Luc Hoffmann: the icon of protection of wetlands

The history of nature conservation will be witness to outstanding people who have worked tirelessly to defend just causes. Thus, today we celebrate a special date, in homage to a man who has been and will remain an example for us.


Photo © Hervé Hôte/Tour du Valat


When talking about nature conservation and wetlands in particular, we cannot ignore the name of Luc Hoffmann, one of the founding fathers of the Ramsar Convention and co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Today, a year after the loss of a man passionate about nature who devoted his life to its conservation. We must mention the efforts he has made to scientifically and strategically support the financing of ecosystem conservation projects around the world, particularly in the Mediterranean basin and in West Africa, through the MAVA Foundation.





He was also involved from the beginning with MedWet, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative, the first Regional Initiative under the Ramsar Convention. Nowadays, there are 20 Ramsar Regional Initiatives on six continents.

Among his most remarkable contributions in the Mediterranean, we notice his role in the creation and long-term management of several Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites) including Doñana National Park in Spain and Prespa Park located at the crossroads of the Greek, Albanian and Macedonian borders.


Luc Hoffmann in Iran in 1971, on the occasion of the signing of the Ramsar Convention. Photo provided by the Ramsar Secretariat


In 1954, Luc Hoffmann created the Research Institute for the Conservation of Mediterranean Wetlands, Tour du Valat, located in the heart of the Camargue in France, a Wetland of International Importance, where he was committed to the promotion of scientific research on wetlands (ecosystems, management, species, Mediterranean Wetland Observatory, and much more). That research carried out for decades is crucial for a better understanding of the wetland ecosystem and its various components.


Luc Hoffmann in the Camargue. Photo: © J. Jalbert / Tour du Valat


For those who did not know him, Luc Hoffmann was an unusual, visionary character of immense generosity and extremely endearing. Discreet and attentive, he spoke relatively little of the opportunities afforded him by the great causes which he defended.

The life and heritage of Luc Hoffmann remain in the memories of all those who met him. His vision, ideas and experience will always inspire us. The love of nature instilled in our hearts by this man pushes us to fight even more vigorously to protect her. His positive contributions to creating a better world will remain a motivation to continue the march of the people towards the construction of a world where man and nature live in peace.

Luc Hoffmann loved birds, nature, arts. He loved life. He will be sorely missed.

We do not forget you and we honor especially this day by addressing to you all our most sincere thoughts.

You can be proud of yourself, Dr. Hoffmann, and we devote all of our energies to continuing your work and your commitment with the utmost dedication.


The MedWet Secretariat


More information

Read the Luc Hoffmann bibliography (french)

See the french video “Luc Hoffmann, une vie pour les zones humides