Luc Hoffman Hima Home: The Journey from West to East
It is not only birds that migrate, but so can our thoughts in search of fertile lands where they become productive and fruitful for future generations.
This is the case of Luc Hoffman, whose passionate ideas about the environment and birds led him to secure a wonderful future for flamingos in Camargue – France, for migratory shorebirds in Banc d’Arguin in Mauritania, as well as the preservation of the Spanish Imperial Eagle of Doñana in Spain.
“We as humans still do not appreciate birds, Luc Hoffman realized their importance, and knew that they are messengers of peace and education, and there still remains so much for us to learn from them. For this reason, he dedicated his life to Camargue and spent his last days there.”
As a rare bird in the world of nature conservation and eco-sustainability, Luc Hoffman let his personal vision for birdlife go beyond limits and become a bridge between East and West, through the only center in the Mediterranean region that carries his name exclusively: Luc Hoffman Hima(hom.)
SPNL who are curators of this distinctive project which is located in Kayfoun, Lebanon, believe as did Hoffman, that it is not possible to protect birds without promoting joint action and uniting efforts.
Luc Hoffman’s institute Hima(hom) and other preservation projects in Lebanon and the region are all committed to Hoffman’s ethics for sustainable development in protecting life on earth.
“I met Luc Hoffman 21 years ago during the inauguration of IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources which is the World Environmental Organization. At the 50th anniversary which was at Napoleon Bonaparte Palace in Fontainebleau, I was asked to say a few words representing the Middle East region, and it was when I came down from the podium that I met Dr. Hoffman. He told me that he loved the Mediterranean region and Lebanon and asked if he could help in Aammiq Wetland and The Cedars of Shouf.”
Luc Hoffman spent 60 years with his passion and studies to assert his vision that sustainable development should include both nature and people.
He never missed an opportunity to try new and innovative ways combining science and art, music and diplomacy to achieve success and attain his goals.
Partnership and collaboration at all levels of society were key factors for Luc, and he often sent handwritten notes of encouragement to people that were performing creatively.
“After Luc’s death, I was invited by his son André Hoffmann, who succeeded his father in heading MAVA Foundation and La Roche, to his memorial in Camargue. After the memorial I approached the family with a humble request, which was to honor Luc’s legacy and MAVA by naming our small foundation which was really my home, The Luc Hoffman Foundation, and to even donate it to the Foundation. They did not let me donate it, telling me this is your home after all, but let it be a base for SPNL and the family Hoffman has agreed to give you the name Luc Hoffman to revive “Himas” in Lebanon and the Mediterranean area. “
Luc helped save the lands of Aamiq and SPNL, and between 2005 and 2008, through MAVA Foundation, he helped identify 11 marginalized areas, in addition to supporting projects that helped preserve wetlands in “Himas” of Kfar Zabad Aanjar, Chouf Ceders, Ammiq and biosphere reserves of Jabal Moussa and others.
Hima originated in the Arabian Peninsula and what is the reason for reviving these areas and why here? Because it is a response to the Millennial goals. We have a project underway in collaboration with MAVA, headed by Manal Hamzi – the Director of the Institute, on the social economic and landscape with the purpose of mainstreaming the socio-economic environmental sectors with communities – and hence the importance of the economic forum held by MAVA where André Hoffmann was a speaker, which brought together environmentalists, economists as well as those concerned with virtual intelligence to find environmental solutions.
Hima for Peace is a project designed to build one community of Himas that specializes in preservation of natural resources, and it includes fields, wild prairies, forests and birds.
“Why Hima for Peace? Because peace should always be dominant not just between humans, but also between us and nature, trees and animals… as was told by our president, the Vatican, and Abraham 1500 years ago: He said that for tribes that fight amongst themselves, when do they come together? How can they trade? There must be a place where they come together in peace, and till this day there is the Hajj where people from all walks of life come together in peace. The prophet Mohammad arrived later and said: as Abraham stated we must come together for trade, economy and conflict resolution, my calling is to bring together Himas of Mecca and Medina with the ravines and valleys, and he quoted: “There is not an animal that lives on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but they form communities like you.” “
For 40 years, SPNL has been working on protecting biodiversity in Lebanon, and its mission is to perfect this approach by integrating traditional knowledge and practices with scientific research, and SPNL since then has identifies 15 marginalized Himas as well as areas of biodiversity throughout the Lebanese territories, and it established 25 Himas in Lebanon . These accomplishment made it possible for SPNL to become a founding member of the Mediterranean Union founded and funded by MAVA.
HIMA’s programs aim to strengthen the concept of preserving Himas (Homat al Hima) that was launched by SPNL thanks to support of Luc and Andre Hoffman and that of MAVA’s team and family.
“The vision changed, for those asking about MAVA. Andre Hoffman’s vision for 2022 leans more towards business and Green Recovery. He states: “You don’t do sustainability on top of what you do. If you don’t act sustainably, all the things you do will not work.”
We will be continuing in Luc’s footsteps with his son Andre and with Linda and all our friends at WWF, Birdlife and IUCN.”
Luc Hoffman’s opinion was that conservation is not only protecting nature from human development, but it involves conservation of life-supporting systems and processes as a basis for lasting development,
And about The Bankruptcy Theory circulated by Assad Serhal, it is about Nature’s bankruptcy and having to pay its debts, and it can in this case use assets to pay off part of its outstanding debts, and assets are in this case elements of the environment and of life.
“This is a very special emotional day for me, not just because it’s my birthday but because we are remembering a very special friend Luc Hoffman, God bless his soul, and in his memory we are building this water fountain.
To fulfill our legacy as human beings, there are 3 things we need to accomplish, which Luc fulfilled fully:
To leave behind a sustainable charity
To leave signs behind for humans to benefit from
And to leave behind a good family.
This summarizes Luc Hoffman’s life and legacy.