We support the sustainable development in French Polynesia.
Our desire to open hotels in unspoilt, secluded islands depends on our ability to build structures which respect their natural environment, encourage local employment and ensure the present and future well-being of the Polynesian people.
For years our teams have been making every effort on a daily basis to save water, choose new energy sources, use natural and biodegradable cleaning products, recycle waste and treat waste water.
In fulfilling our social and environmental responsibilities, we work side by side with Polynesian associations and businesses who share our aims.
Since 2001, we have been working with a Polynesian company, Espace Bleu, on the first project on such a scale in French Polynesia: the creation of a coral nursery at the Hotel Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa.
Since then, many other participative actions have come into being on the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Tikehau and Manihi such as the creation of a protected marine area for manta rays in Tikehau, the support of handicapped children organisation in Tahiti or the support of an organic garden in Manihi.
Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa is affiliated with the Reef Check Foundation, an association dedicated to the education, oversight and protection of the coral reefs and their ecosystems. The agreement requires that four to six trained employees be responsible for an annual check, either in the lagoon or around it, with a very specific check list
Few words about Reef Check Polynésie :
For some fifty years, the health of the world’s coral ecosystems has deteriorated at an unprecedented rate. To combat this growing human impact, numerous actions at international, national and local levels have been undertaken in order to establish a global evaluation of the situation and, above all to heighten public awareness of the disastrous consequences that would result from the complete disappearance of coral reefs. It was against this background that in 2000 Bernard Salvat and Annie Aubanel (member of IFRECOR – French Initiative for Coral Reefs) launched the Reef Check method in French Polynesia under the auspices of CRIOBE (Coral Reef Initiative for the South Pacific). For 6 years, volunteers would be trained how to watch over the evolution of the health of a number of sites in Moorea and Bora Bora. In 2006/7, financial support from CRISP (Center for Island Research and Environmental Observation) for the “Reef Check Foundation” and the ongoing help of IFRECOR Polynesia, enabled a coordinator to be hired within the association “Proscience” in order, amongst other things, to develop and animate the “Reef Check” network and seek out partners. In March 2007, the non-profit association “Reef Check Polynesia” was set up, under the law of July 1 1901, with the following objectives:
- the education and promotion of awareness of the marine environment among the public at large as well as the active public involvement in surveillance of the state of coral reefs in French Polynesia and the Pacific.
- the establishment of management and measures for the protection of marine resources in the context of sustainable development.
- the conduct of various research and follow-up activities to permit a better understanding of the coral ecosystem.
- fund raising to assure the self-financing of the association’s program through the organization of events as well as the manufacture of various articles for sale.
In 2008, a presentation of the association and its program as well as a membership bulletin were widely circulated, resulting in the recruitment of new members and above all the financial support of the “Total Foundation for Biodiversity and the Sea) as well as that of Total Polynesia.
The Reef Check method was established by scientists and adapted for use by the public. It is thus simple, standardized and accessible to all those who wish to be involved. In fact, the goal is to visit the same part of the selected reef at regular intervals (annually) to observe whether it remains stable or whether it deteriorates or improves over time.
Surveillance of coral reefs is a major factor in the context of current climate changes, potentially giving states and tropical island territories time to take vital anticipatory measures. It is opportune as far as possible to involve civil society in this effort through creating networks based on the training of volunteers anxious to make their contribution. The data collected by them over time and in different places is an effective complement to the activities of the scientists. Apart from raising public awareness and organizing its programs, “Reef Check Polynesia” provides an on-going source of information on the health of coral reefs in this French geographical zone whose beauty, culture and history are legendary.
South Pacific Management and the sustainable development: A long history
The last few years, South Pacific Management Hotels, Resorts & Spa had already set in place numerous measures in reference to respecting the environment and eco-citizen responsibility that will easily allow the company to obtain this certification.
The coral nursery: a unique experience - To’A Nui initiative
In conjunction with the above initiatives the Moorea Pearl Resort and the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa collaborated in 2001 with a marine biologist to install 30 artificial reefs within the lagoon of the hotel under the overwater bungalows. The lagoon of the hotel enables distressed coral colonies to regenerate in perfect ecological conditions. This project has been successfully completed in 2005 and in 2006 due to the tranquil conditions for the fish and coral, combined with the scientific research, environmental care and educational activities. Some educative excursion program linked to the French Polynesian lagoon discovery are offered to our clientele and to the local people in order to educate them to the concept of "eco-citizen". If you wish to have further information about To'A Nui, we invite you to go to the Moorea Pearl Resort & Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa pages where you will find out some details about this ecologic action.
Our efforts to preserve the coral go beyond our nursery project. We also suggest our customers in Moorea, Bora Bora and Tikehau the solar cosmetics from brand EVOA, a new line of products respect the marine balance.
Partner Program 1% For The Planet, EVOA actively contributes to biodiversity conservation by attributing a portion of the proceeds from its sales to the repopulation of coral reefs. www.evoa-cosmetics.com
TeHonu Tea - partnership with South Pacific Management, Hotels, Resorts & Spa
The situation of turtles in French Polynesia is extremely worrying. All observations have shown that their stock has reduced dramatically over these last years. For example, on Scilly atoll (Manuae), classified as a « complete reserve » and a major egg laying site for a few decades, the number of green turtle females coming to nest had gone down by more than 90% at the beginning of the 90’s. To summarize the situation of turtles in French Polynesia :
- Scientific data are insufficient : we have no precise information on the state of turtle stocks in French Polynesia.
- Nevertheless all indicators point to an alarming drop : the situation is critical.
- Regulations are not respected and there is certainly a black market.
- Regulations are very strict in French Polynesia : in addition to being protected internationally by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), turtles are fully protected under Territorial regulations. Unfortunately given the extent of the Territory, surveillance is particularly difficult.
Te Honu Tea Association
This Polynesian NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) is a not-for-profit entity set up in 2001. It is run by volunteers and specialists in maritime and marine animal matters.
Te Honu Tea’s goals are:
- To protect laying sites
- To make the public and political decision-makers aware of and inform them of the threat to turtles
- To participate in the protection of turtles at a global level, linking up with international associations and organizations
- To gather scientific information on turtles in French Polynesia
- To collect and care for wounded turtles
Like To'A Nui initiative, South Pacific Management Hotels, Resorts & Spa will offer in its hotels soon and more particularly at le Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort some educative excursion programs linked to the turtles to educate international and local clients.
Hotels as responsible citizens
SPM employs local personnel from each of the islands where it is located and actively participates in the development of the island’s economy. Additionally, all the hotels are constructed with local materials such as exotic woods, bamboo and pandanus.
Durable goods development
SPM has set the following objectives as priorities: saving rain water, solar water heating, water and paper recycling, the use of ecologically-friendly products and electric cars.
New energy for tomorrow
SPM is actively searching for ways to implement photovoltaic and wind energy, paper liners for trash cans, development of coral, as well as plant nurseries and orchards.