(1923 – 2016)
For more than half a century, Dr Luc Hoffmann was a champion for the conservation of nature


An ardent ornithologist from early childhood, Dr Luc Hoffmann obtained a PhD from Basel University in zoology and authored more than 60 books and publications on birds and their habitats.

In 1951, he set up Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat in France’s Camargue region, a private research institute devoted to the study and management of wetlands renowned in Europe and the world. Along with fellow researchers at Tour du Valat, he conducted the early studies of waterbird populations and wetland ecology.

In 1961, Dr Hoffmann became WWF International’s first Vice-President, a position he held until 1988. He also served as Director of Wetlands International, Vice-President of IUCN and established the Fondation Internationale du Banc d’Arguin in West Africa. He was a key figure in the original fight to save Spain’s Coto Doñana and a driving force behind the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

In 1994 Dr Hoffmann created the MAVA Foundation to help safeguard iconic places like the Camargue and Doñana. MAVA has since grown into a professional foundation, becoming a key funder of global conservation efforts.

In 2013, MAVA and WWF established the Luc Hoffmann Institute to help mobilise world-class thinking in science, policy and practice to improve the impact of conservation.

The Economist on Luc Hoffmann Lifetime achievements

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

Luc Hoffmann

Luc Hoffmann InstituteAbout Dr Luc Hoffmann