Adriana Hoffmann was a botanist who traveled Chile looking for its flora. She died in Santiago, Chile, on March 20, at the age of 82. She was an activist, writer, scientist, and policymaker who tirelessly sought to protect Chile’s forests from big-business exploitation. She was 82 years old.
Leonora Caldern Hoffmann, her daughter, said that she had been suffering from health problems for several years and that she died from an acute clot in the lung.
The presence of two Chilean cabinet ministers at her funeral made clear the importance of her legacy to the country, where scientists-turned-politicians are helping to make a new constitution shaped by the climate crisis.
She was described by her friends and colleagues as having a keen eye for identifying rare plants. She traveled through the deserts of Chile in her Jeep or on foot. She classified More than 100 species
This was the key to the 12 books she wrote in the 1970s. They documented the country’s rich flora, and also listed the cactuses, native plants, and cactuses, as well as the flowers that grow in the Atacama desert. Illustrations were often included in her books. Andrs JullianFrancisco Ramos.
Ms. Hoffman’s activism began in the early 1990s as Chile was beginning to recover from a military dictatorship which had tortured and killed thousands of people while giving corporations ample power over natural resources.
At that time activists began to fight against a variety of projects they considered to be harmful to the environment. These included timber plantations and hydropower plants. Two years after the fall, Ms. Hoffmann was the leader of Defensores Chileno, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of Chile’s native forests.
La Tragedia del bosque chileno (1998) is one of her most cherished books. It documents how Chile’s extractive industries were destroying its forests.
Ms. Hoffmann defended the forests in a time when many saw it as an attack on economic growth, especially in a country that heavily relied on exporting commodities.
Chile’s National Commission of the Environment was established in 1993. This agency would have a profound impact on her life and legacy.
In her last Interview She was asked by a reporter in January what she had learned about nature and why she had dedicated her entire life to it before her death. She responded with love. Nature has shown me love.
Adriana Elisabeth Hoffmann Jacoby was a Chilean woman born Jan. 29, 1940. She is the daughter of Franz Hoffmann, a prominent scientist and doctor in Chile, and Lola Hoffmann, a pioneering psychiatrist and spiritual guide (born Helena Jacoby). Ms. Hoffmann continued her studies at the University of Chile in agronomy before giving up. Later, she studied botany after spending time in Germany together with her mother.
She credited her parents for her love of nature. She said, “I have pictures of me, very little, always with plants and flowers.” Interview.
She met Douglas Tompkins (a conservationist and founder of Esprit and North Face clothing lines) in the early 90s. Together, they purchased about one million acres from Chiles forests to protect them.
Ms. Hoffmann supported and advised the Tompkins conservation efforts. Ms. Tompkins stated in a telephone interview that she once joined other conservationists to obtain the couple’s help in conserving a large stretch of valuable but threatened land at the border of Chile, Argentina. In 2014, the area was designated mountainous. Yendegaia National Park.
Adriana was the source of all of our knowledge about the Chilean flora, stated Ms. Tompkins who is the head of the non-profit group Tompkins Conservation. She was generous in sharing her knowledge of ecosystems, at a moment when it was not common to do so.
Ms. Hoffmann became a member of the American Society for Human Rights in 1997. RecognizedThe United Nations named her one of the top 25 environmental leaders for the decade. Two years later, she was awarded Chiles National Environmental Prize in recognition of her efforts to protect and document the country’s natural environment.
In 2000, Ricardo Lagos was the third president of Chile to assume office following the transition to democracy. He invited Ms. Hoffmann as Conama’s head, which would become the Ministry of Environment.
Friends advised her against accepting the job because she saw the agency as too weak for the business interests that benefited from the lack of environmental protections in the country.
Ms. Hoffmann viewed President Lagos’ invitation as an opportunity to fight legislation to protect native forests. She accepted the post and became the first scientist to hold the position at a moment when environmentalists and women were rare in Chile’s halls.
However, the forces against her proved too strong. Despite her efforts to implement projects she believed were important, such as Senderos de Chile, a national hiking trail, she quit Conama 17 months later due to pressure. It would be eighteen years before a law protecting forests was passed.
She later referred to her time in office, describing it as the worst decision she made. She was caught between corporations’ overwhelming power and the deep disappointment of fellow environmentalists.
Leonora, Leonora’s daughter, said that she never recovered fully from the experience. Ms. Hoffmann continued to struggle with health issues, including strokes.
Paz Hoffmann, another daughter, survives her; they have two sons, Francisco and lvaro; and she has five grandchildren.
She was an inspiration to many scientists and environmentalists by the time she died. The Adriana Hoffmann Environmental Training School was established by the Ministry of Environment in 2015 to train teachers, public servants, and the general public. There are more than 12,000 students who have taken courses there.
At Ms. Hoffmann’s funeral, Maisa Rojas was appointed minister of environment. A seasoned climatologist, Maisa Rojas recognized the environmental challenges that her predecessor faced and that still face Chile and the rest.
She said that we are being called to care for a threatened and very fragile nature now more than ever. Adrianas shoes are too big for me as a woman minister of the environment.