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March 10, 2022

Media Advisory: Tumamoc Hill to host conversation on conservation with international experts

  • What: "30% by 2030: Conserving Our Shared Lands," a public panel discussion about international conservation efforts, hosted by the University of Arizona Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill
  • When: Monday, March 14, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Desert Laboratory Boat House at the base of Tumamoc Hill, 1675 W. Anklam Road
  • Expert availability: Media are invited to attend the panel discussion along with the public. Those interested in interviewing the panelists before the event can contact event coordinators Régis Ferrière at or Ben Wilder at

TUCSON, Ariz. – In the face of a global biodiversity crisis, the United States, Canada and France have pledged to designate 30% of their land and seas as protected areas by 2030.

To bring attention to the commitment, representatives from the French Embassies in the United States and Canada plan to visit three cities that are emblematic of biodiversity and conservation – Tucson, San Francisco and Vancouver, Canada. At each stop, a panel of conservation experts, advocates and leaders will have a public conversation to review conservation challenges and opportunities and share their vision for how to address them most effectively.

Tucson is the first stop on the three-city tour.

"We hope that the events will bring attention to the international commitment that France, the U.S. and Canada have made toward the 30 by 30 goal, and for the transformative consequences for global biodiversity conservation," said Tucson event co-organizer Régis Ferrière, a UArizona associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. Ferrière is also the director of iGLOBES International Research Laboratory, a partnership between UArizona and some of the leading research institutions in France.

"This ambitious goal raises important questions and leads to essential conversations," said Desert Laboratory director and event co-organizer Ben Wilder. "The 30 by 30 framework provides a useful entry point to larger conservation goals, and hopefully effective on-the-ground action."

Panelists include:

  • Hélène Soubelet, director of the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity
  • Cyrille Barnerias, director of European and international relations at the French Biodiversity Agency
  • Alberto Burquez, senior scientist at the Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Nicole Fyffe, assistant to the Pima County administrator

Opening remarks will be given by Joaquin Ruiz, UArizona vice president for Global Environmental Futures and Biosphere 2 director, and Stéphane Raud, attaché for science and technology at the French Embassy in the United States. Mikayla Mace Kelley, a science writer for University Communications, will moderate the panel.

The panel discussion comes on the heels of a weeklong conference to mark the one-year anniversary of the France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges. The research collaboration between UArizona and the French National Centre for Scientific Research focuses on the environment, space science, data science and global climate change. The institute is led by Ruiz as executive director and Ferrière as deputy director. 

Tumamoc Hill is an 860-acre ecological preserve and home to the Desert Laboratory since 1903. A 2,500-year-old village sits atop the hill, and the entire preserve is a rich cultural landscape reflecting four millennia of significance to the communities that have known the hill. Tumamoc Hill is a U.S. National Historical Landmark, the highest designation by the federal government for a site with outstanding historical significance. The Desert Lab is a hub of novel research, education and outreach focused on the future of life in the desert.

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Media contacts:
Régis Ferrière  
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Ben Wilder
Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill
Office: 520-621-6949 | Cell: 520-971-2486