MAVA Foundation

The MAVA Foundation is a Swiss-based foundation, established in 1994 by Luc Hoffmann. Born of the passion and vision of its founder, who believed fiercely in the protection of the planet’s wild splendour, the MAVA Foundation conserves biodiversity for the benefit of people and nature by funding, mobilising and strengthening its partners and the conservation community.

The MAVA Foundation mainly provides support for projects in the Mediterranean basin, coastal West Africa and the Alps, as well as for activities with a global dimension. Programmes serving developing countries include the Mediterranean, Coastal West Africa, Sustainable Economy and Global Projects.

The MAVA Foundation provided USD 39.7 million for development in 2019 in the form of grants. Compared to 2018, this amount represents a decrease by 31% in real terms.

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In 2019, the MAVA Foundation channelled its development grants mostly through non-governmental organisations (63%) and public-private partnerships and networks (34%).

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In 2019, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 25 million of gross disbursements. Of this, 3% was allocated to CSOs as core contributions and 97% was channelled through CSOs to implement projects initiated by the provider (earmarked funding). CSOs based in developing countries received 18% of bilateral allocations channelled to/through all CSOs.

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In 2019, the MAVA Foundation’s development grants were primarily focused on Africa and developing countries in Europe. USD 16 million was allocated to Africa and USD 4 million to Europe, accounting respectively for 41% and 11% of its development finance. Forty-one per cent was unspecified by region in 2019.

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Bilateral private development finance by recipient country

In 2019, 21% of gross disbursements went to the MAVA Foundation’s top 10 recipients, most notably South Africa, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania. The share of 78% was not allocated by country, mainly relating to expenditure for projects and programmes with a regional scope.

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Least developed countries received USD 3 million (7%) of the MAVA Foundation’s gross disbursements in 2019. The MAVA Foundation allocated 15% of its development grants to middle-income countries in 2019, noting that 78% was unallocated by income group. Moreover, the MAVA Foundation allocated 5% of its gross development finance to small island developing states in 2019, equal to USD 2 million.

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Note: LDC: least developed country; LMIC: lower middle-income country; UMIC: upper middle-income country.

In 2019, most of the MAVA Foundation’s development grants were allocated to the multisector/cross-cutting sector group. Contributions in this area accounted for 87% of its commitments (USD 35 million), showing a strong focus on environmental protection and urban development. Commitments for production sectors totalled USD 2 million (6%), with a particular focus on agriculture, forestry and fishing.

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In terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the MAVA Foundation focused most of its development grants on life on land, life below water, and responsible consumption & production.

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In 2019, the MAVA Foundation committed 22% of its allocable development grants (USD 8 million) in support of climate action.

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The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, the SDG focus of private development finance, channels of delivery, unspecified/unallocated allocations, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

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