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A Scientific Review of French Polynesia's Austral Islands: An Overview

June 8, 2015

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 Austral Islands, the southernmost archipelago in French Polynesia, present a great opportunity for conservation. They benefit from extraordinarily rich marine ecosystems, and their people have long sought to protect their environmental legacy. In 2014, municipal councils of the five inhabited islands called for the creation of a large marine protected area (MPA) surrounding the Australs. The government listened and announced in November at the World Parks Congress in Sydney that it intended to establish a large MPA in those waters. Earlier that year, French Polynesia invited The Pew Charitable Trusts to conduct a detailed scientific inventory of the Austral Islands' marine environment and examine the relationship between the islands and life in the surrounding waters. This interdisciplinary report is the result, produced with input from a wide range of experts. It is intended to serve as a foundation of knowledge to help define the conservation measures that the government and local communities will consider.

Environnement Marin Des îles Australes Polynésie Française

June 8, 2015

Le gouvernement de Polynésie française s'est engagé en novembre 2013 à protéger au moins 20% des eaux polynésiennes d'ici 2020. En juin 2014, plus de 50 associations de Polynésie française ont soutenu cet objectif à travers le message de la pirogue Hokule'a. Les îles Australes présentent des opportunités de conservation majeures, avec une richesse extraordinaire des écosystèmes marins et un intérêt marqué de la population des îles pour la protection de leur patrimoine. De juin à décembre 2014, les conseils municipaux des cinq îles habitées des Australes ont voté une délibération appelant à la création d'une grande Aire Marine Protégée (AMP) dans les eaux de leur archipel. Le gouvernement a entendu ce message et annoncé en novembre 2014 la création future d'une grande AMP dans les eaux des Australes, lors du Congrès Mondial des Parcs à Sydney. En mai 2014, le gouvernement de Polynésie française a invité The Pew Charitable Trusts à travailler sur un état des lieux scientifique de l'environnement marin des Australes ; le présent ouvrage vise à répondre à cette requête. L'objectif de ce rapport est d'établir un diagnostic détaillé et partagé des connaissances disponibles sur le milieu marin de l'archipel des Australes, du littoral jusqu'à l'océan du large, et des relations entre les insulaires des Australes et leur environnement marin. Cet état des lieux participatif et pluridisciplinaire offrira un socle de connaissance solide sur lequel pourront être définies des mesures de conservation adaptées, par le gouvernement et les populations locales.

Protecting Our Ocean for Future Generations: French Polynesia's Marine Conservation Opportunity

June 1, 2014

French Polynesia is home to the world's largest contiguous exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, the waters over which the territory has jurisdiction. At almost 5 million square kilometers (2 million square miles), the expanse surrounds fi ve archipelagoes—the Austral, Society, Marquesas, Tuamotu, and Gambier—and is equal in size to the land area of the European Union. Spanning 118 islands, French Polynesia's waters hold a wealth of marine life. Twenty-one shark species and an exceptional coral reef system that is home to 176 coral and 1,024 fi sh species are found here. The richness of the fl ora and fauna, along with the spectacular natural beauty, contributes greatly to the local economy, particularly tourism, fi shing, and pearl farming. In recognition of this marine treasure, the government of French Polynesia announced in November 2013 a commitment to protect at least 20 percent of its waters—about 1 million square kilometers (386,000 square miles)—by 2020. Protection on this level would make French Polynesia a Pacifi c and global leader in ocean conservation, while highlighting and preserving its deep Polynesian ocean heritage for current and future generations.

Planning for an Uncertain Future: Promoting adaptation to climate change through flexible and forward-looking decision making

May 8, 2014

The need for decision making that is flexible, forward-looking and able to adapt to the unexpected is clear. One approach for achieving this is 'Flexible and Forward-Looking Decision Making' (FFDM). But what is it, and how can it be operationalised in practice? This report documents the activities of the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) in seeking to strengthen FFDM among district development actors. It describes research carried out while trialling an innovative and interactive tool to promote FFDM - a 'game-enabled reflection approach' - accompanied by capacity-building activities. ACCRA undertook case studies at the district level in three countries; Uganda, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. Building on these three case studies, this report outlines key findings and makes recommendations on how to better support decision making processes for an uncertain future. It does so in view of helping to understand the use of FFDM as well as the effectiveness and limitations of a game-enabled reflection approach. 

Close to Home : UK poverty and the economic downturn

October 29, 2010

The UK is in recession, and things stand to get much worse for the fifth of the population already living in poverty, and for the millions more whose livelihoods will become more vulnerable as a result. The UK government has recognised its responsibility to help people through the recession, but needs to do more to help the poorest, and to provide security for all. As importantly, policy makers need to take the opportunity that the recession provides to rethink many of the policies of the past decades. This paper sets out a pro-poor policy response to the recession that lays down the foundations for a more equitable, sustainable society. It argues that government action should be based upon a long-term vision of moving to a society based on sustainability, with good quality jobs that allow people to have a more secure livelihood, but also backed up by a welfare state safety net which neither traps people nor leaves them living in poverty.