As a permanent resident of (French) Polynesia, very aware of the decaying state of the beautiful Polynesian lagoons of the Leeward/Inward Society Islands, not only due to temperature rise of the lagoon waters, but also because of an increasing human induced pollution of all sorts of (plastic debris and general garbage, oil and gas spills and leaks from all sorts of outboard/inboard yachts and motorboats), I am very concerned about the green and sustainable ecology of the protected waters of Polynesian lagoons.
However, given it is common knowledge, for the curious seeker, that the construction of the endless number of overwater luxurious bungalows, for tourist purposes, has damaged and wrecked huge areas of these once-pristine lagoons that may take forever, if ever, to return to their pristine primal status, I am very concerned that these to-be-built “floating palaces”, initially aimed at a tiny minority of immensely wealthy people, might well be the stone of too much, the likely stage that might bring the fatal “coup de grace” (or point of no return) to the highly delicate environmental balance and sustainability of the lagoons of our islands (or any similar lagoon island for the fact).
Your documents states : “Our islands are designed to have a negligible impact on the environment”. Apart from the fact that, at this point, no-one would ever dare write the contrary, such a devious veal is by definition unreachable. The reasons are many-fold. One of them is that Polynesia lacks the pool of qualified and independent agents, sometime even the will, needed to efficiently monitor and force application. Another one is that past the specifications and blue-prints, most environmental constraints, if they are not respected will live unnoticed ( this is unfortunately often the case in Polynesia),
To this end:
- (Ecology). Have scientific “impact studies” been made, in the direction of, but not limited to, and where are these resources available to consult ?
*Incidence of the seasteading infrastructures (1.building, 2. exploitation) to the rich undermater world (that will be deprived of a great source of natural light) ?
Incidence of the great increase of big yachts and motorboat traffic to the already high pollution of lagoon waters (created by the inhabitants of these floating palaces, since motorboard vehicles are well known not to be “green”) ?
Impact of the waste created by seasteading populations, and recycling (given that Polynesia already has quite some problem on its own with these questions) ?
(Politics) : (Enquête de commodo et incommodo) Will the Polynesian population be democratically consulted at large to find out whether it supports or not the installation of seasteading infrastructures in its lagoons?
(Economy) : Availability of roadmaps and detailed economic studies to explain both qualitatively and quantitatively the return for Polynesia.
Why not install seasteading infrastructures over deep waters where impact on biodiversity won’t be so dangereoulsy high ? Why choosing delicate lagoon waters should your projects, as stated, be guided by true respect to environment ?
I will follow with interest the response to the points raised above.
Dr. Franck PORCHER, PhD.Sc.