charity, grassroots and change to come

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Hidden Heroes

Successful conservation, whether in the political arena or in the bogs, the forests or the most remote steppes of the world, needs people and personalities who selflessly work for this goal. Local operating initiatives and individuals with concrete and practical goals can achieve a lot, often more than large development programmes at the government level. In FINC’s geographic focus regions, we will support these “Hidden Heroes” in many ways – whether we provide technical expertise, funding, document their stories or give voice to their actions.

Research for Development

Knowledge and understanding are inherent in political messages and objectives. By applying integrated landscape-ecological research, it is possible to contribute knowledge to the sustainable development agenda. We believe that the political and geographical context of a transformation to sustainability requires sound scientific attendance, characterised by the understanding of landscapes, landscape processes and land use. In this sense, FINC will undertake projects that examine the interaction of the human-nature relationship and the conservation of natural assets.


Story-telling is a fundamental and equal part of FINC’s agenda. As part of the global community, we are interested in how conservation work takes place in Iran or North Korea, as well as the commitment of activists in Brandenburg or Pomerania. To offer a communicative space and share the wealth of exciting stories – predominantly through images – is a heartfelt desire for FINC and our contribution to building a bridge between the cultural and geographical world.

We are currently developing the first projects. It is our goal to have FINC operational by May 2016.

FINC operates worldwide, but with a special emphasis on transformation countries.

Call for project proposals – Iran

FINC intends to intensify its cooperation with Iranian nature conservationists. For 2016/2017, we have a limited option to fund one to two projects.
Details can be found here.

بنیاد فینک در نظر دارد که همکاری های خود را با فعالان محیط زیست در ایران توسعه دهد. به این منظور، این بنیاد در سال میلادی 2017/2016 تعداد محدودی از پروژه های مرتبط  را از طریق پشتیبانی مالی حمایت خواهد کرد.
Details can be found here.

The reason for the establishment of FINC was the desire to support dedicated individuals and small initiatives, which play a prominent role in practical nature conservation. During his tenure as CEO of the “Michael Succow Foundation for the Protection of Nature”, Sebastian Schmidt made the acquaintance of a variety of committed environmentalists who provide significant contributions to conservation work, often invisible to the public. Offering financial, conceptual and communicative cooperation to these “Hidden Heroes” will be a key strategic target for FINC.

Sebastian Schmidt – Founder and Director of FINC

Based in north-east Germany, Sebastian is a trained biologist and landscape ecologist with a geographical focus on transformation countries, predominantly in the former Soviet Union.

The issues of protected area development, natural resource management and bilateral cooperation led him to countries such as Georgia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan or North and South Korea as well as to Myanmar. While working for and heading the “Michael Succow Foundation for the Protection of Nature” between 2005 and 2015, Sebastian advised governments as well as international and local organisations on integrated climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation. Within his engagement on a diplomatic level, the desire for direct conservation action led to the establishment and his personal emphasis towards FINC.


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