Farewell to Luc Hoffmann
Friday, 22 July 2016
It is with deep sadness but also valuable memories, that we bid farewell to Luc Hoffmann, ‘father’ of WWF Greece and co-founder of WWF International.
His love for life on Earth brought Luc to the field of ecology many years ago, with numerous publications as an internationally acknowledged zoologist-ornithologist and a legendary track record of conservation efforts throughout the world. His endless love and concern about the future of the planet is also reflected in the number of organisations and protected areas that are very much his own creations – the international Ramsar Convention for the conservation of wetlands, the Tour du Valat wetlands research centre, the MAVA Foundation that has supported conservation efforts throughout the world, Doñana in Spain, Banc d’ Arguin in Mauritania and of course Prespa, of which he is an honorary citizen since 2003.
A great friend of our country, Luc fell in love with Greek nature from the 1950’s. He tirelessly studied the wetlands of Greece and founded many organisations such as WWF Greece, and the Society for the Protection of Prespa where he was President for many years. In 1999, Luc Hoffmann was also awarded the honour of the Order of the Phoenix by the President of the Hellenic Republic.
Luc Hoffmann will always be with us, through our thriving nature that he so loved and fought for but also though his writings such as the one below, that overflow with love for the beauties of our planet:
‘Greece is the country of diversity….Zeus must have hit this area with his hammer, splashing thousand islands in the sea and tearing the mainland into pieces so that the country’s coastline became as long as the one of the whole continent of Africa. This physical multiplicity is increased by a wide gradient of climates, ranging from almost subtropical to truly alpine conditions, as well as by a variety of mountains, hills, and plains, many of which scattered with wetlands. No wonder these conditions have produced an exceptionally rich living nature, in fact the highest biodiversity known in Europe. They are also at the origin of beautiful and deeply moving natural and man-made landscapes. Altogether, these form the natural heritage of Greece.’