For some years, it was the dream and vision of the CEO and owner of HOFFMANN MINERAL to promote biodiversity by establishing a private foundation. He collected long-time experiences with the decline of many species as a hunter, by running the mines of the Neuburg Siliceous Earth and in the numerous discussions with Bavarian NGO environmentalists active in the protection of amphibians. In the end, there was the strong wish to do more for biodiversity. But where should the focus be on? The big NGOs are more qualified and able to buy areas or to accomplish straight educational work. On the other hand, they go mainly the conservative ways of plain area protection and avoid technical support or devices, with the possible exception of construction machinery. The manufacturers of farming equipment take great pains over rendering herbicides unnecessary with laser-guided technique.
Nevertheless, Manfred Hoffmann felt there was a gap, open for small sophisticated technology which may help dedicated species to sustainably survive – in small spaces, with little effort and at negligible costs. In this scope, for example, the foundation “Species Conservation and Technology” shall be effective. The basic idea is to see the broad range of technical possibilities developed by mankind simply not as an enemy of species conservation, but to apply technology for the benefit of biodiversity, to challenge a seeming contradiction. It would be a shame to disregard, if not dismiss current possibilities. Hence the members of the foundation council should represent technological science and expertise on species conservation.
With the endorsement of the foundation by the supervisory authority of the government of Upper Bavaria, the foundation council has now begun to contact chairs and to select projects and has already approved funds for a first project. An endowment fund of 1 million Euro and especially the unconditional commitment of HOFFMANN MINERAL and SONAX to donate 25,000 Euro each for the next ten years, provide an effective basis to support suitable projects with students and doctoral students. Moreover, of course, further donations and sustainable sponsors are welcome. A first project addresses the mechanical extraction of the seeds of rare wild herbs from husk residues at harvesting grain.