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 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 70.8 million for development in 2020 through its grantmaking activities. Compared to 2019, this amount represents an increase of 69% in real terms.

In 2020, the MAVA Foundation provided USD 8.7 million of its total contributions for the COVID-19 response, representing 12% of its total gross bilateral development finance.

In 2020, the MAVA Foundation provided USD 2.4 million to the multilateral system, all of which was earmarked for specific countries, regions, themes or purposes. The MAVA Foundation channelled most of its multilateral aid through United Nations (UN) entities and other multilateral organisations.

The UN system received USD 1 million from the MAVA Foundation in 2020. Significant UN recipients were the UNDP and the FAO.

See the section on Geographic and thematic focus for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system.

In 2020, the MAVA Foundation channelled its grants mostly through non-governmental organisations and networks.

Most of these contributions were provided as project-type interventions and technical assistance such as capacity building, organisational effectiveness and research grants, while 10% was extended as core support.

In 2020, the MAVA Foundation’s development finance was primarily focused on Africa (USD 31 million) and Europe (USD 8.2 million), accounting respectively for 44% and 12% of gross bilateral contributions. Thirty-five per cent of gross development finance was unspecified by region in 2020, mainly including multi-regional programmes, core support and research grants.

In 2020, the top recipients of the MAVA Foundation’s grants included Senegal, Cabo Verde and the People’s Republic of China.

Least developed countries received USD 13.2 million (19%) of the MAVA Foundation’s gross disbursements in 2020, followed by middle-income countries (16%). A majority of 66% was unallocated by income group.

Moreover, the MAVA Foundation allocated USD 4.6 million to small island developing states in 2020.

In 2020, 73% of the MAVA Foundation’s contributions were allocated to multi-sector and cross-cutting issues, 13% to economic infrastructure and services, and 10% to production sectors. In terms of sectors, the MAVA Foundation’s largest allocations went to general environmental protection; financial and business services; and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

In terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the MAVA Foundation committed most of its contributions to SDG 15 (life on land), SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 12 (sustainable production and consumption) of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Moreover, USD 1.8 million (2%) supported SDG 13 (climate action).

Official website:

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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