Reaching full nature recovery by 2050: The Luc Hoffmann Institute catalyses a new global nature-positive strategy

While the COVID-19 lockdowns have shown how life could be different for our planet, they have also shed light on how unsuitable our current socioeconomic systems are for the well-being of nature and people. Nature is in crisis, undermining nature’s contributions to human well-being, and representing a major risk to the global economy. Yet a ‘Nature Positive’ future can now be paired with a ‘Carbon Neutral’ future with a goal of full recovery by 2050 – the goal is ambitious and also achievable. But ‘bending the curve’ on biodiversity loss requires transformative change. 

The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity will meet to adopt in 2021, is an opportunity to drive such change, with a bold vision of ‘living in harmony with nature’ by 2050. However, ambitious goals are only meaningful if they can be mainstreamed into society and translated into action.

To help devise a mainstreaming strategy around no-net loss and nature positive principles, the Luc Hoffmann Institute convened a diverse group of leaders and thinkers at the World Economic Forum in early 2020, including representatives from the United Nations, WWF, the Business for Nature coalition, Systemiq, Microsoft, IUCN, the universities of Oxford and Kent, the MAVA Foundation and other representatives from government, conservation organisations and the private sector. The group explored what an apex target for biodiversity could look like and debated the merits of no-net-loss and net positive approaches. 

Stemming from that convening, and in preparation for this year’s Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, researchers from 22 institutions, led by the University of Oxford’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science and including Jon Hutton, Director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute and now Global Conservation Director for WWF International, have authored a bold new method that provides a way for everyone to play a role in achieving harmony with nature by 2050. The paper, published here by One Earth, shows how to change our overall impact from negative to positive through a four-step ‘Mitigation and Conservation Hierarchy’:

  • The refrain step involves avoiding negative impacts on nature as far as possible.
  • The reduce step involves minimising damage to nature where it cannot be completely avoided.
  • The restore step involves remediating any immediate damage to nature.
  • The renew step involves investing in revitalising nature.

“This decade and indeed this year must be the turning point, where we transform humanity’s relationship with nature and put the planet on a path to recovery,” says Hutton.

Indeed, the upcoming meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the future adoption of a new Global Biodiversity Framework, represent an opportunity to transform humanity’s relationship with nature. Restoring nature while meeting human needs requires a bold vision which will only succeed if biodiversity conservation becomes mainstream. The One Earth publication presents an overarching framework to support this, with practical implementation tips for policymakers, individuals, private sector organisations, non-governmental organisations and researchers available on the Mitigation and Conservation Hierarchy website

What is the Convention on Biological Diversity? 

United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is one of three international environment agreements that emerged from the Rio Earth Summit held in 1992.

The other two agreements are:

  • the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and
  • the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

About the Luc Hoffmann Institute

The Luc Hoffmann Institute aims to be the world’s leading catalyst for innovation and transformative change to maintain biodiversity, the foundation of all life on Earth. We create the conditions for new approaches to emerge, identify and mobilise the most promising innovators and ideas, and provide a flow of impactful, de-risked and exciting initiatives for investors. Our passionate and open-minded team is dedicated to driving societal change for nature and people to thrive together. Learn more at, connect with us on LinkedIn, or follow us on Twitter @LucHoffmannInst.


WWF-US developing new African-led Collaborative Platform incubated by the Luc Hoffmann Institute

A new African-led Collaborative Platform designed to connect funders with beneficiaries and build resilience within African wildlife communities, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been incubated by the Luc Hoffmann Institute and successfully transitioned to WWF-US.

After a six month incubation period to design the initiative to the advanced concept phase, WWF-US took on full responsibility for the project in September 2020, as the implementing and executing agency of the lead funder, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to develop the full work programme and lead its implementation.

Following the recent submission of the final project document to the GEF, WWF-US will guide further development of the initiative and work with the host secretariat, the WWF Regional Office for Africa, to lead and deliver the platform in the region. 

The Luc Hoffmann Institute initiated the project back in April 2020, with the pandemic underway and the ensuing global collapse of tourism just beginning. Following an idea sparked internally as an initial response to this, the institute conducted an extensive literature review and research into the impacts that COVID-19 was having on nature-based tourism in Africa. This work highlighted the fact that rural communities – custodians of the landscapes and often marginalised – were not able to access enough emergency relief funding and were at high risk of losing their livelihoods.

In the six months that followed, the institute worked with a range of expert organisations in Africa and globally to develop and test the platform concept, and importantly, to look at ways to build resilience in the long term as well as relief in the medium term. 

The Institute invested USD 175,000 in the groundwork, drawing on technical expertise within the institute and other organisations. Large scale mapping exercises on data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as well as nature-based tourism trends were carried out while existing platforms and funding sources were investigated. In a truly collaborative effort, organisations such as the IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa, Vizzuality, Maliasili, Resource Africa, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the UN Development Programme were mobilised to support – along with community organisations on the ground.

More detail on key milestones and collaborative achievements to date can be found here.

Now that WWF-US’ work with GEF project partners and the WWF Regional Office for Africa is firmly underway, the collective ambition – assuming final confirmation of the funding –  is to launch the African-led Collaborative Platform in 2021, to support communities on the ground first and foremost, and to recover and build back better – protecting people and nature.

Please contact Nikhil Advani at for information and future updates on the project.


Announcing the winners of the Beyond Tourism in Africa Innovation Challenge

The Luc Hoffmann Institute, the African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation and WWF Regional Office for Africa are pleased to announce the winners of the Beyond Tourism in Africa innovation challenge. 

The challenge, which ran from 1 September to 15 October 2020, sought new ideas for innovative sources of income from nature that go beyond tourism. Winners receive a place in the African Leadership University’s incubator programme, which commences in February 2021. The 8-month, virtual programme is a crucial next stage that will take participants from idea phase to building viable, investment-ready businesses.

About the innovation challenge

We sought solutions that would allow for the protection of nature while also providing sustainable livelihoods and economic resilience to the communities who manage land or live in close proximity to wildlife. We believe that the winning ideas have potential to develop into successful projects or businesses that reduce some of the dependence on tourism revenue in funding conservation efforts. These ideas come at a critical time when the global shutdown caused by COVID-19 has highlighted the vulnerability of communities reliant solely on tourism.

More than 300 applications were submitted to the challenge by individuals and teams from across the continent of Africa and around the world. There were 54 nationalities represented (a majority of them in Africa), and a vast age range from 16 to 87! The ideas submitted showed ingenuity, passion to address environmental and poverty issues, and drive for sustainable development. 

The applications went through a rigorous judging process involving a review by a diverse panel (see list of panel members at bottom) with a range of expertise, from community-based conservation and business development to entrepreneurship. The review panel was faced with a tough choice from among many inspiring applications. 

The Luc Hoffmann Institute, the African Leadership University and WWF Regional Office for Africa together extend our congratulations to the winners and a warm welcome to the African Leadership University’s incubator programme. We look forward to seeing how these ideas develop into viable projects that effect important positive change for communities across Africa.

Beyond Tourism in Africa – Winning Ideas

(listed alphabetically by idea name)

Community-led virtual classroom for nature-based field education
Idea: Building an online platform whereby individuals and groups in local communities can provide lessons live ‘from the field’ in ecology, culture, conservation and sustainable resource use, aimed at global audiences such as individuals, schools and universities. The project will enable cross-cultural interactions by including the histories, mythologies and spiritual worlds local people share with their environment, and elevating indigenous voices and perspectives.
Team Members: Marina Khoza, Karen Vickers
Team Countries: South Africa, Canada
Local Community: TBD

Dancing away to improve livelihoods and promote conservation
Idea: Community knowledge of the environment is preserved and propagated by music and dance. This idea commercialises conservation folklore while simultaneously amplifying local knowledge about wildlife by identifying, recording and performing cultural songs and other folklore for a profit channelled back into local community projects.
Team Members: Joanna Hill, Tutilo Mudumba
Team Countries: Uganda, UK
Local Community: Murchison Falls National Park

ForestPesa: A micro-payments marketplace for micro-forest owners
Idea: A pay-for-success mobile marketplace that would allow micro-forest owners to directly exchange their verified carbon with local and international carbon buyers, with the aim of supporting micro-forest owners in the protection, propagation and conservation of indigenous trees.
Team: Robert Ddamulira, Judith Chatiza
Team Countries: Uganda, Zimbabwe
Local Community: Mabira Forest Reserve 

Funding community conservation via sponsorship of identifiable plots
Idea: Donors support and fund habitat protection by sponsoring identifiable plots of land (locatable via an existing third-party app), creating additional revenue streams for communities that are setting aside land for wildlife.
Team Members: Mod Masedi, Ben Heermans, Dr J.W. Tico McNutt
Team Countries: Botswana, US
Local Community: Western Okavango Delta

Global payments encouraging local-conservation effort using blockchain
Idea: Enable global payments using blockchain technology to create an accessible market for conservation-effort credits that encourage community conservation and reduce poverty. The initiative proposes a three-pronged monitoring model (tree coverage, animal wildlife occupancy and biodiversity soundscape saturation) to meet global biodiversity objectives.
Team Members: Mark Gerrard, Simon Morgan, Gavin Erasmus
Team Country: South Africa
Local Community: TBD

Home of the Gorillas
Idea: Generating non-trekking revenues to fund gorilla conservation and support local communities by developing a subscription-based mobile app that enables users around the world to engage with gorillas through activities like virtual interaction, celebrating gorilla milestones and local community e-commerce.
Team Members: David Gonahasa, Fidelis Kanyamunyu
Team Country: Uganda
Local Community: Bwindi

Integrating technology and conservation rewards to support African youth
Idea: Develop a resilient, equitable economy near Kruger National Park through ‘conservation currency’ via a smartphone app. The app would utilise locally-tailored awards to engage community youth in conservation activities that also promote local businesses and goods, thereby creating subsistence and long-term employment opportunities.
Team Members: Matt Lindenberg
Team Country: South Africa
Local Community: Kruger National Park

Landscape wildlife business model for the Baviaanskloof Bewarea
Idea: To demonstrate the link between natural capital and financial capital through direct investment in game by establishing populations of indigenous herbivores for rewilding, breeding and off-take towards the game-meat industry, thereby incentivising improved natural habitat management.
Team Members: Justine Rudman, Luyanda Luthuli, Justin Gird
Team Country: South Africa
Local Community: Baviaanskloof Bewarea

MN Foods – Conservation Condiments
Idea: Training and equipping women farmers in conservation areas to grow and develop chilli condiments in buffer zones of national parks, creating alternative revenue channels from which a percentage of profits are returned to the community in the form of input loans and additional farmer support.
Team Members: Marjorie Nanteza, Esther Nantambi
Team Country: Uganda
Local Communities: Bwindi; Kibale National Park

Processing and selling 100% natural Obudu honey
Idea: Obudu Mountain Farms’ Obudu Honey is a social enterprise that would work collaboratively with local beekeepers to produce natural honey through eco-friendly practices, with a focus on creating sustainable livelihoods for women and youth farmers. A percentage of the generated revenue would be committed to protecting local wildlife.
Team Members: Nela Duke Ekpenyong, Kevin Eyos
Team Country: Nigeria
Local Community: Obudu Plateau

Production and marketing of endemic Malagasy plants consumed by lemurs
Idea: This idea is to generate a sustainable source of income for local communities through endemic plants of southwest Madagascar. Germination of a number of these plants is accelerated when their seeds have passed through the digestive tract of a lemur. This project will set up a collection and marketing plan for these seeds, thereby contributing to the restoration of several degraded habitats and helping protect plant species.
Team Members: NY AINA RASOLOFOHERISOA Tiana Ravoniriana Tahina, ANDRIANJATOVO Onjaniaina Olivia Fabrice 
Team Country: Madagascar
Local Community: Itampolo

Rewilding African rangelands to improve socio-economic resilience
Idea: This idea will galvanise the long-term viability of sustainable wildlife economies by quantifying soil carbon credits and connecting communities to global carbon markets and impact investors, facilitating access to global carbon markets to incentivise and offset the costs of the rewilding of rangelands.
Team Members: Matthew Child, Tyron Fouche, Alexander Child
Team Country: South Africa
Local Community: South Africa

Role of Bees in Income Generation and Environmental Sustainability
Idea: Create income generation and encourage community engagement in environmental protection by training local beekeepers in sustainable practices, investment in sustainable hives and equipment, and a programme of marketing literacy. The project would promote environmental sustainability and social inclusion, with a focus on empowering young people and women.
Team Members: Mariama Satu Kargbo, Aminata Serry
Team Country: Sierra Leone
Local Community: Outamba Kilimi National Park

Idea: This innovation would use a mobile and internet-powered platform to connect local decor artisans and fashion designers to the international market, with an integrated digital cultural hub that would empower these communities to tell their own stories about their cultures and relationships with nature and wildlife. 
Team Members: Gloria Kisilu
Team Country: Kenya
Local Community: Maasai and Samburu

The Cultural Marketplace
Idea: The Cultural Marketplace will be an e-commerce platform of artisan products, virtual tourism and educational experiences that will bridge the gap between global buyers and local artisans and communities. Products will be marketed to highlight the vendor’s links to sustainability and conservation and profits will go to the Impact Fund to directly support conservation initiatives.
Team Members: Gosaitse Lekoko, Debora Duarte, Ruth Stewart
Team Countries: Botswana, Angola, UK
Local Community: KAZA region

Review Panel

African Leadership University: Elizabeth Babalola, Elizabeth Gitari-Mitaru, Julia Pierre-Nina, Sue Snyman 
WWF: Melissa De Kock, Richard Diggle, Peter Scheren
Luc Hoffmann Institute: Adrian Dellecker, Elisabeth Losasso


For further information regarding the African Leadership University’s incubator programme, please contact

For media queries, get in touch with Megan Eaves, Communication Manager at

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The Luc Hoffmann Institute brings together diverse thinkers to kickstart a nature economy

How can we kickstart a nature economy which creates tangible, mutually transactional value to protect nature at scale? A nature economy which preserves and restores biodiversity in the long term while securing solutions for the short term.

On 27 October 2020, the Luc Hoffmann Institute and the MAVA Foundation convened a group of 33 individuals, ranging from economists, insurance professionals and impact investors to artists, writers and conservationists, to embrace new ways of thinking on this issue during a three-hour spirited and progressive discussion.

Participants covered important groundwork on thinking big for the long term, philosophically and economically, then began scaling back to look at how this might translate into shorter-term practical approaches. “We need to build practical pathways towards meaningful revenue streams. Such return on investment will create strong incentives for the private sector and those with entrepreneurial spirit to engage”, explained Holger Schmid, Director of the Sustainable Economy Programme at the MAVA Foundation.

What will a nature economy look like in 2050?

Three different creative scenarios were presented by writer and visual artist Camille de Toledo, WCMC Beijing representative Han Meng, and Internet of Elephants founder Gautam Shah. Each imagined a world in 2050 in which the numerous ways that society values nature have been realised to achieve its protection. Either by giving non-humans legal rights through mass attitudinal change, or by considering the non-negotiables for a practical way forward, nature has been preserved and is thriving alongside people. This futures-thinking method was used to encourage different ways of thinking and spark themes that were explored throughout the meeting.

Emerging themes 

Several thematic areas were identified by participants during the event, including: 

  1. Increasing risk-taking and rewards for bolder conservation approaches: How can we reimagine funding mechanisms for nature conservation to better support entrepreneurs in the non-profit impact sector? Are there mechanisms that can mimic the private sector, such as share-purchasing or profit-sharing? Can philanthropic organisations play a bigger role in lowering the risk of early stage ideas?
  2. Providing legal and political status to “non-human” living beings: a pathway to building a better equilibrium between humans and the elements of nature, in order to transfer more rights to those ecosystems which were deprived of rights for centuries.
  3. The re/insurance sector may offer an opportunity to assess concrete values of nature and biodiversity conservation – and, inversely, the risk of biodiversity loss – to pass on this cost and benefit to their customers through, for example, certified payment for ecosystem service (PES) schemes. This would have the potential to create new revenues for conservation organisations.

Where next? 

Doughnut Economics creator and economist Kate Raworth sparked a new direction in the conversation, asking: “Should we bring nature into the economic infrastructure which already exists or make economies more compatible with the living world? These are fundamentally different world views and have profoundly different consequences. Which paradigm do we believe will save humanity and nature in the long term? We need to fit nature into the economy in the short term, but in the long term it’s of paramount importance that we fit the economy into nature.”

Paradigms and values do not need to be shared by all in order to find a shared way forward. By sharing ideas from diverse perspectives, using imagination and adding critical systems thinking, the stepping stones needed to pave the way ahead emerged. 

It’s vital that a strong civil society stands to hold governments to account when needed. There are examples in Africa where governments are already making these changes – when given a strong business case and the tools to bring together donors, advisers and investments, the right decisions are made.

As Dr. Theodor Cojoianu, Assistant Professor in Finance, Queen’s University Belfast & Member of the Platform on Sustainable Finance, EU Commission, highlighted: “Educating ourselves on conflicts of interest including on financial flows is crucial – we need to know where the money is coming from and where it is going. Great work has been done in unveiling such conflicts of interest in the area of fossil fuels and climate change. We definitely need something similar for biodiversity and other environmental aspects.”

The MAVA Foundation and the Luc Hoffmann Institute look forward to continuing this conversation towards developing a nature economy. If you would like to contribute ideas, case studies or learnings, please contact Adrian Dellecker at


Luc Hoffmann Institute-led Biodiversity Revisited wins award for innovative, collaborative facilitation

Investing in new solutions for life on Earth means investing in creative facilitation. This is a lesson from the Luc Hoffmann Institute – and many groundbreaking ideas have been incubated as a result. Now, the institute’s efforts, along with those of long-standing collaborators, have been internationally recognised.

On Monday 26 October 2020, the Luc Hoffmann Institute proudly co-accepted a Gold Facilitation Impact award from the International Association of Facilitators (IAF). The award is for its collaborative facilitation efforts, together with external facilitators Gillian Martin Mehers and Randall Krantz, on the Luc Hoffmann Institute-led Biodiversity Revisited initiative.

In the warm up to the virtual ceremony, the IAF released a short film featuring our Head of Programme (ad-interim) and experienced facilitator, Melanie Ryan. In this film, Melanie – who led the Biodiversity Revisited initiative – explains why facilitation is so important in our mission to provide a fresh perspective on critical conservation challenges and develop new approaches and solutions that will deliver biodiversity gains in policy and practice.

Over a period of 24 months, the Biodiversity Revisited team convened a diverse range of stakeholders to develop a new Biodiversity Revisited research agenda, helping spark new ways of working for and thinking about life on Earth.

Stepping away from PowerPoint presentations and traditional facilitation formulas, Biodiversity Revisited used creative, participatory methods such as art and fiction to engage diverse people from around the world, virtually and in person. These facilitation methods fostered trust and encouraged courageous conversations to enable new voices to be heard and chart innovative ways forward.

The Luc Hoffmann Institute’s director Jon Hutton, who has recently been appointed as WWF International’s Global Conservation Director, says: “Great ideas don’t just happen. To encourage diversity of thought, bring in new ideas, and incubate inclusive agendas where everyone in society has a part to play, you need a special kind of great facilitation. The Luc Hoffmann Institute is bringing that together with a suite of skills into the WWF Global Conservation Division to catalyse innovation and transformative change within WWF for nature and all people.”

To learn more about the Biodiversity Revisited initiative, please contact Melanie Ryan at:


Luc Hoffmann Institute’s Jon Hutton to lead WWF’s Global Conservation Division

Jon Hutton, Director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute, has been appointed as WWF International’s Global Conservation Director, effective 1 December 2020. 

Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said: “I am delighted to appoint such an experienced conservationist to this key position for WWF. Appointing Jon Hutton also stands as testament to the performance and influence of the Luc Hoffmann Institute under his leadership over the last four years.”

The Luc Hoffmann Institute to be an integral part of WWF’s Global Conservation architecture 

As part of Jon Hutton’s appointment, the Luc Hoffmann Institute will be adopted as a key part of WWF International’s Global Conservation Division, continuing to operate under Jon Hutton’s overall direction. The institute will retain its independence of thought and a degree of operational autonomy, serving as an engine for innovation within WWF while sustaining its current trajectory.

“My decision to make the move was strongly influenced by the fact that the future of the Luc Hoffmann Institute will be secured. I am grateful to everyone that has partaken in our journey so far, and look forward to seeing the institute and the ideas it incubates flourish within the new arrangement. I think that Luc Hoffmann, who was WWF International’s first Vice-President, would have embraced this development,” said Jon Hutton.

About the Luc Hoffmann Institute 

The Luc Hoffmann Institute aims to be the world’s leading catalyst for innovation and transformative change to maintain biodiversity, the foundation of all life on Earth. We create the conditions for new approaches to emerge, identify and mobilise the most promising innovators and ideas, and provide a flow of impactful, de-risked and exciting initiatives for investors. Our passionate and open-minded team is dedicated to driving societal change for nature and people to thrive together. Learn more at, connect with us on LinkedIn, or follow us on Twitter @LucHoffmannInst. You can also write to us directly at  

news publication

Strengthening Futures Capacity in Africa: a new African Ecological Futures report

How can Africa develop its potential without having a negative impact on nature and on the benefits that local communities in Africa derive from nature? Looking 50 years into the future, when Africa has become a prosperous and dynamic force internationally, what ecological infrastructure would African societies want to see left? How much of the continent’s forests, watersheds, wildlife and traditional lifestyles should be protected and fostered, and how should that be done?

Increased use in Africa of tools for thinking about the future can help ensure the right questions are asked today. A new report on strengthening futures capacity in Africa, incubated by the Luc Hoffmann Institute for WWF’s African Ecological Futures project, explores the different methods for imagining the many possible futures for Africa and for identifying the actions required to reach those futures. The report’s author is Laura Pereira, a South African researcher who specialises in futures methods for imagining sustainable development pathways.

As well as providing a snapshot of the extent to which futures thinking is currently used in Africa, the report also points to a set of tools that can be used by people in Africa in a futures-oriented approach to strategic planning. Ranging from scenario planning and backcasting to science fiction prototyping and the Cynefin framework for decision-making under complexity, the tools are described alongside the kinds of questions they can help to answer.

In an afterword, Fred Swaniker, Founder of the African Leadership Group, welcomes the new report. He says it is “a great step to shifting our paradigm towards how we plan for and imagine Africa’s ecological future.”

Preferences and pathways: strengthening futures capacity in Africa is published as part of the Luc Hoffmann Institute’s commitment to the African Ecological Futures programme, now in its second phase. In publishing the report, the institute hopes to contribute both to the creation of an engaged group of futures specialists and to planning efforts for the development of futures-thinking capacity in Africa.

To learn more about the African Ecological Futures programme and contribute to boosting institutional futures capacity on the continent, please contact Adrian Dellecker at:


Call for proposals: Conducting a Multidimensional Biodiversity Index (MBI) for Switzerland

As part of a project to design and help implement a Multidimensional Biodiversity Index (MBI) for countries aiming to measure biodiversity health, the Luc Hoffmann Institute at WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund), hereafter “the Institute”, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), is seeking applications to carry out a pilot project in Switzerland.


To use, manage and restore biodiversity sustainably, we need to incorporate measures of how our socio-economic systems depend on, impact, derive benefits from and interact with biodiversity. These relationships determine biodiversity health, which is more than the number of species in an ecosystem or the remaining primary forest cover. If we are to effectively tackle the biodiversity loss crisis as a fundamental pillar to achieve sustainable development, we need to redefine biodiversity using a multidimensional approach that considers nature and people as equal parts of a healthy system. This requires a paradigm shift in how we measure biodiversity and link it to action through an improving biodiversity science-policy interface. This paradigm shift includes 1) accounting for the multidimensional nature of biodiversity and the context-dependency of its contributions to people and 2) establishing a science-based healthy and lasting relationship between biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

The MBI project aims to develop a policy-focused index for biodiversity as a tool for decision-makers to monitor if we are living within the regenerative capacity of nature or eroding our own opportunities to achieve sustainable development.

The gathering momentum in biodiversity policy on the world stage provides a window of opportunity for a shift from the perception of biodiversity conservation as a barrier to growth towards its recognition as an essential foundation for sustainable development. A MBI for nations could play a pivotal role in enabling that shift by transforming biodiversity from an abstract notion into a tangible entity that national governments can understand and act on. To achieve global relevance alongside the numerous existing biodiversity indicator initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the implementation of the MBI framework needs to be feasible in all countries, at different stages of development. Work is required to road-test the MBI framework in national contexts to understand its potential utility.  For more information and background to the MBI project and findings, please contact Carolina Soto-Navarro, Technical Lead, Science Programme (UNEP-WCMC), at

The MBI global project outcomes are:

1. The MBI framework is taken up by national governments to develop tailored national biodiversity measures that monitor the state of biodiversity and its contributions to people.  

2. Community of engaged experts is built and agreement on how to develop an MBI that monitors the ‘health’ of biodiversity and its contributions to people to inform policy making.

3. National government decision-makers consider evidence and recommendations from the MBI initiative to target resources and design biodiversity policies and measures that have better technical design, greater focus and are more effective in reducing biodiversity loss in all its dimensions.

4. Intergovernmental and multilateral agencies incorporate recommendations and outputs from the MBI Initiative and use the global MBI to compare biodiversity state across nations.

5. Increased global and in-country attention to research recommendations and outputs from the MBI initiative through engagement with media and civil society.

6. A growing global community of countries and organizations that focuses on multidimensional biodiversity is created, which promotes dialogue, provides peer-to-peer technical, statistical and policy support, and that distils experiences and lessons learned about measuring and using multidimensional biodiversity for policy purposes.

About the Luc Hoffmann Institute (LHI)

The Luc Hoffmann Institute aims to be the world’s leading catalyst for innovation and transformative change to maintain biodiversity, the foundation of all life on Earth. We create the conditions for new approaches to emerge, identify and mobilise the most promising innovators and ideas, and provide a flow of impactful, de-risked and exciting initiatives for investors. Our passionate and open-minded team is dedicated to driving societal change for nature and people to thrive together. Learn more at, connect with us on LinkedIn, or follow us on Twitter @LucHoffmannInst.

About the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)

UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre is a world leader in biodiversity knowledge. It works with scientists and policy makers worldwide to place biodiversity at the heart of environment and development decision-making to enable enlightened choices for people and the planet.

Overall project aim

The MBI pilot project in Switzerland should support the overall MBI global project. 

The objectives of the MBI pilot in Switzerland are to:

  • road test the MBI framework;
  • contribute to the  methodology development of the index;
  • provide input into other MBI pilots being conducted in other countries around the world as well as the overall MBI project;
  • leverage in-country ownership and policy usage of the MBI in Switzerland;
  • provide findings, lessons and best practices to the global MBI project and team. 

The pilot must include a broad range of stakeholders from not only environmental disciplines and practices (example: non-profit conservation organisations, state or local administrative departments) but ideally from other sectors such as economics, law, national statistics offices, or agriculture. Furthermore, the pilot should be cross-sectoral in nature and facilitate collaboration from a variety of stakeholders, including the private sector and the general public in order to gauge and integrate the aspirations, concerns and needs of the broader population into the MBI Swiss pilot. The aim is to co-create the Swiss MBI pilot for greater ownership and buy-in from important stakeholders.

Desired outcomes

In collaboration and consultation with the MBI Project Team at UNEP-WCMC, the successful organisation/team is tasked to:

  • Ensure broad consultation of stakeholders, including with the Swiss or Cantonal governments and administrations, to take into account user’s needs and expectations, for example through cross-sector national or cantonal workshops, and coordinate periodic stakeholder exchanges to discuss and advance the MBI Swiss pilot; Ensure the MBI framework is aligned to biodiversity policy needs in Switzerland;
  • Successfully collect relevant data across government offices and environmental data-holders in Switzerland, ensuring the involvement of relevant stakeholders in the MBI Swiss pilot;
  • Produce a Swiss MBI score based on proposed methodology aligned with the MBI overall framework and the other MBI pilot countries, and draft a report on the MBI (based on the data collected and analyses performed);
  • Share findings, insights and recommendations on a regular basis with the MBI Project team and other in-country pilot projects;
  • Design and implement a convincing pathway, including feedback loops, for engagement and use of the Swiss MBI by local actors, including the cantonal and/or national authorities. This should include a marketing and communication plan. 

Required competencies

The successful applicant organisation must be able to demonstrate:

  • Influential relationships with relevant research organisations, government departments related to the environment, local and national NGOs and a broad range of stakeholders related to biodiversity  issues;
  • Working relationships with national environmental data producers and consumers, including the national office of statistics and local environmental and development NGOs as well as relevant research institutes;
  • Experience conducting environmental data analysis and producing comprehensive synthetic reports;
  • A strong track record in convening a diverse range of actors and facilitating discussions in an open dialogue as a neutral convenor;
  • Good understanding and track record of co-creation and co-learning;
  • Familiarity with main issues and political dynamics of relevant international bodies and conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and relevant UN bodies.

The MBI Swiss pilot project should be finalised preferably by June 2022 and no later than December 2022.

Reporting lines:  

The successful team/organisation shall work under contract WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund) (“WWF International”), on behalf of the Luc Hoffmann Institute., in collaboration with UNEP-WCMC and be responsible to the MBI Project Team. Throughout the project, the selected team/organisation will maintain regular discussions on the activities with UNEP-WCMC.

Procedure for submission

Applications should be submitted to with the subject line: “Application for MBI Swiss Pilot”.

The application can be in Microsoft word or pdf form. The application should include:

  • An overall statement of interest and suitability for the project (max 250 words);
  • A narrative of overall approach and methodology to implement the MBI pilot in Switzerland, including the geographic scope (max 1000 words);
  • A description of how the pilot will contribute to the overall outcomes of the MBI project (see below);
  • A list of proposed stakeholders, confirmed or planned;
  • A demonstrated know-how of the Swiss political and economic system, as well as a track record of cross-sectoral research, co-learning and complex socio-political processes.
  • A detailed budget;
  • Confirmation of acceptance of the general terms and conditions set out in Annex 1.

Evaluation of proposals

 Proposals will be evaluated by the Institute against the following criteria:

  1. Suitability, including geographic connection to Switzerland or a Swiss Canton;
  2. General understanding and alignment to the MBI approach and methodology;
  3. Strong understanding of the Swiss political system;
  4. Established networks with relevant actors in Switzerland, including  government offices  and civil society; links to environmental actors is a must; links to actors beyond environment,  such as industry and agriculture is an added advantage;
  5. Ability and track record to conduct research and producing  comprehensive reports;
  6. Ability and  track record in convening a diverse group of stakeholder.
  7. Price

The proposals will be evaluated by a panel consisting of:

Representing the institute:

  • The MBI project budget holder;
  • A  WWF International  Executive  Director;
  • The WWF International  Finance Director;

Representatives of UNEP- WCMC will assist in the review process but the final decision will rest with the Luc Hoffmann Institute.

Deadline: Applications must be received no later than 9 October 2020, midnight CEST. Late submissions will not be considered. The Institute reserves the right to reject any and all responses to this Request for Proposals. Bidders shall bear all costs associated with preparing and submitting their proposals. Any form of canvassing will lead to automatic cancellation of the bid in question.

The Institute will notify bidders of its decision as soon as possible and no later than 23 October 2020, with projects able to start as early as mid October 2020. Interviews may be conducted with short-listed candidates on the week of 19 October. The Institute is under no obligation whatsoever to award the contract to the lowest priced bid or any bidder. The Institute may cancel the invitation to tender without notice and shall accept no liability whatsoever arising out of such action.

Budget: An important criterion for selection will be value for money. Applications with a total budget in excess of 200’000 CHF (including, if it applies, VAT) over the said period will not be considered. 

For any questions regarding this call for proposals, please contact

Find here the Annex 1: General terms and conditions  


Forging new paths: our 2019-2020 annual report is out!

The Luc Hoffmann Institute is proud to present its 2019-2020 annual report. Read about why societal innovation for nature and people is important in a post-COVID-19 world, and about the Luc Hoffmann Institute’s unique way of innovating. Our advisory council speaks out on societal innovation and Adil Najam, the chair of our advisory council, provides tips on how we can stand up for life on Earth starting now. You can delve into our thought leadership initiatives and read stories about the innovators and ideas we incubate, including Biodiversity Revisited, Securing the Future of Nature-based Tourism in Africa: a Collaborative Platform, Innovative Business Models, and African Ecological Futures. 

Discover our annual report here.


Join the 10 September 2020 Beyond Tourism in Africa webinar to learn about the innovation challenge

How can communities earn income from wildlife conservation beyond the tourism sector?
Applications are now open for the Beyond Tourism in Africa innovation challenge. We’re seeking innovative, community-led, non-tourism sources of income from wildlife across Africa. Participants have the chance to win a place in the African Leadership University’s incubation programme and access to seed money.

Join us on 10 September 2020 for an open webinar, where you will learn more about the innovation challenge and find out how to apply. Hear from an exciting panel of conservation and wildlife experts, who we hope will inspire you with their experience of trying to transform livelihoods communities across Africa living near wildlife.

Diversifying community livelihoods from wildlife

When: 10 September
6-7:30pm (Eastern African Time)
5-6:30pm (CEST/Central African Time)
Duration: 1.5 hour
Host: African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation
Cost: free
Register here:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

What we’ll cover:

  • Introduction to and background of the Beyond Tourism in Africa initiative
  • About the challenge prize: the African Leadership University’s Incubator Programme
  • How to apply and live Q&A
  • Inspirational short talks by our featured panelists on African wildlife conservation, innovative growth and sustainable, community-led income models

Alice Ruhweza (Director, WWF Regional Office for Africa)
Gautam Shah (Founder, Internet of Elephants)
Fred Swaniker (Founder and CEO,  African Leadership Group)
Melissa De Kock (Community Conservation Specialist, WWF) 
Tolu Agunbiade (Entrepreneurship Program Manager, ALGroup)
Elisabeth Losasso (Beyond Tourism in Africa Project Manager, Luc Hoffmann Institute)

Julia Pierre-Nina (Senior Manager for Partnerships & Stakeholders, African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation)

We’ll be running Q&As throughout the session so that you may ask questions.

Can’t join on the day, or need to leave early? If you can’t make it for the live session, don’t worry. We will also post recordings of the event on

Beyond Tourism in Africa is a partnership of the Luc Hoffmann Institute, the African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation and WWF Regional Office for Africa.