The Foundation

Our Vulnerable Planet

Our Planet is changing rapidly, for the worse. The human species shows little respect for landscapes, oceans and the animal world. Accommodating an expanding world population is the root of the problem. Productive capacity is stretched while at the same time incredible waste occurs. Agriculture claims a growing part of our water resources but our increasing population lives with severe water stress. The consequences for nature and biodiversity are dramatic.

The need for active “intervention” to protect biodiversity is acute and ongoing. There is strong evidence that good management and direct action can stem some losses. Such intervention must be designed in ways that achieve tangible results and improve prospects for the future. Our Foundation strives to contribute to this collective effort.

Our Engagement for Nature

When I established Fondation Segré in 1996, I gave it a very broad scope: to promote humanitarian, scientific, educational, artistic and environmental projects. For the first ten years, we committed funds in each of these fields. However, acting as a simple donor did not give us the feeling of having a real impact. For this, we had to narrow our areas of interest and select specific projects in which we could play an active, decisive role.

Conservation of nature and of biodiversity emerged as the predominant interest. Our focus is the protection of species, which are the building blocks of nature, and their habitats.

The Foundation undertakes directly  conservation projects or, alternatively offers financial support to partner organisations. In this case, projects are developed jointly with the partners to set the terms and conditions and the time horizon, which can extend over several years.

We have thus gone from a well-meaning charity to a focused organisation for the conservation of nature. To all our partners as well as to our Board, Advisory Committee and Management team I would like to extend sincere thanks for making this possible.

“I am concerned about the increasing number of challenges our vulnerable planet is facing but I am also encouraged by the growing interest in conservation. It seems that even the man in the street begins to realise that now is the time to act.”

The Founder, Dr Claudio Segré

 An economist and a banker, Dr Claudio Segré was involved from the start in the founding of the European Union. The idea of joint efforts by partners having a common goal later inspired his project of Fondation Segré.

Resources and Commitments

When first established in 1996, Fondation Segré received an endowment which grew over time. The Foundation is authorised to spend income as well as capital for the achievement of its goals.

To focus on recent years: in 2013, more than EUR 8 million were allotted to seventeen new projects, including two funds to support eight priority projects (four each) over the next four to five years, with the technical support of two of our partners. In both 2014 and 2015, the Foundation committed approximately 3 million for respectively ten and eleven new projects. In 2016, we exceeded our annual target committing 5.4 million to 17 new projects.

The sum total of commitments the Foundation entered into from 1996 to the end of 2016 exceeds EUR 26 million corresponding to over 140 projects. Additional resources have also been contributed by friends who wished to support the work of the Foundation.

The Foundation’s target for new annual commitments is in principle EUR 5 million. Our present endowment and the new resources that we secured for the future guarantee a very long timeframe for the Foundation’s activities.

We should like to stress however, that possible additional funding from like-minded persons and institutions could allow us to expand the scope and size of initiatives. The needs of Nature are without limit and we feel we can deal with many more projects if new means are forthcoming. Thank you for considering this invitation.