The 73rd IUCN Congress, took place in Marseille from September the 4th to 11th, 2021 and has offered for the first time an area dedicated to the public. Septentrion Environnement has presented a virtual diving area, in partnership with the Calanques National Park and the City of Marseille. This 154 m² immersive space immersed the visitor in the Marseille marine environment. The common theme: a mutual scenography that reproduced a virtual exploration of seascapes, starting from submarine canyons to coastal habitats, via artificial reefs.
The Explor’hab project, imagined by Septentrion Environnement, has immersed visitors in three emblematic habitats of the Calanques: the coralligenous, shallow rocky bottoms and underwater caves. Equipped with a virtual reality helmet, visitors were in control of their dives and could move around in a 3-dimensional space. In addition to this discovery dive, visitors were able to interact with the mediators mobilized for the occasion and become aware of the conservation issues linked to each habitat. They were able to practice citizen science actions by realizing virtual counts of species living in these habitats.
In total, 2,500 visitors, including 176 schoolchildren, came to virtually discover Marseille’s seabed over 8 days of congress!