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Brando's island Paradise

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To all who care about the earth and ecological sustainability around the globe: Marlon Brando's island paradise, Tetiaroa - 35 miles from Tahiti - is in danger. A developer is planning to build a large luxury resort on the island and call it The Brando. The project is being partially funded through French tax relief, and yet, the developer refuses to acknowledge the importance of environmental monitoring. There is still time to save Tetiaroa from ecological disaster. The atoll can and should be preserved in its natural state, just as Brando expressed in his autobiography, Songs my Mother Taught Me. Tetiaroa should, in fact, be an example of sustainable development for all of French Polynesia. You can make a difference - just sign this petition and send it to Tahiti. Also send it to a friend: The atoll of Tetiaroa has a fragile ecosystem. Due to its small size, remote location, difficulty of access and scarce human settlement, it has been largely uneffected by the modern world. Marlon Brando had great respect for nature and wanted to live on the atoll with friends and visitors who could experience its beauty without altering the quality of its environment. He also wanted the atoll to be a protected reserve for its seabird and turtle hatcheries, and to be used as a research station for scientists and students, particularly Polynesian students. For 40 years, Brando said NO to all hotel and resort developers. He knew that the commercialization of Tetiaroa would irrevocably change, pollute and ultimately destroy its interdependent ecosystem, and he was adamant about NOT letting that happen. Brando understood that there is a limit to what land can sustain - particularly reefs and atolls: His basic idea was to restrict human activity on Tetiaroa, thereby limiting negative impact to the environment. There are 13 islets withing Tetiaroa's lagoon. This spectacular, aquamarine lagoon - about five miles in diameter- is completely surrounded by a barrier reef of living coral. There is no natural harbor; therefore, Brando elected to construct a small runway on one of the islets, thereby limiting, as well as controlling, acess to the atoll. He also restricted building to only one islet, preserving the others as bird and turtle sanctuaries. Fresh water is the main determinant of human habitability on an atoll, and Brando found that NO MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE can be sustained on the islet without depleting the fresh water source. At first, everything went well, but over many years, it became obvious that the human activity was having a negative effect on the ecology of the atoll. The fresh water system became contaminated. Soap suds and algae formed in the lagoon near pristine beaches. The clarity of the lagoon was effected and the fish population diminished. The overall problem was management. It was difficult to find people who exercised consistent and sytematic controls over waste disposal, for instance. Pesticides and insecticides were being used against Brando's wishes. It became evident that even a small number of people lacking the proper understanding of envirnmental degradation will cause an adverse impact on the atoll. Brando was concerned, and tried to find new and efficient ways of living 'lightly' on the land until the very end. Bernard Judge, Friends of Tetiaroa August 10, 2009 Petition to: Oscar Temaru, President of French Polynesia and to: Richard Bailey, developer We, Friends of Teiaroa, strongly believe that Tetiaroa should be a model of ecological sustainability: An ecologically sustainable project on Tetiaroa should be small scale. It should be energy efficient, use alternative, clean energy sources, and have waste control systems that do not pollute the environment. It should not employ ANY insecticides, fungicides, pesticides or other toxins. No carbon based vehicles should be allowed on the land or in the lagoon. Composting should be employed, and fertilizers banned. No new plant materials that would alter the biodiversity of the atoll should be introduced. No plastics or other non-biodegradable material should be allowed. Only 'green' building materials - those that do not increase deforestation or global warming - should be used (bamboo my be used). Recycling should be mandated. The project managers should monitor biological stress to the atoll's flora and fauna. They should limit use of non-biodegradable detergents and personal cosmetics (such as sunscreens and shampoos), as well as other chemical compounds that are biologically harmful to the ecosystem. (NOTE: Organizations such as Good Guide track the 'Life Cycle Assessment' of such materials and substances). Management, and particularly staff, should remain vigilant in addressing potential negative ecological consequnsces before they become harmful. The project managers should use the Global Social Compliance Program which has developed a uniform code for sustainable living managemnt. Finally, nothing should interfere with the visual pleasures or sounds of Tetiaroa's nature. Monitoring environmental impact: There should be a method for assessing the project's effects on the environment over time. Environmental studies of the reef, lagoon and islets, including fresh water and archeological sites, must be conducted before any construction begins. These studies will form a data base against which periodic monitoring can be compared. All negative environmental impact must be addressed when initially discovered and licences to continue the use of Tetiaroa as a development must be withheld until all negative impact is reversed. The deveoper should modify the current project and the Tahitian goverment should impose stringent environmental controls requiring the The Brando be ecologically sustainable. Tetiaroa should be a model for development in French Polynesia and elsewhere, just as Marlon Brando wished it to be. Thank you. Friends of Tetiaroa

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