On the initiative of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, the French Research Institute for Development and Pro-Natura International, Santo 2006 is the largest international scientific mission on biodiversity ever carried out, with 160 researchers from 25 countries all over the world and exceptional technical and human resources.
The Santo 2006 expedition was conducted from August to December 2006 on the island of Espiritu Santo, the largest and highest in the Vanuatu archipelago, and was to some extent the prelude to the Our Planet Reviewed expeditions. Espiritu Santo is an extraordinary geographical and cultural microcosm and has been occupied by humans for 3,000 years. So it had a "little bit of everything" to offer naturalists keen on making new discoveries.
On the initiative of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, the French Research Institute for Development (IRD) and Pro-Natura International, the Santo 2006 expedition involved over 150 scientists, volunteers and students from 25 countries in field-work and nearly 100 support staff members and accompanying people from the media and education. Every habitat, from the deep sea bed off the island, on board Alis, the IRD oceanographic vessel, to the mountain peaks, were inventoried.