Mission and Engagement

To call attention to nature, to realise its magnificence, its uniqueness and its vulnerability – to increase our awareness of these issues is a major goal of my foundation. For the preservation of nature is not a luxury but one of the most important social services to ensure the continuation of human society.“

Preserve and sustain the ecological balance – to ensure the future of human society. This is the motto under which the Michael Succow Foundation operates.


Nature represents the basis of human life. Therefore it is our main goal to counteract the anthropogenic global changes and the destruction of nature. We need to give nature time and space to recover and rebuilt its strength. We are working towards the securing and conservation of still intact, mostly pristine natural habitats and to establish a sustainable use regime in areas that are already used and have been altered by human influence.
There needs to be a transition from an economic growth model to a societal model of ecologically sound development and cultivation in harmony with nature.

Nature conservation must evolve into a system-wide protection of nature, economy and society(Rudolf L. Schreiber).


It is our philosophy to implement and live up to this statement with our work, our projects and lectures, as well as the education of scientists.


Our Partners - Alliances of Reason

Conservation work requires a broad basis to garner attention and support. We practise conservation in association with strong partners and alliances in a value-based network.


The Michael Succow Foundation was based at the Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology of the University of Greifswald. Now the foundation is located in the Ellernholzstraße 1/3 in Greifswald. This is not only due to our founder’s career, but it is a continual declaration of fruitful and confident co-operation. The academic milieu of intellectual freedom and scientific competency offers a strong potential for cooperation that we hold in high esteem. Shared projects are marked by the highest level of trust and professional conduct and are oriented towards common goals. Our projects continually involve young, highly motivated students, who are also supervised by our staff during the preparation of their theses.


The co-operation with institutions such as the International Academy for Nature Conservation of the Federal Office of Conservation, located on the island of Vilm, has long been an important part and a valuable complement of the foundation’s work. In addition, many other institutions, e.g., the Office for Forestry, Snow and Landscapes in Liechtenstein, die Manfred Hermsen Foundation in Bremen, the Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) in Müncheberg, the College of Sustainable Development in Eberswalde, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), are part of an important network dedicated to the conservation of nature, the development of ecological sustainability and the education of competent conservation staff.


In our pursuit of these goals we place special emphasis on shared values and conservation philosophies as well as a friendly co-operation as partners. Our philosophy does not support individual interests and compartmentalised thinking in nature conservation work.


Passion and Engagement in the Everyday Routine of the Foundation

The moral and ethical expectations of our founder are reflected in the passion and engagement of the staff of the Michael Succow Foundation as they pursue the goals of nature conservation. Not only do they support the foundation’s philosophy, they live it as well. There often is a fluid transition between paid positions and volunteer work at the foundation, be it shared labour parties or scientific excursions – everything is done according the motto “Preserve and Sustain the Ecological Balance.”