PRESERVING SITES AND SPECIES

Integrating indigenous knowledge to contemporary forest management practices in Myanmar

The forested areas around  the Hkakaborazi Landscape, in Kachin State in the northernmost part of Myanmar, are home to a significant population of Rawang people. The group largely leads a subsistence lifestyle through swidden agriculture and the use of non-timber forest products. The Rawang have historically had a harmonious relationship with their environment, contributing to preserving the forest and its ecosystems. Their current status in the forest is now tense due to a modern management framework which does not fully recognize their traditional rights, practices and way of life and thus threatens their livelihoods.

 

As the Government of Myanmar is in the process of preparing a nomination for the Hkakaborazi Landscape to the World Heritage List, the need to integrate traditional practices and involvement of local communities is a priority issue.

 

This is why the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, in partnership with Fondation Iris, started a project seeking  :

 

  • to generate understanding about indigenous knowledge on forest management among the Rawang in Myanmar,
  • to identify obstacles for the communities to practice their indigenous knowledge,
  • to provide recommendations for policy makers to utilize indigenous knowledge in contemporary forest management practices.

The future of the world's high mountain

In 2010, the Sustainable Summits conference was launched by the American Alpine Club with the primary goal of sharing solutions for managing human waste in the high mountain peaks around the world. At the Golden, Colorado conference in 2014, and again in 2016 at Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand, the scope was broadened to include the impacts of climate change and access issues on the high mountains.  These conferences have drawn representation from every continent.

 

In 2018, for three days, land managers, researchers, representatives from NGOs and non-profit organizations, outdoor companies, guides and mountaineers from around the world will join together in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.  They will share their knowledge and experience and propose solutions for the future of our high mountains.

 

Fondation Iris financially support this event.

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.

Inventory of glacial lakes at risk in Nepal

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.

Seventh European Botanic Gardens Congress

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.

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.

Visual interpretations around the Villa Viardot in Bougival

© FRANÇOISE BRENCKMANN

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.

Fondation Iris, 40 avenue Hoche, 75008 - Paris, France