Madeleine and Amélie's journey to New Caledonia

On the 20th of March 2009, Madeleine and Amélie, the mother and niece of Henri Blaffart, will be flying to New Caledonia to meet the inhabitants of the Mont Panié region (Hienghène). Their objective is to meet all the stakeholders involved in the different environment protection initiatives (local tribes, the Dayu Biik Association, public agencies, NGO, etc.) to explain the mission and vision of «the Henri Blaffart Association».

The internet website of the Association will be presented and a cheque worth €1,500.00 will be given to the Dayu Biik Association in order to finance environment protection awarness activities towards the Kanak communities of the Mont Panié region. Special empashis will be placed on sensitising children. A collaboration agreement between «the Henri BLAFFART Association» and the Dayu Biik Association will be signed to promote environmental sensitisation and awareness in New Caledonia.

Amélie will also get information for the finalisation of her end of study thesis on ecotourism. Note that this trip will be self-financed by the two participants.

Fred Packard Award

A phone call from Mum this Thuesay morning: "We're going to Barcelona this week-end to get an award for Henri!".
And there we go with a lot of questions jostling in our heads.
An award, yes, but what is it and what for ?
Henri got the Fred Packard Award presented by the UICN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) and the WCPA (World Commission on Protected Areas) honoring his work in New Caledonia. This award represents the ultimate reward in the environment protection sector.
Why in Barcelona ?
Because Barcelona hosted the World Conservation Congress organised by the UICN from 5th till 14th October 2008.


What is the Fred Packard Award ?

The IUCN Packard Award recognises individuals and organisations who tirelessly, through their outstanding work and efforts, contribute to promote and protect unique protected areas. The selection of nominees for this award is being made by the World Commission of the IUCN on Protected Areas (WCPA), which thus recognises their outstanding services. Seven people were recognised at the members' meeting of the WCPA, held on the 4th of October 2008, on the sidelines of the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona:

  • Ernesto Enkerlin is an inspirational leader whose vision has helped to shape the conservation policy in Mexico ...
  • Moses Mapesa is the Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)...
  • Maria Tereza Jorde Padoue represents an important part of the history of nature conservation in Brazil...
  • George Wallace is a professor at the Colorado State University in the United States who has devoted his career to building capacity for protected areas workers through his teaching, research and training of students and staff...
  • Henri Blaffart, a true conservation warrior of Conservation International in the Pacific. He recently drowned while crossing the Tiendanite river in New Caledonia. Henri, project team leader of the Mont Panie Sanctuary has spent the last six years developping relationship with the remote Kanak tribes of the north-east part of the Grande Terre of New Caledonia. Through his hard work and dedication and by leading by example, he managed to convince the 20 tribes and clans of the region to work together for nature conservation. By fight alone against the creation of four hydroelectric dams in the Mont Panie Sanctuary, Henri showed great courage facing the political authorities, which caused him much personal inconvenience. However, he persevered and his hope for recognition of the reef around the Mount Panie national park is now endorsed and supported by all.
  • Rober Cartagena, the President of CIDOB, the national organisation of indigenous people in Bolivia...
  • Muslih Al-Juaid worked for over thirteen years with the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development in Saudi Arabia ...

UICNOn the 4th of October 2008 in Barcelona, during a conference organised by CMAP, Mum with Tom Cohen of Conservation International received, from the hands of the President of the WCPA, the Fred Packard Award for Henry's great work. She received the award with great emotion and pride. This honor given to Henri confirms what we already knew about him: a good person, a nature warrior and one if its most fervent lover. But he was also a son, a brother and a great friend who is greatly missed. He has given everything to nature, even his life ..
During this event, Mum has been well supported by several persons of CI who joined her for this event as well as by some very nice people from IUCN.

The UICN at a glance

  • A unique membership association
  • Founded in 1948 as the world’s first global environmental organisation
  • Today the largest professional global conservation network
  • A leading authority on the environment and sustainable development
  • More than 1,000 member organisations in 140 countries including 200+ government and 800+ non-government organisations
  • Almost 11,000 voluntary scientists and experts, grouped in six Commissions
  • More than 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices worldwide
  • A neutral forum for governments, NGOs, scientists, business and local communities to find pragmatic solutions to conservation and development challenges
  • Thousands of field projects and activities around the world
  • Official observer status at the United Nations General Assembly

The UICN head quarters are in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland.

Anne-Lou Blaffart

Story of Madeleine and Amelie’s trip to Noumea

On March 20th, our plane took off bound for Noumea. After a 21-hour flight we finally arrived on what is called in French "Le Caillou". Hosted by a friend of Henry, we were immediately welcomed by a host of people he encountered regularly. The welcome was very warm and I discovered for the first time this beautiful island! During our stay, we met many people who were also marked by the incredible personality of Henri. We spent time with them sharing our best memories... After a couple of days in the capital, we took the road to the north. On April 4th, we arrived at Hienghène to participate at the evening event organized in tribute to Henri. We went to the offices of Dayu Biik where it all began ... A poignant moment, but also rather comforting. His friends in New Caledonia have not forgotten him. They were present in large numbers. That evening we attended the traditional “customs” (“coutumes”) ceremonies and then enjoyed a sumptuous buffet prepared with care by Kanak women of the tribe of Ouara. During this evening, we had the opportunity to present "The Association Henri BLAFFART" and submit to the President of Dayu Biik a check with a value of € 1.500 to fund activities around environmental education for Kanak children. A little later we discovered the trail in the mangrove Mazé Det, a project Henri wanted to see realized and that was finished by by his colleagues. There, among the mangrove is a small engraving in his memory that was set at the recent opening of the trail. Then we went to the island Hyenga where another project of Henri had been realized: a botanical trail. Here, my grandmother, assisted by some friends of Henry, had the honor to fix to a large and robust “tamanou” the same engraving as the one installed in the mangroves. This was a poignant moment. This journey was marked by many touching stories and filled with nostalgia. All this once again proved that Henry is still present in New Caledonia, in the hearts of his friends and through the projects he created and imagined...

Balade gourmande à Eben-Emael

Sunday September 6th 2009
Fee: EUR 32 for adults, EUR 10 for kids


  • Departure at the Moulin du Broukay at 11:00 am (between Liège and Maastricht)
  • Length of the walk: approximately 10 km
  • Accessible to strollers

Information and registration

Payment for registration before August 24th 2009 by bank transfer to the following account number of the Henri Blaffart association: 001-5533183-88

Tel. : 0497 97 21 94

Directions to the « Moulin du Broukay »

* Coming from Antwerp: E313/A13 highway. Exit 32 towards Tongeren, Maastricht, Lanaken, Riemst. Continue on the N79 towards Riemst. In Riemst, turn right on to N671 until you reach Eben (postcode 4690). ‘Le Moulin du Broukay’ is signposted from there.

* Coming from Liège E40/A3 by highway, direction Aachen. Once your reach Herstal, pass the Albert Canal and the Meuse and take the direction of Maastricht and Visé by E25/A25. Exit direction Visé North and follow the N602 towards Lixhe. Pass again above the river Meuse and the Albert Canal. At the next T-junction with the N601, turn right towards Eben-Emael. ‘Le Moulin du Broukay’ is signposted from there.

Trail and Menu - Balade gourmande 2009

Following the success of the first edition in 2008 –more than 100 participants-, we organize on Sunday September 6th the second edition of the ‘Balade Gourmande’ (10 km) in the Eben-Emael region (between Liège and Maastricht).

If you are fond of culture, nature or simply good food, come join us for our second ‘Balade Gourmande’.

Below you will find more details about the ‘balade’ itself and the menu.

Like last year we intend to organize 2 groups of 50 people. The first group will take its ‘apéro’ starting at the marquee installed at the Broukay mill at 11 am. The second group will follow at 11.45 am.

On our way, in an unusual place in the Vallée du Geer, we will stop to taste a delicious mushroom toast specialty of the Hendricks family. This place will surprise everyone!!

A little later on our path, we will come across our beloved “butcher” and his barbecue. He will cook some delicious ‘entrecôtes’ that you will enjoy with either a hot tartar sauce or a cold sauce. As garnish some honey and thyme flavored ‘grenailles poêlées’ (‘fried pellets’?) will be served with a delicious tomatoes or cabbage salad and mesclun. Miam!

Off we go again to stop at Eben in the house-museum of Nicole and Freddy to enjoy a “pêket fruité” (‘fruity pêket’). It is a place full of charm that will bring you back to the days of your great grandparents. And it is with nostalgia and stars in your eyes that you will leave Nicole and Freddy who have so much to teach us.

A last extra effort and you will land back at the Broukay mill where pastry and coffee will be served.

Along the way, fresh water will be available at various dedicated stops.

Special menu for children under twelve: a ‘croque monsieur’ or ‘pain saucisse’, fruit and pastries.

Some nature experts will have prepared a special animation around Mother Nature for children. They will also accompany us during the walk and share with us the treasures that Henry loved so much.

Book the date! September 6th. Join us with family and friends!

The 2009 “Balade Gourmande”

On September 6th, 2009, the HENRI BLAFFART ASSOCIATION organized its second “balade gourmande” in the beautiful Eben-Emael region. We welcomed more than 130 participants at the starting point of the event: the “Moulin du Broukay”.

After swallowing a couple of appetizers, participants were split in two groups. Both groups set out to admire the breathtaking landscapes of the Geer valley. They were accompanied by our guides Luc, Jean-Yves and Louis who throughout the course of the balade provided the walkers with their expertise on nature and the environement.

Good foor did not remain an afterthought. The mushroom from Mia, Philippe’s barbecue, fruity “pêkets” at Freddy and Nicoles topped off by a delicious dessert at our return at the Moulin were much appreciated by all participants.

A nice day in early autumn, nice sceneries, a bit of exercice and good food… all the elements were present to make this day a success. Tired but happy, we said goodbye to our gourmet participants and asked them to block their calendar for our third “balade gourmande” to be held in September 2010.

We wish to thank all those who contributed to make this day a real success. Projects are already swarming in our heads to surprise you again next year.

See you on Sunday September 5th of 2010… BG20092






First “General Assembly” of the HENRI BLAFFART ASSOCIATION

On December 13th, 2009, the members of the Association met for the first time to discuss the situation of the association and its future plans. The meeting took place in the middle in a small “pavilion” called Seveneiken in the middle of the western Hertogenwald.

After a quick round where each member briefly introduced himself, we reviewed the various past activities and discussed future plans for the association.

The members then set out for a small walk in the surrounding forest.


And here are some of the members present at the meeting !