In November 2013, French Polynesia’s government committed to protecting at least 20 percent of the French territory’s waters by 2020. More than 50 local organizations voiced support for this goal at a June 2014 event celebrating the local visit of the Hokule’a—the traditional Polynesian vessel and its crew that stopped in Tahiti as part of its travels from Hawaii across the Pacific to promote ocean protection.
The Pew Charitable Trusts, through the Global Ocean Legacy project, is working with governments, fishermen, scientists, civic associations, and local communities around the world to help create large marine reserves for the long-term health of our oceans. In French Polynesia, Pew is joining with officials and the public in an effort to help implement the government’s commitment to protect at least 20 per cent of Polynesian waters by 2020. By engaging a wide range of people, we hope to identify conservation.
approaches that have broad support and honor traditional Polynesian wisdom. One of these is the
rahui—the age-old practice of restricting access to an area for conservation purposes.