PAPEETE, TAHITI — The nonprofit Seasteading Institute announced that they will meet with French Polynesia’s President Édouard Fritch today to discuss the development of sustainable floating islands.
“I am honored that you have chosen us as your destination,” President Fritch wrote, translated from the French. “Tahiti and its islands do indeed offer many strengths to accommodate such a project, which could truly become a vector of economic development in our country.”
An international delegation from The Seasteading Institute is looking at several potential sites near the French Polynesian islands of Tahiti, Tupai, and Raiatea. They have met with Mr. Teva Rohfristch, Minister for Economic Recovery, the Blue Economy, and Digital Policy, Mme. Sylviane Terooatea, Mayor of Raiatea, and Mr. Gaston Tong Sang, former president and Mayor of Bora Bora and Tupai.
“We look forward to working with French Polynesia to develop floating islands that will benefit our host country and our international community of seasteaders,” said Randolph Hencken, Executive Director of the Seasteading Institute. “With numerous protected waters where we could station the first pilot platforms, French Polynesia offers many optimal locations for seasteading from an engineering point of view.”
The Seasteading Institute hopes to negotiate a Special Economic Zone with French Polynesia for the purpose of constructing and placing floating platforms that will serve as incubators for technological and social innovation. “Our sustainable modular platforms are designed by the Dutch engineering firm Blue21, who showcased their engineering ingenuity with the famed Floating Pavilion in Rotterdam,” said Joe Quirk, co-author with Patri Friedman of the forthcoming book, Seasteading: How Ocean Cities Will Change the World.
The Seasteading Institute platforms will be conducive to Blue Economy projects and explore potential solutions to rising sea levels. Businessman, and former Minister of Tourism for French Polynesia, Marc Collins is a supporter of The Seasteading Institute’s vision. “Polynesian culture has a long history of seafaring across the Pacific Ocean that will contribute to this ambitious project. More than most nations, our islands are impacted by rising sea levels, and resilient floating islands could be one tangible solution for us to maintain our populations anchored to their islands. For many Polynesians, leaving our islands is not an option.”
Seasteading platforms can also create new clean-tech and blue economy jobs that will attract both international and local investment. “We need to create new clean-tech and blue economy jobs for our youth, and this project has the potential to be a real game-changer locally,” Collins said. “This project could help us retain our bright minds, who would otherwise emigrate for work.”
Japan’s national public broadcasting system, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK), has been filming the seasteaders’ in French Polynesia for a documentary to air in late October 2016, on the future of economic societies. The documentary will air on the network’s flagship show, “NHK Special,” the longest running broadcast show in Japanese history with an audience of 10 million viewers.