On 2 October 2018, André Hoffmann, President of the Tour du Valat Foundation was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal. This annual award, created in 1970, is in honour and recognition of major contributions to the worldwide conservation movement. This year, it celebrates innovative actions for sustainable development and charitable donations.
“André’s passion and energy to tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges is inspiring. Regardless of the hat he is wearing – philanthropist, entrepreneur or board member – he always aims to put sustainability and nature first, and that is the kind of commitment we need from our leaders today”, stressed Pavan Sukhdev, President of WWF International. “At a time when biodiversity & ecosystems are under unprecedented pressure, Andre’s vision for conservation cuts across sectors and actors to focus squarely on impacts and creating a sustainable future for us all.”
“Receiving this award, 20 years after my father, is a great honour. I am grateful to the committee for having selected me as I am not an obvious choice. I am not a scientist active in the field or lab but rather move in boardrooms and philanthropic forums to explore issues and beliefs around nature and humanity. We simply cannot continue to do business as before”, stated André Hoffmann. “Nature is essential to our survival and there is no future for business in the longer term without recognizing this. In our closed earth system, we simply cannot surpass our planetary limits. We need to focus on a better use of natural and social resources. Financial returns will not suffice in the long term to reconcile to reconcile business, sustainability and society.”
Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva presented the award this year on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh.