Mediterranean Planet



"Planète Méditerranée",

The Fondation Iris has supported this documentary film released on the Franco-German TV channel ARTE on September 19, 2020 at 8:50pm. The film retraces the underwater saga of four deep sea divers in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea. 

In July 2019, led by Laurent Ballesta, they lived for a whole month aboard a five square meters yellow capsule. They ventured out daily at depths between 60 and 120 meters to explore unspoild marine sites located between Marseille and Monaco. 

A dive into beauty not to be missed.


Expedition 7th Continent



In the summer of 2020 the schooner of the 7th Continent Association served to launch an awareness campaign on plastic waste pollution aimed at the local population and holidaymakers of Occitania.


350 million metric tons of plastics are produced in the world each year and almost 10% end up in the ocean. Plastic is non-biodegradable in nature. Large pieces of plastic waste rapidly fragment into micro and nano metric waste, along with their toxic chemical additives and heavy metals…


The association also takes part in the "Atlantys" project which studies the fundamental mechanism of transport and fragmentation of microscopic plastic particles. The research includes the study of the interactions between the waste debris and the ocean’s natural habitat.

The early results show the release of plastic nano particles in the global water cycle.


Juillet 2019 

The underwater exploration "Gombessa V"


Because men have sailed for thousands of years the sea is believed to hold no more secrets. Because they have conquered and abused it, it is believed to be devastated. However, the Mediterranean remains very much alive and yet to be explored. As financial partner to the expedition led by Laurent Ballesta, the Fondation Iris wishes to uphold this message of hope. Exploring Biodiversity hotspots at depths between 60 and 120 meters: the coralligenous reefs.

Numerous scientists estimate that these deep sea ecosystems, once protected, could become zones of refuge for certain species that no longer find the conditions for survival in the shallower regions affected by global warming and pollution. During a period of 28 days, from the 1st to the 28th of July 2019, thanks to innovative technologies and after years of preparation, four divers explored the luxurious and unknown Mediterranean depths.  

"Planète Méditerranée" (Mediterranean Planet), a film by the "Gombessa V" team was released on ARTE TV on September 19, 2020, a co-production Andromède / LesGensBien production.



February 2019

Expédition to the Gabon'forest

The Fondation Iris has taken part in the shooting of some of the scenes of Luc Marescot’s forthcoming film ‘Poumon Vert Tapis Rouge’ ( Green Lungs Red Carpet). The shooting took place in the Gabonese Equatorial Forest. The main aim of this film is to spread as urgently and widely as possible the message carried by the famous French Botanist  Francis Hallé in his fight for the survival of tropical forests. The Fondation Iris supports this outstanding project.



April 2018 - During the expeditions organized by  Fondation Iris in the Indonesian archipelago, our teams were particularly touched by the exceptional biodiversity of this region and we became aware of the urgency of preserving this extraordinary natural heritage. That's why we decided to support the actions led by Alain Compost, who will undertake a six-month electric motorcycle journey through Indonesia. Going from village to village to witness what he has seen for 40 years traveling the country as a wildlife photographer, he will inform and motivate local communities on the importance of preserving the invaluable biodiversity of this region for the future generations.



40 wild years in Indonesia



The Expedition 7th Continent


In 2017, the association Expedition 7e Continent acquired a sailboat thanks to the Fondation Iris financial support. It has enabled the association to go further in its fight against marine plastic pollution. The sailboat has been made available to scientists working on plastics and will also help raise public awareness on plastic pollution.

After 5 years of carrying out missions on the oceans of the planet to get a better understanding of the problem, Alexandra Ter Halle points out that most of macro-waste found in the oceans mainly comes from single-use packaging intended to be used only for a few minutes. It therefore makes sense and becomes urgent to rally both consumers and industrials in order to change our behaviours and reduce our production.

 The objective of the September 2019 mission to the Mediterranean was to focus on plastic pollution invisible to the naked eye. 4 Scientists and 4 sailors therefore boarded with tools suitable for each plastic size range: from tweezers for the particles visible to the naked eye, to air filters for nanoparticles that can penetrate the atmosphere.

 Watch here the press conference of the expedition:



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.



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.



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.


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