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Les ressources minérales profondes en Polynésie française / Deep-sea mineral resources in French Polynesia

Pierre-Yves Le Meur
Pierre Cochonat
Carine David
et al.

II. Recommendations

R5. Involve the country in regional, European and international initiatives to further the development of marine mineral resources, including co-operation, research and innovation

Texte intégral


1French Polynesia does not take part in any of the European or other working groups actively engaged in research in the field of deep-sea mineral resources. Nonetheless, these working groups play a vital role in planning European research efforts, exchanging information, etc. French Polynesia, with its limited financial and human resources, will need to get involved in international partnerships sufficiently early on, if it wishes to retain control over its mining development.


2Involvement in a larger community must be planned well in advance and it is clearly a factor when it comes to formulating a deep-sea mining strategy and policy. It is therefore important to get started right away and ensure that very long-lasting partnerships are developed.

Proposed actions

  • Involve French Polynesia in the various working groups at the European (e.g. Blue Atlantis; a Joint Programming Initiative whose main participants are German and French) and French levels (the ERAMIN network).
  • Determine the human resources and skill types needed and available to make this involvement a success. Ideally, this requires scientific, technological (knowledge of exploitation and ore processing methods), legal and administrative expertise. In this respect, French Polynesia could, at least for a few years, call on the expertise of individuals from outside its own public sector. A mentoring system could be set up to allow its employees to gradually develop their own expertise.
  • Increase experience sharing through regional mechanisms (see the planned extension of the Deep-Sea Mining programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in French Pacific territories), bearing in mind that countries in the region face the same constraints when it comes to funding research.
  • Promote efforts for co-operating, pooling resources and sharing experience with island nations and territories (Cook, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, etc.) as well as with Hawaii through regional institutions such as the SPC.
  • Explore possible partnerships with countries in the Asia Pacific region (e.g. Japan and South Korea) interested in the potential resources (especially cobalt).

Constraints and conditions

3The approach must come from the French Polynesia government, but support from the French government is also needed, especially at the European Union level (French Polynesia has EU Overseas Countries and Territories status).

Connections with other recommendations

4R5 and R6 are inseparable and both are a continuation of R2.

Reference to full contributions

5III-3 and III-4; V

© IRD Éditions, 2016

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