To safeguard the fragile

beauty of the world


Fondation Iris is a private foundation under the aegis of  Fondation de France. It was created in December 2012. Its aim is to promote conservation of the environment.


The foundation supports actions to preserve or restore vulnerable sites, whether cultural or natural, as well as actions to respond concretely to the loss of biodiversity in all kinds of environment (land, marine, peri-urban,...).


The foundation also supports artists whose works are concerned with public awareness of problematic sites, landscapes and species to be protected, or whose productions play an active role toward the protection and enhancement of these sites.


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January 2018 - The Fondation Iris team is working on the production of a book on the two  expeditions conducted in Indonesia, in the Lesser Sunda Islands  and West Papua between 2015 and 2017. This book will be published in the fall of 2018.


While waiting for the release, discover our collection of videos taken during the Papua expedition.

December 2017 - Magnus Lundgren just returned from Taiwan with fantastic underwater pictures captured during a mission conducted by Wild Wonders of China, an initiative supported by Fondation Iris for several years.


Environmental expedition

in West Papua

The second “Science and Images” mission  took place in West Papua during winter 2016-2017.


The primary objective of this expedition was to highlight the extraordinary biodiversity of the regions and to identify the dangers which threaten it. The aim was to raise awareness about the importance of the preservation of this natural one-of-a-kind heritage.


 Watch the videos.

During a mission to Indonesia on plastic pollution, Fondation Iris took part in a remarkable initiative by the Tiger Blue team, which organized an educational cruise for twelve children from the Jodie O'Shea orphanage  in Bali, on the theme of preservating marine ecosystems in general and raising awareness on plastic pollution in the oceans in partnership with the Gili Eco Trust NGO in Gili Trawangan.

Introduction to the protection of marine ecosystems


Grant Iris Terre Sauvage

for young nature photographers

“With Fondation Iris, we share a conviction: taking time to understand the world is necessary and one of the best ways to introduce it is through images. This is why we take the advantage of the issue to make the announcement that Terre Sauvage and Fondation Iris join forces and create a grant for young photographers. Our idea? Make talents blossom. If you are a photographer passionate about nature less than thirty years old, this is the time to apply by filling in the application form on our website before May 2, 2016. This year, two grants will be on offer so that you too can put into images the beauty of the world.”


This grant is sponsored by the well-known wildlife photographer Vincent Munier.

In the aftermath of COP21, climatic and environmental questions are still a primary subject for the international community.


Rather than conveying a pessimistic image about the damage caused by human activity, this short movie tries to raise the spectator’s awareness of the wonders of nature. The narrative weave projects its viewers into a world where humanity has never been at the centre, whereas the 3D images plunge the viewer into this infinitely large theatre.


Project Insignificant is the result of the collaboration between the CNRS and the Université Paris-Sud. Fondation Iris is a sponsor of the project.


Insignificant :

our place in the universe

You can also support this project via a crowdfunding campaign.


Protecting the lemurs of Madagascar with IUCN

Charismatic symbol of the island-continent, you can only find lemurs in Madagascar. These past few years, deforestation and poaching have made lemurs the most endangered group of mammals on earth with 99% of the species – estimated at more than 100 – in critical danger.


The action plan for lemurs of the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Primate Specialist Group has identified 30 primary sites for conservation operations. The programme “SOS Lemur” closely lines up with this plan.


Four of these projects are supported financially by Fondation Iris.


From January 12 to January 27, 2016, the “Aux Origines du Monde” association organizes a mission on Dallol’s site in the Danakil depression in the north-east of Ethiopia. This site is considered as having one of the most extreme environments on earth. Even though macroscopic life seems absent on this site, scientists speculate that microbial life has developed there.


Purificación López-García, research director at  CNRS and affiliated to Université Paris-Sud in Orsay, will be the scientific coordinator of the project. She will be accompanied by 8 other scientists. Olivier Grunewald is going to produce a photo report and documentary on the site.


Today, this unique place is at the centre of mining concessions which are exploiting potassium hydroxide and can deteriorate the environment in the short-term. In order to raise the Ethiopian authorities’ awareness of the necessary protection of the site, Fondation Iris has decided to support this scientific study and to develop its media profile.

Dallol, the search of the first moments of life

Study mission on plastic pollution in Indonesia


Fondation Iris has funded a series of studies on plastic pollution in Indonesia, which was the primary environmental problem identified during the first expedition “Sciences and Images” in the summer of 2015.


Quite a few local NGOs working on the topic have been identified, contacted and visited.


Awareness videos on the topic have been produced and distributed on social networks, particularly in Indonesia where they were very successful (several millions of views).


Fondation Iris organises “Sciences and Images” expeditions whose purpose is the study of sites at risk or ones with large biodiversity in order to promote their preservation.


The first expedition took place in the Lesser Sunda Islands aboard a traditional Indonesian boat during summer 2015. This string of islands which stretches from the East of Bali to the confines of the Timor possesses a wealth of wildlife sites and cultural diversity. It is a paradise for naturalists and ethnologists.


The expedition participants’ main purpose was to highlight the various environmental issues which these regions are confronted to today.


The log books of this expedition are available.

First expedition

"Sciences and Images"


Permacultural organic market gardening

Since 2011, the "Institut Sylva" association has conducted a research project on permacultural organic market gardening in conjunction with the SAD-APT and the Ferme biologique du Bec Hellouin. This study, completed in March 2015, has opened an innovative route by demonstrating the economic sustainability of permacultural micro-agriculture.


Fondation Iris considers that this type of environmentally respectful and innovative agriculture is a potential solution to various environmental problems which have been caused by industrial agriculture. Today, the negative aspects and limits have been clearly identified. This type of agriculture notably has the potential to restore degraded soils, watercourses, landscapes and biodiversity.


Fondation Iris supports a second research phase as well as seeding projects which promote the permaculture practices initiated by the Institut Sylva.


A very violent earthquake struck Nepal on the 25th April 2015 – 7.8 on Richter’s scale. Since then, it has been followed by many after-shocks. All over the region, earthquakes have renewed natural hazards: avalanches, landslide, rock falls, glacial lakes breach…


The Nepalese government’s hydrological and meteorological service (DHM) has asked the "Des Géorisques et Des Hommes" association to take urgent action to carry out diagnostic visits and to estimate and prioritize the risk of 20 to 25 lakes which are considered at high risk of rupture.


Fondation Iris is supporting this study which will take place end of summer 2015.


Inventory of glacial lakes at risk in Nepal

Ahead of the COP 21 Climate Conference, people from many of the world’s religions and wisdoms will meet in Paris on July 21 for a Summit of Conscience for the Climate to answer the question "Why do I care about the planet?” and launch a “Call to Conscience for the Climate”.


It is only a mobilization of conscience on a global scale that will enable humanity to meet this great challenge confronting us: how to limit global warming by taking real action, including reducing our consumption of fossil fuels.


Time is short. This is not only a political, economic or ecological issue. It is the future of humanity that is at stake. Each of us is called to respond now to the question: Why do I care?  Is it important to me that the adventure of mankind on Earth can continue? Am I ready to change my lifestyle today so that the children of our children come into this world in tolerable conditions?


Fondation Iris is a partner of the Why do I care campaign.

The National Natural History Museum of Paris,  an institution recognized for the excellence of its expertise, and its program of conservation, research and dissemination of scientific knowledge, will host the Seventh European Botanic Gardens Congress for the first time in France. It will be held in Paris during July 6-10, 2015.


Fondation Iris provides financial support to strengthen the organization of the congress which aims at protecting plant biodiversity and highlighting the role of botanical gardens in plant conservation and  biodiversity preservation awareness.


Seventh European

Botanic Gardens Congress

The "Honey Roads" Exhibition

Luxembourg Garden Fence, Paris

The "Honey Roads" exhibition, made up of 80 outstanding photos by Eric Tourneret, the "bee photographer", will take place in the heart of Paris on  the Luxembourg Garden fence, from September 16, 2015 to January 19, 2016 during the PARIS 2015 climate conference - COP 21.


With over a million visitors, this exhibition offers an extraordinary chance to send a strong signal for the preservation of bees at a time when they disappear, victims of an agricultural model that pours tons of pesticides into nature and transforms our landscapes into a green desert, toxic to the bees. Unique in its scope, this exhibition could allow all of us to unite around this event and show our willingness to protect nature as we know it for future generations.


This exhibition is part of the mission of Fondation Iris to support initiatives preserving biodiversity.

Wild Wonders of China is a proposed initiative to reveal China’s amazing natural treasures to China’s citizens and the World: wildlife and wild places that most people don’t even know do exist. It is about the joy of wildness.


Using the emotional power of world class photography and videography, combined with positive messages and facts, we wish to inspire people to care about and enjoy China’s biodiversity, its many wild places and the great variety of species that live there. Widely showcasing a side of China that only very few have really ever seen or heard about.


Fondation Iris financially supports the first photo mission to Sichuan province’s Tangjiahe Nature Reserve, from April 18th to May 4th 2015.

Wild Wonders of China

first photo mission in Sichuan

Scientific Mission

to the Center of the Earth

The mission, led by MAGMA EXPLORATION, meets the request  issued by the Volcanological Observatory of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to restart, as soon as possible, scientific research and monitoring of Nyiragongo, a beautiful stratovolcano that features the world's largest lava lake,  in the Virunga National Park inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1979.


The main purpose of the mission, expected to start in late June, early July 2015, is to resume scientific research with the primary goal of improving eruption forecasts in order to send alerts and protect local populations. This better understanding of volcanic activity is also expected to promote a localised and controlled tourism  and contribute towards regular financing for the maintenance of the property which is home to a unique biodiversity, including endemic species and rare and endangered species such as the mountain gorilla.

Founded in 1994, the A.R.B.R.E.S. association aims to be a gathering place for all those who are interested in remarkable trees and to disseminate knowledge of all kinds related to these trees by organizing visits, conferences, discussions, and exhibitions.


Fondation Iris financially supports  A.R.B.R.E.S. in its communication mission  with the public, the tree owners and the policy makers.

Communication mission with the A.R.B.R.E.S. association


Sustainable tourism for UNESCO World Heritage

Sustainable planning and management of tourism is one of the most pressing challenges concerning the future of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.


Site managers in particular often lack the tools and know-how to effectively manage tourism to maximize its benefits and minimize its negative impacts.


Through a partnership with UNESCO, Fondation Iris  will help provide the tools that enable a growing number of World Heritage Site communities to make positive changes to the way they manage tourism by spreading evolutive and creative ideas.


The Wild Wonders Foundation is a swedish foundation supporting initiatives that aim to reveal the beauty and importance of our natural heritage as well as the conservation issues this heritage is facing.


Initiatives that strive to use the emotional power of photography, videography and other media in favour of conservation.


Fondation Iris financially supports various initiatives of the Wild Wonders Foundation like Wild Wonders of China.

Supporting conservation through communication

Visual interpretations around the Villa Viardot in Bougival

In 2013, Fondation Iris funded an outdoor art exhibition in the Park of the Villa Viardot in Bougival, France. Located in front of the house where Bizet composed Carmen, at the foot of the "Hill of the Impressionists", this 4-hectare property, with a great landscape and cultural value, is the setting of the villa of  Pauline Viardot singer, and of the dacha of  Ivan Turgenev writer.


The works by the Swiss artist Andreas Kressig, echoing music and safeguard of the site, invited visitors to better explore the park.


A wardrobe, placed in the rose garden is exposed to the weather, in the same way the villa is abandoned, waiting for a rescue. A wall is studded with DVDs  with rainbow reflections: musical footsteps reminiscent of the musicians who lived and played in the Villa. A necklace of golden safety barriers surrounding the villa: transfiguration barriers that pass from a public protection function to the defense of the site at risk function.



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Fondation Iris

c/o Fondation de France

40 avenue Hoche

75008 - Paris