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.

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