Environmental expedition in West Papua
The second “Science and Images” expedition organized by Fondation Iris 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.
Dallol, the search of the first moments of life
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.
Expedition in the Lesser Sunda islands
Fondation Iris organises “Science 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.
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.