Foundation Board

Prof. em. Dr. Michael Succow (Chairman)

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Read more about Prof. Dr. Michael Succow


email: michael.succow(at)


Prof. Dr. Hans Dieter Knapp (Deputy Chairman)


tl_files/foundation/Hannes Knapp.jpgProf. Dr. Hans Dieter Knapp is geo-botanist and landscape-ecologist. He is one of the initiators of the Eastern German national park programme, and the International Academy for Nature Conservation Island of Vilm. Until his retirement he has been director of this branch office of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. As a honorary professor he also lectures at the Greifswald University. He initiated the “European Beech Forest Initiative”, he was instrumental in the nomination of beech forests of Germany and Europe to the World Heritage List of UNESCO and involved in further nominations in Russia, Mongolia, Iran and Georgia. His focus within the foundation lies on projects of international cooperation in Eurasia. 


email: hans.d.knapp(at)


Prof. em. Dr. Peter Schmidt


tl_files/foundation/Peter_A._Schmidt.jpgProf. Dr. Peter A. Schmidt, biologist, worked at the Technical University of Dresden since 1976. He directed the institute for forestry and forest protection and the institute for ecology and environmental protection. As a professor for nature protection from 1989 to 2011 he mainly worked on projects dealing with nature protection, forest vegetation and ecologically oriented forestry in Germany and abroad (e.g. Russia, Ukraine, Georgia). He has been a member of international and national committees such as the Global Tree Specialist Group of the IUCN's Species Survival Commission or the Committee for evaluation of Germany's national parks. He gained experience in the nomination of UNESCO world natural heritage and evaluation of applications for world heritage areas. Author of about 350 publications, President of the German Dendrological Society (since 2008), Dr. h.c. of the Agricultural University Tbilisi (Georgia).




Prof. Dr. Hans Joosten


tl_files/foundation/Portraets/Gruusia_II_2009172.jpgProf. Dr. Hans Joosten is peatland and landscape ecologist, professor for Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology and director of the working group on Peatland Studies and Palaeoecology at the University of Greifswald. The working group hosts the general secretariat of the  International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG). Prof. Dr. Hans Joosten is general secretary of this international organisation for peatland protection. Within the foundation, he is in charge of the connection to the University of Greifswald's institute for botany and landscape ecology, he supervises the scientific quality and integrity, and establishes contact with international peatland and climate protection science as well as climate protection policy.


email: hans.joosten(at)


Dr. Lutz Fähser


tl_files/images/PhotoGalerien-Projektseiten/Aethiopien/Faehser.jpgDr. Lutz Fähser, forest scientist, directed the city of Lübeck's forest office for more than 20 years. With his concept of "nature-based forestry" he created the basis for eco-social certification of forest enterprises in Germany. At the Institute for World Forestry in Hamburg, he directed the department of economics. Lutz Fähser took part in numerous international projects, mainly in the tropics and subtropics. Being retired, he is still involved in nature-oriented forestry, a close cooperation of forestry and nature protection as well as natioanl and international forestry policy.


email: lutz.faehser(at)


Kathrin Succow




Since 2013, Kathrin Succow has been working as a freelance author, moderator and consultant in the establishment and consultancy of foundations and associations. She is managing partner of Ditare et Donare GbR, based in Munich and Berlin. From 2007 to 2012 she was general manager and director of the foundation unit for the private bank Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers KGaA, later Merck Finck & Co. Privatbankiers and several years managing director of the Hauck & Aufhäuser Culture Foundation.
Before, Kathrin Succow was in charge of the Association of German Foundations' media and communications unit. After directing the public relations of regional nature protection admistrations in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern from 1991 to 1996, she directed the nature experience centre Blumberger Mühle until 2004. Since 1999 she has been supporting the establishment of her father's foundation, served as its first director and is a member of the board since 2004. 


email: kathrin.succow(at)


Dr. Johannes Merck


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Dr. Johannes Merck, a historian and lawyer by degree, is responsibe for Corporate Social Responsibility within the Otto Group since 1989. A honorary professor for Corporate Responsibility he teaches at Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE) since 2014. As CEO of the Michael Otto Foundation and as a member of the board of trustees of the Michael Succow Foundation since 2016 he is deeply engaged for nature and climate protection.



email: johannes.merck(at)


Dr. Sebastian Schmidt


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Dr. Sebastian Schmidt is a biologist and landscape ecologist with the "Greifswald imprint" of nature conservation. Following his studies in vegetation and soil science, he headed and shaped the development of the Miachel Succow Foundation between 2009 and 2015. His current work focusses on protected area development, especially in Iran, international nature protection and development cooperation. In 2016 he founded the charitable FINC Foundation, a grassroot organisation for nature conservation and land use change on national and international level.


Honorary Board Members

Dr. Lebrecht Jeschke




Dr. Lebrecht Jeschke is a well-known Greifswald biologist. Together with Hans Dieter Knapp, Matthias Freude and Michael Succow he developed the national park programme, which is meanwhile considered exemplary worldwide. He directed Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's National Park Administration from 1991 to 1998. Until the age of 70, he was an active member of the foundation board. Since then, he is a honorary member with expertise on forest issues and nature conservation areas in Germany.


email: lebrecht.jeschke(at)


Ulla Succow


Advisory Board

The advisory board is engaged variably according to the foundation's working areas.