The Fondation Franz Weber (FFW), with the aim of preserving the sites threatened by local entrepreneurs has often mobilized the international press and the worldwide public. It has also organized activities to raise awareness among local communities, programmes for the promotion of renewable resources and sustainable development. The protection of animals and their natural habitat is also included in the campaign and action programmes promoted by the FFW.
The founder of FFW, Franz Weber (born July 27, 1927 in Basel, Switzerland) is an environmentalist and animal welfare activist. Franz Weber began his career as a journalist and reporter in 1965. For his efforts and engagement he won many prizes and honors (1974 Weber Honorary Citizen Texas, 1978 German Prize for Conservation of Nature, 1979 German Medal of Environment, 1981 European Prize for Land Conservation, 1986 Hans Adalbert Schweigart Medal , 2007 Swiss “Tierweltpreis” ).
For the first time UNESCO and the Fondation Franz Weber of Switzerland signed a five-year agreement in January 2013, to reinforce support for the Rapid Response Facility (RRF), and to develop a new project for the sustainable preservation of the Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon.
The partnership will reinforce the ability of the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) to respond to serious risks to World Heritage sites. The main objective of the Dja Faunal Reserve preservation project is to improve the site’s state of conservation, and to preserve its biodiversity through encouraging the involvement of local communities, namely the Baka peoples, in the management of the property. Another objective of this action is to improve the Baka peoples’ living conditions. Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987, Dja Faunal Reserve is one of the largest rainforests in Africa, with 90% of its area left undisturbed. It contains 107 mammal species, five of which are threatened.
Created in 2006, RRF is a small grants programme jointly operated by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Fauna & Flora International which aims to protect natural World Heritage sites in times of crisis by providing financial resources quickly and flexibly to address emergencies affecting sites and surrounding areas. World Heritage partnerships with the private sector aim to raise awareness, mobilize funds, and allow the implementation of activities for the conservation of World Heritage sites.
The Fondation Franz Weber manages the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo, and also participates in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) conferences.