The project in French Polynesia


French Polynesia stands out for the vast area it covers, at 5.5 million sq. km, and by being highly isolated. It lies 5000 kilometres from the nearest continent and its 118 islands are scattered across an area as large as Europe. These two features make for the diversity that can be found in French Polynesia in terms of climate, geomorphology, habitats and ecosystems and such diversity makes the country unique with its abundant, original fauna and flora (biodiversity).


This outstanding natural heritage is both partly unique and fragile, contending with many pressures whether natural (tropical cyclones, spiny starfish outbreaks and over-harvesting, etc.) or related to human activity (land reclamation, bush clearance, resource overuse and invasive species translocation, etc.) For a long time, there has virtually been no protected area management on land or at sea, despite the management committees that were set up. Poaching has also been very commonplace on some islands, due to their remoteness and the lack of rangers and/or surveillance. Major efforts have since been made, particularly with the biosphere reserve and Moorea Maritime Area Management Plan association, but also to reactivate management committees and implement management plans. In addition to these highly localised initiatives, the Department of the Environment is also keen to introduce a genuine species and habitat protection policy covering all the island groups and natural environments of French Polynesia.

This is the background to the INTEGRE project for supporting the work of the Department of the Environment and all the departments involved in environmental management, as well as all the stakeholders in the field. It will be implemented on three sites chosen by the country’s government, i.e. Raiatea and its lagoon, Tahiti Peninsula (Taiarapu) and Opunohu Bay and Valley, Moorea. On all three sites, the project will aim at supporting environmental protectionand sustainable resource use, contributing to pollution reductionand developing participative planning initiatives for shared areas, such as the Raiatea-Tahaa lagoon.

Actions plans have been developed using a participatory approach through the local committees established in each site. These committees gather all the stakeholders involved or just interested in the project (town councils local NGOs, government departments, research institutes, professional groups, individuals...). After a short introduction to Integrated Coastal Management to the local committees, the INTEGRE team has facilitated a participatory analysis of issues in each site in order to define priorities to be addressed by the project. Participants to the local committees have been invited to submit proposals to address the issues identified. Proposals submitted have been discussed and approved by local committees.


Download our Brochure on French Polynésia


Pacific territories’ initiative for regional management of the environment

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