On Tuesday, 7 December 1999, at the Greek Embassy in Paris, Dr. Luc Hoffmann was given the insignia of Commander of the Order of Merit, a title awarded to him by the President of the Republic of Greece. The Ambassador stressed in his presentation the catalytic contribution of Luc Hoffmann in such international organisations as WWF, IUCN, IWRB [now Wetlands International AEME], the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Tour du Valat research station, and the International Foundation for the Banc d'Arguin (Mauritania).
In particular, he stressed Luc's involvement with Greek nature since 1953. It was based on one of his studies and his personal efforts that Greece declared Prespa Lakes a National Park in 1973 and became a member of the Ramsar Convention in 1974. Luc played a key role in the establishment of WWF Greece, the Greek Biotope / Wetland Centre, and the Society for the Protection of Prespa (of which he is President), which was one of the winners of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award in 1999.
In his response, Luc Hoffmann stressed that he accepts this medal in the name of all those that have worked and fought these last fifty years for the conservation of nature in the country. Indeed, it was the first time that anybody has been given such a high award for the conservation of Greece's natural heritage.
Best regards, Thymio P.