SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL AND PEARL-FARMING PRACTICES
At ‘Opunohu site, RESCCUE and INTEGRE jointly provided technical and economic support for sustainable farming practices along with proposals and actions to control erosion on pineapple fields and access tracks. In particular, RESCCUE made it possible to plant rows of vetiver on a pilot plot at the Domain, where the Agriculture Department has implemented other similar operations. A total of 12 technical and economic factsheets were produced for professionals in this sector.
In the Gambier Islands, assistance in moving toward more sustainable pearl farming took several forms, in partnership with the municipality, pearl farmers and the Department of Marine and Mining Resources (DRMM):
- Analysis of the social and economic impact of Gambier Islands pearl farming;
- A review of current knowledge about interactions between pearl farming and the environment, as well as about underwater solid waste and the feasibility of collecting it;
- Describing solid waste from pearl farming;
- Collecting solid waste from around abandoned pearl farms;
- Assessing solutions to recycle some types of plastic waste, with an economic feasibility study and collection and recycling tests (particularly on out-of-use buoys and ropes) to launch a circulareconomy-type approach;
- Feasibility studies on mechanisms to fund sustainable practices, including labels and proposals in particular on tax measures (see below).
By the end of the project, the initial results of the cleaning operations and the pearl-farming plastic waste recycling tests were very promising. A more in-depth experiment to recycle scrap buoys is now underway by a French Polynesian business with a view to introducing a dedicated production line. The DRMM is developing a country-wide pearl-farming waste management plan that will use all of RESCCUE’s results in that area.