Etienne Bourgois: “Every donation is important and Tara needs the support of everyone”

© Noëlie Pansiot / Fondation Tara Expéditions

After 4 major expeditions, and the discovery of nearly 100,000 microscopic marine species, Tara has established strong scientific credibility and helped advance research on the Ocean considerably in recent years. Co-founder of the Tara Expeditions Foundation along with fashion designer agnès b., Etienne Bourgeois explains why Tara needs the support of everyone and gives us an update on the resources of the Tara Expeditions Foundation.


Etienne, can you explain to us where Tara’s resources come from?

The Tara Foundation has always been independent and will remain so. Today, it receives no subsidies from Europe and only a few from the French government. The Foundation functions thanks to the generosity of its donors and partners — the essential supporters of our actions.


You are Tara’s founder along with fashion designer agnès b. What is your role today in this endeavor?

We founded Tara Expeditions and financed its activity during the first years. We’ve been joined by loyal partners and donors who help support the Foundation and enable it to carry out its various missions.

Today, Agnès and I are still very present. For my part, I’m president of the board of directors, and both of us have chosen to cover the running costs of the Foundation. In practical terms, this means that we subsidize a large part of the running costs of the team on land as well as on the boat, and that all the support provided by our donors and partners, however big or small, directly finances the Tara Foundation missions.


noun_62927_cc“All the support from our donors and partners directly finances the Tara Foundation missions.”


© Noëlie Pansiot / Fondation Tara Expéditions


Why does Tara need funding today?

Ever since Tara was inaugurated, Agnès and I have had the will to make it everyone’s project, and we would like the project to continue for the coming decades. That’s why we wanted Tara, which was originally an endowment fund, to be recognized as a Foundation in the public interest. It’s the first in France dedicated to the ocean, and we donated the schooner to the Foundation. Today, environmental issues are more critical than ever. We don’t know how the ocean, its biodiversity and resources will evolve and how the inhabitants of this planet will adapt to these changes. It’s therefore essential that Tara expands its influence not only in France but also internationally. What is most important is the urgency of immediate action.


noun_62927_cc“We are contributing to scientific research that will lead to better governance, prediction and anticipation of climate risks. We are sharing knowledge to increase awareness and educate younger generations.”


Tara au mouillage à Guam© Noëlie Pansiot / Fondation Tara Expéditions


Relatively little is known about the ocean even though it’s at the heart of the Earth’s climate system. With such abrupt and brutal changes taking place, it is urgent to understand. This is why we at the Tara Foundation want to strengthen our actions and pursue the development of a science of the ocean — an open, innovative, unprecedented science that allows us to understand this ecosystem — the only continuous ecosystem on the planet.

We are contributing to scientific research in order to better govern, predict and anticipate climate risks, and to raise awareness and educate younger generations, for the benefit of all countries, from north to south of the planet.

To do all this, we need everyone’s help — business partners, associations, but also the general public who, through their donations, will allow us to be heard by a maximum number of people. Every gift is important and allows us to move forward, every gift to Tara is a precious drop for the ocean.


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