the forefront of nature conservation in the Balkans where he was instrumental in numerous anti poaching campaigns, area protection initiatives, and training of local ornithologists. He will be remembered not only as an uncompromising fighter for the environment, but also as a warm person with a kind and genuine smile.

Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues, and we hope that his spirit will forever soar over the areas he cared for so deeply.

27/07/12 – MAVA Workshop: Comprehending culture and nature relationship

MAVA believes in the power of cultural arguments and values to achieve biological conservation targets. In order to further explore this topic and eventually transform the most promising approaches into an effective project concept, a selection of organisations* that already implement projects linking culture and nature gathered on 23rd and 24th July 2012 in Gland to share their experience on the subject.

As an introduction, each participant gave an example of a project which links culture and nature and in which they took part. The projects presented addressed conservation of sacred natural sites, integration of culture into the management of national parks, and linking traditional beliefs to resource management.

The second part of the workshop was dedicated to consolidating the presented approaches and to brainstorming on which of them could apply to the Mediterranean Basin and how they could be implemented. The outcomes of this exercise are the general outlines of a project linking culture and nature in the Mediterranean, which includes a set of actions and outcomes, as well as important considerations regarding project objectives.

Commitments were made by almost all the attendees to take up certain roles in the development of a detailed project concept, such as coordinating, regional or country-level data gathering, and fact checking.

* Participating organisations and individuals were: Foundation Pro Terra Engiadina (Angelika Abderhalden), Transhumance and Nature Fund (Jesus Garzón Heydt), Fauna & Flora International (Mark Infield), Fondation Internationale du Banc d’Arguin (Charlotte Karibuhoye), WWF Mediterranean Programme Office (Faouzi Maamouri), UNESCO Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (Douglas Nakashima), IUCN (Gonzalo Oviedo), Mediterranean Institute on Nature and Anthropos (Thymio Papayannis), Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (Assad Adel Serhal),  The Christensen Fund (Wolde Gossa Tadesse), DiversEarth (Liza Zogib), Doga Dernegi-BirdLife Turkey (Engin Yilmaz), and MAVA (Lynda Mansson, Paule Gros and Marko Pecarevic).

20/07/12 – Mura-Drava-Danube biosphere reserve added to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The Croatian-Hungarian part of the planned 5-country biosphere reserve “Mura-Drava-Danube” was officially approved by the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), which met in Paris from 9 to 13 July 2012.

The biosphere reserve covers 630,000 ha (about 80% of the future 5-country biosphere reserve “Mura-Drava-Danube”): 240,000 ha core and buffer zones (existing protected area network) plus an additional 390,000 ha transition zones. This new cross border biosphere reserve is the basis for effective protection and better management of the rivers and their catchment area, ecological river basin management and revitalisation. But it also enables a sustainable development of the region and of its cultural values.

This good news is the result of ten years of hard work by the authorities of the countries involved and by many partners who contributed to the implementation of a well protected and managed Mura-Drava-Danube river system under the leadership of WWF-Austria and with the support of MAVA.

06/07/2012 – Important conservation win in Greece

In the midst of the financial crisis, Greece takes an important step to secure the future of its valuable island ecosystems. A new presidential decree for the protection of 380 wetlands situated on 59 different Greek islands was signed and issued in the Government Gazette.

This decree is an important win for the conservation of these small Greek natural treasures. It is mainly the result of WWF-Greece’s tireless work to document and highlight the ecological value and plight of these small wetlands. For MAVA, who has been supporting WWF-Greece since the beginning of this action in 2004, this new piece of legislation is a big victory that must now be translated into action on the ground.

An infographic demonstrating the timeline of WWF Greece’s project for the conservation of the island wetlands is available here

05/06/12 – Two bearded vultures released in the Alps

On 26 May, two bearded vultures named Gallus and Bernd were released in the Calfeisental (Canton St Gall in Switzerland) by the Pro Bearded Vulture Foundation, which MAVA supports.

The aim of this organisation is to build a population of bearded vultures in the north of the Alps, and, on the long-term, to connect it with the bearded vulture population in the South of the Alps.

The reintroduction of bearded vultures in the Alps has successfully restored a wild breeding population with 27 wild born offspring so far. However, a recent analysis showed that the actual wild population has only around 12-14 founder genome equivalents, basically saying that only 12-14 birds are effectively breeding and exchanging their genetic makeup.  Experts recommend that at least 20 founder genome equivalents should be in the wild to ensure the long-term success of the reintroduction project. This release was the first of 3 planned releases in order to improve the genetic base of the Alpine Bearded Vulture. When all of the 9 birds are released, it is hoped that the genetic diversity of the breeding population will have increased sufficiently to ensure long term genetic health.

For more information, visit the Pro Bearded Vulture Foundation’s website

11/05/12 - Job opening: Administrative and Finance Assistant

The MAVA Foundation is seeking to recruit an Administrative and Finance Assistant.
Details of the position (in French) can be found here.

Deadline for the submission of applications is 4 June 2012.

26/04/12 - MAVA Spotlight 2011

We are pleased to share with you the inaugural edition of MAVA Spotlight, the foundation’s first annual report. The stories in the report show something of the unrivalled dedication and achievement of our partners, while offering an insight into our approach to conservation. Download the report here.

17/04/12 - "Change the Course" campaign launched by the Club of Rome

The Club of Rome has launched its “Change the Course” campaign to get young and committed people to brainstorm on how to change the course of history for a more sustainable society. On the day that marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, “Change the Course”, run in conjunction with several NGOs, like-minded organizations and individuals, asks people to contribute ideas for an urgent change of thinking and action. The voyage of the ultimate ‘Ship of fools’: the Titanic, offers many parallels to the current calls for humanity to change course and to get away from “business as usual” path.

Check out for more : or have a look at the video below.

08/02/12 - Two recent reports analyse environmental philanthropic funding

What is the current level of commitment of European foundations in the funding of environmental issues? Two reports recently published, one by The European Foundation Centre and one by the UK Environmental Funders Network, provide an analysis of the present situation and cover subjects such as the allocation of funds according to different thematic priorities or the geographical distribution of grants. This research can provide useful background for foundations as they reflect on their strategies and allocation of their resources, and provides food for thought on the gaps in funding for important conservation issues.

Download the reports:


Environmental Funding by European Foundations: A Snapshot” (produced by the European Foundation Centre)




Where the Green Grants Went (fifth edition, produced by the UK Environmental Funders Network)


01/02/12 - Unique educational resource to advance environmental awareness of the Mediterranean Basin’s threatened biodiversity

With the support of MAVA, Wildscreen has compiled audio-visual profiles for 100 threatened plant and animal species found within the Mediterranean Basin, using high quality films and photographs. Visuals are accompanied by brief accounts on species phylogeny, characteristics, distribution and habits developed based on sound scientific sources. A list of recent references and useful links is also provided.

This collection has been made accessible for public access online via the ARKive website. The Mediterranean Basin feature page highlights the biodiversity of the region and the accompanying species profiles.

Click here to browse through the Mediterranean Basin feature page.

11/01/12 - New video produced by WWF on the MAVA supported MedPAN South Project

Have a look at the new video produced by WWF on the MedPAN South Project, on the WWF website or directly below. The video addresses the need to achieve the goals of the Convention on biological Diversity and how the WWF approach contributes to this end.

For information : The MedPAN South Project is a 4-year collaborative project aimed at improving the management effectiveness of MPAs and supporting the creation of new ones in the 11 participating countries in the south and east of the Mediterranean, and the Mediterranean Balkans.

It aims to achieve this through 5 pilot projects in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Turkey and Croatia as well as through regional activities. Some of the goals of the project are:

  • To build human capacity for managing MPAs,
  • To strengthen the management plans of pilot sites,
  • To provide baseline data for the creation of MPAs in the South and East of the Mediterranean,
  • To strengthen and expand MedPAN, the Mediterranean network of MPA managers.

Towards more effective Marine Protected Areas south and east of the Mediterranean from WWF on Vimeo.