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Subvention RRF octroyée fin février au Complexe W-Arly-Pendjari (Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger)

unesco fin fevrier


Les 8 et 10 février 2022, des attaques avec des engins explosifs improvisés ont entraîné la mort de quatre gardes forestiers, deux chauffeurs, un instructeur et un soldat, dans le  complexe W-Arly-Pendjari(Bénin, Burkina Faso et Niger) inscrit sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial.

Le Fonds d’intervention d’urgence (RRF) de l’UNESCO, que la fondation Iris soutient financièrement, a réagi rapidement pour aider financièrement les victimes et soutenir la continuité des actions de conservation.

Cette attaque démontre les menaces très sérieuses auxquelles peuvent être confrontés ceux qui sont en première ligne pour protéger la biodiversité exceptionnelle de notre monde.  En plus de fournir un soutien indispensable aux personnes directement touchées par cette attaque, les fonds du RRF permettront d'augmenter la capacité de déminage sur le site. 

Le complexe W-Arly-Pendjari a été inscrit sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial en 2017 pour son rôle crucial dans le maintien de la biodiversité, la zone abritant 85 % des éléphants de savane restants en Afrique de l'Ouest, la seule population viable de lions dans la région et probablement l’une des rares populations de guépards en Afrique de l'Ouest.

La fondation IRIS aide l'association Kalaweit à acquérir des espaces de forêts à l'ouest de Sumatra



L'association Kalaweit se bat en Indonésie pour la préservation de la biodiversité depuis 1994. Fondé par Chanee, connu pour son engagement pour les gibbons, il recueille des animaux issus des trafics et il crée des réserves privées, surveillées par patrouilles équestres et aériennes. Kalaweit travaille avec les communautés locales pour assurer la protection des forêts à très long-terme. 

La fondation IRIS aide Kalaweit à acquérir des espaces de forêts à l'ouest de Sumatra, pour agrandir la réserve de Supayang. 

C'est une zone de forêt très riche en biodiversité : on y trouve des gibbons, siamangs, ours, panthères nébuleuses, chats dorés, pangolins, tapirs, muntjacs et même des tigres. Disparus de la région depuis des décennies, le tigre a été observé dans la réserve de Supayang une première fois en 2019, grâce aux actions de Kalaweit pour la protection de la forêt  .  C'est une grande victoire, à laquelle la Fondation Iris contribue.  

Le retour du tigre bénéficie aux populations locales, dont les plantations étaient constamment détruites par des cochons sauvages, qui ne sortent plus à découvert depuis le retour du prédateur.

living forests

canopée forets vivantes
Forêt épaisse

Canopée defends the vision of living forests, and has given itself three missions: alert, mobilize, transform.

“We don't just denounce, what we want is to act at the root of the problems by changing laws and business practices. All our campaigns carry proposals, supported by recognized expertise.”



While the government must make arbitrations following the national forest and wood conferences,  scientists, associations, players in the forest-wood sector, call on it to make strong choices in order to finally reconcile a wood production policy and a biodiversity conservation policy in a single forest policy.


Forest policies must be guided by field observations and scientific data:  


- rely on biodiversity to strengthen the resilience of forests to climate change


- follow the promising and effective adaptation strategy: maintain the forest cover and its undergrowth as much as possible, enrich and diversify the stands, protect the soils which are essential to the sustainability of the forest ecosystem.  


Preserving biodiversity and the ecological functioning of forests does not mean giving up on wood production. On the contrary, it means guaranteeing it over the long term, without excluding the other services offered by forests.


Canopée.  Solutions for biodiversity in forests  : “  Islands of senescence"

Unesco soutien crucial


UNESCO provides crucial support for biodiversity in emergencies

UNESCO thanks the Franz Weber Foundation, Arcadia, the Iris Foundation and the Norwegian government for their support to the RRF.

In 2020, many natural World Heritage sites as well as other high priority protected areas faced emergencies and challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, peaks in poaching, conflicts and climate disasters. unprecedented (for example, cyclones, forest fires, ...). Valuable time is often wasted organizing an intervention, while during this time the world's natural heritage can be irreparably damaged.

The  Emergency Response Fund (RRF) , a joint initiative of the UNESCO World Heritage Center and Fauna and Flora International which provides grants in emergencies affecting biodiversity in natural World Heritage sites, quickly mobilized resources for partners in the field. With a goal of deciding claims in just 8 working days, the RRF provides rapid support in times of crisis, making it the fastest retention mechanism in the world.


Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)

In 2020, the RRF provided $ 181,677 to 5 sites, covering nearly 1.4 million hectares:

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)  - The park is home to almost half of the last population of endangered mountain gorillas. COVID-19 poses a threat to gorillas, given their close evolutionary relationship with humans. RRF therefore provided vital funding to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to save the mountain gorilla during the pandemic. Fortunately, there was no loss due to poaching or disease during the grant period. The park also experienced a baby boom last year, with 10 new gorilla births.


© Grupo en Operaciones en Selva (GOS)

Yaboti Biosphere Reserve (Argentina) - In February 2020, RRF supported the Proyecto Zorro Pitoco initiative with immediate logistical needs to tackle a dramatic increase in wildlife poaching. As a result, the local authorities have renewed their commitment to prioritize the protection of the site.


© Fondation Virunga


Remarkable Tree Care

The IRIS Foundation supports the  program called "  Caring for Remarkable Trees” led by the ARBREs Association  : the cities ask the Association both for its expertise and its advice and for financial aid in order to take care of a Tree labeled “Remarkable” by the association.


The Oak of Allouville-Bellefosse


  care work  very complex and expensive for this oak reputed to be the oldest in France (1200 years old), pampered by the town of Allouville in the Pays de Caux.  

(Loosening and protection of the ground at the foot of the tree, brushing of the moss, cutting of the ivy, installation and maintenance of protective tiles by a dedicated carpenter: Jean-Louis Devaux)  

logo arbres.jpg
soins aux arbres remarquables
chene allouville film museo.JPG
allouville echafaudage 2019.JPG



Network for Forest Alternatives


Faced with forest management leading to an impoverishment of biodiversity and forestry know-how, the Network for Forest Alternatives (RAF) offered throughout 2020 spaces for dialogue, reflection and co-construction to manage the forest in an environmentally responsible and socially responsible way. The year 2020 was marked by the launch of the Living Forests endowment fund, which will facilitate the acquisition of forests to keep them alive together.  

Aware of the erosion of the quality of forests in France, which are essential  both for biodiversity and for the climate, the IRIS Foundation has been supporting the RAF association since 2018.




UNESCO Rapid Response Fund

fond de réponse unesco


Faced with the various threats to which the Natural Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Site, are victims, a  Rapid Response Fund was set up to respond to emergencies. Requests are filtered and processed by a committee of experts brought together by Flora and Fauna International  in partnership with UNESCO. This semester six  NGOs have thus benefited from financial aid in response to urgent conservation issues.

The IRIS foundation is one of the financial partners of these operations.

le tigre des Sundarbans

© Shuvarthi Guha / WWF India  

The tiger of the Sundarbans

Following the destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan, swift action is needed to save the lives of humans and tigers. the  Emergency Response Fund (RRF)  supports WWF India to restore human-tiger conflict prevention measures in the Indian part of the Sundarbans, which is home to a World Heritage site, a biosphere reserve, as well as a Ramsar site.

Jaguar du Pantanal dans la forêt

©  M & G Therin-Weise / M & G Therin-Weise

The Jaguar of the Pantanal

Unprecedented fires break out in the Pantanal, threatening many endangered species and the valuable ecosystem. the  Emergency Response Fund , a joint initiative of UNESCO and Fauna and Flora International ( FFI ) , supports firefighting activities in the Pantanal Biosphere Reserve to prevent fires from spreading to the Pantanal Conservation Area World Heritage Site.

gorilles des montagnes, parc national de Bwindi
Parc de Yaboti en Argentine

© DR


Park of  Yaboti

UNESCO grants emergency funds to assist biosphere reserve threatened by poaching Argentine.

Indeed, during the past year, Yaboti, biosphere reserve by UNESCO has witnessed a dramatic increase in poaching of wildlife.

©  Uganda Wildlife Authority


Mountain gorillas

As the entire world is hit hard by COVID-19, the global pandemic also threatens our close “cousins” and one of the world's most iconic endangered species: the mountain gorilla.  

the  Emergency Response Fund (RRF)  UNESCO provided emergency support to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, to protect one of the world's last remaining mountain gorilla populations from this potentially threat  deadly .

logo unesco
logo de la fondation Iris
logo fauna flora international
Une réserve de vie sauvage dans le Vercors


A wildlife reserve in the Vercors


While the planet is undergoing what scientists call the 6th mass extinction, less than 1% of the national territory benefits from protection "in favor" of nature (National Parks, Nature Reserves, Integral Biosphere Reserves ...) and, even in protected areas, hunting and logging are most often permitted. Destruction of habitats, reckless harvesting, absence of large predators, disturbances, impoverish and amputate entire sections of our biological diversity. It is therefore necessary to take matters in hand.


This is what ASPAS does  (Association for the protection of wild animals) by acquiring natural territories.  Thereby,  at  the outcome of a long saga to raise the necessary funds, and thanks to its tenacity, the association  acquired, in December 2019,  an area of 490 hectares of ancient forests, cliffs and streams, in the Vercors to give them back to wolves, eagles and deer ...

The Iris Foundation supported this project  Vercors Vie Sauvage .

Emergency in the Papuan forest

Urgence en forêt papoue


On February 28 and March 4, 2018, two strong 7.5 magnitude earthquakes struck Mount Bosavi in Papua New Guinea. On April 7, a third magnitude 6.8 earthquake completed the health and ecological disaster in the southern lands. The inhabitants of the forest, the 14 clans of the nomadic Kasua tribe, are in great danger. Their houses on stilts, their food gardens, everything was destroyed. This tribe is one of the last nomadic people of the Papuan forest. They favor knowing how to live together and favor fairness in all exchanges and between all the beings of the forest. It is one of the last autonomous societies in symbiosis with the forest.


The association  Art Borescence  has decided to carry out a solidarity action in five stages:


  1. Purchase of supplies (emergency food, medical care, (water collectors, organic seeds, horticultural equipment, cuttings, etc.).

  2. Delivery of supplies.

  3. Receipt and distribution of supplies by the Kasua Reserve Steering Committee.

  4. Reconstruction of good manners in the forest on each clan territory.

  5. Organization of educational workshops for children and live shows.


The  Iris Foundation  supported  this project financially.



An "Institute of Nomads"

to rehabilitate cultural values

Tibetan nomads

Un "Institut des Nomades"


This project, carried by the association  Highland Initiatives-France , aims to rehabilitate the cultural values of Tibetan nomads and restore the weakened ecosystem of the Tibetan plateau faced with the influence of industrial culture, climate change and urbanization.


The challenges facing the Tibetan Plateau ecosystem are well known and multiple efforts have been undertaken over the past two decades at the local and national level. 1.6 million nomads live in the Tibetan regions of China, their way of life is changing rapidly, they now live alternating between their summer camp and their winter home. Thanks to the acquisition of new skills and the use of their ancestral knowledge, they can play an essential role in the protection of the environment of the Tibetan plateau which is subject among other things to desertification, with the disappearance of wild species, the scarcity and pollution of water resources on which 2 billion people in Asia depend.


The project is developed in three axes:


  • The transmission of knowledge, know-how and skills of nomadic lineages with the construction of a “nomadic institute” located in Zhiduo, Yushu prefecture, Qinghai province and its itinerant unit. This institute will offer a course combining traditional knowledge and scientific skills and will offer modules on the environment, agro-ecology, laws and regulations, entrepreneurship, etc.

  • Research and innovation thanks to an incubator of “model nomad camps”, which will aim to find practical solutions to combine ancestral knowledge and modernity.

  • A "communication platform" which will aim to facilitate economic, scientific and artistic exchanges by putting nomads in touch with each other and with government institutions, experts from academia, businesses, customers ... Thanks to this platform, nomads will also be able to diversify their sources of income by developing tourism and crafts.

It is notably carried by Marion Chaygneaud-Dupuy , inspired founder of Highland Initiative. 

She is the first European to have climbed Mount Everest three times. It has implemented a model of waste management in the mountains in order to preserve the quality of the Himalayan glaciers. To do this, she initiated the Clean Everest project and led the 2016 and 2017 expeditions. She has lived between Lhassa and Chengdu for 15 years where she created Global Nomad, a responsible tourism company and Highland Initiatives, which supports social entrepreneurs in Qinghai and Sichuan.



The future of the world's high mountains

L’avenir des hautes montagnes du monde


Born in the United States in 2010 to give voice to the mobilization around the human impacts on the glaciers of Denali (Alaska), the  Sustainable Summits Conference  passed in 2014 by Colorado then in 2016 by New Zealand and Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park.


In 2018, the fourth edition will be  wanted to  both part of the continuity of the founders and the renewal of the themes questioned. For three days, high mountain site managers, mountaineers, researchers, actors from the associative world and innovative companies from around the world met  found  in Chamonix. They shared  their experiences and have  proposed solutions for the future of high mountains.


The  Iris Foundation  financially supported this event




Protection of lemurs

of Madagascar with IUCN

Protection des lémuriens de Madagascar avec l'UICN


Charismatic emblems of the island-continent, we do not  found lemurs only in Madagascar. Deforestation and poaching in recent years have made lemurs the most endangered group of mammals on the planet with 99% of the species - estimated at over 100 - critically endangered.


The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Primate Specialist Group Lemur Action Plan  identified 30 priority sites for conservation activities. The program  SOS - Save our Lemurs  aligns closely with this plane.


The  Iris Foundation  financially supported 4 of these projects from 2015 to 2017


SOS logo Save Our Species


Inventory of glacial lakes at risk in Nepal

Inventaire des lacs glaciaires à risques au Népal
lac de montagne au Népal, tremblements de terre, avalanches


A very violent earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015 (7.8 on the Richter scale). It has since been followed by many aftershocks. Throughout the territory, earthquakes have reactivated natural risks: avalanches, landslides, rock falls, ruptures of glacial lakes...


The Government of Nepal's Hydrology and Meteorology Service (DHM) asked the association Geohazards and Men  to intervene urgently to estimate and prioritize the risk on 20 to 25 lakes currently considered to be at high risk of rupture and to carry out diagnostic visits.


The Iris Foundation  supported this study which will take place at the end of summer 2015.




Seventh Congress

European Botanical Gardens

Septième Congrès des Jardins Botaniques européens


the  National Museum of Natural History  of the city of Paris,  whose object is scientific research, expertise, education and training in life and earth sciences, organized in Paris the  Seventh Congress of European Botanical Gardens . It took place from July 6 to 10, 2015.


The  Iris Foundation  provided financial assistance to consolidate the organization of the congress, which aimed to protect plant biodiversity and enhance the role of Botanical Gardens in plant conservation and awareness of biodiversity preservation




Sustainable tourism

for UNESCO World Heritage

Tourisme durable pour le Patrimoine Mondial de l'UNESCO


The planning and management durable tourism  is one of the most urgent challenges for the future of UNESCO World Heritage Convention .


Site managers often do not have the tools and know-how to effectively manage tourism, optimize its effects and minimize the negative impact.


In partnership with UNESCO, the Iris Foundation  at  financially assisted in developing the tools to change the way tourism is managed at World Heritage sites; these collaborative and evolving tools aim to propagate innovative ideas and conclusive experiences to the authorities  local and national responsible for site management.



Plastic interpretations

around Villa Viardot in Bougival

Interprétations plastiques autour de la Villa Viardot à Bougival


In 2013 the  Iris Foundation  financed the artistic enhancement of the landscaped park of Villa Viardot where the Bougival Music Festival took place,  organized by the Friends of Georges Bizet .  Located in front of the house where Bizet composed Carmen ,  at the foot of the "hill of the Impressionists", this property of 4 hectares, of great landscape and cultural value,  is the setting of the singer's Villa Pauline Viardot , and the Writer's Datcha Ivan Turgenev .


The three works produced  by Swiss artist Andreas Kressig , echoing  to safeguard the site, invited visitors to better discover the park.


A cabinet, placed in the rose garden, is exposed to bad weather, like the Villa, as if left abandoned, awaiting rescue. A low wall  studded with DVDs with rainbow reflections evokes musical traces of musicians who lived and played in the Villa. Golden security barriers  form a collar around the Villa and pass from a function of protecting the public to that of defending the endangered site.


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