Patitifa: Bora-Bora, the laboratory of the future

Patitifa invites you to the island of Bora Bora, a model of sustainable development. Explore a true open-air laboratory at the forefront of every tropical coastal environment in the world. The new documentary airs this Wednesday, September 21 at 9.10pm.

Globally, serious threats threaten marine ecosystems. Global warming, ocean acidification, plastic pollution… are causing coral death. Coral is the foundation of the marine ecosystem. Without it there is no lagoon, no fish, no life. Overfishing and urbanization threaten biodiversity by destroying natural habitats. If nothing is done to stop these outbreaks, it is the death of coral reefs on a planetary scale. Bora Bora faces these threats in the long term. Tourism is Bora Bora’s gold, its greatest wealth, but this activity can also become a problem.

In this context, the island could sink under concrete and pollution, and the reef could be irreparably affected. Nevertheless, thanks to the will of the local population – participatory citizen science – and its mayor Gaston Tong Sang, Bora Bora uses very advanced water treatment technologies, coral restoration programs and wildlife conservation, educational activities and the rehabilitation of Polynesian traditions such as “rahui” and new Creating a monitoring network using technologies. The mayor is working on resource conservation projects, including a ban on cruise ships with more than 1,000 passengers. The island has made sustainable development one of the main axes of its action. Last year, it launched Goal 5.0 for overseas territories: zero carbon, zero waste, zero agricultural pollutants, zero exclusion, zero vulnerability.

Discover the splendor of the turquoise waters of this magnificent lagoon with unprecedented aerial images captured by drones… a nature to be preserved, a lagoon that will be a breeding ground for future generations, an example of resource conservation.

  • How did this documentary project come about?

While filming at Arte in 2020, I met Gaston Tong Sang, Mayor of Bora Bora, for an interview about silent filmmaker Wilhelm Friedrich Murnau and his 1931 film Taboo in Bora Bora. During the discussion, he tells me his story in Bora Bora and his fight to preserve the lagoon, which he loves so much because he has been fishing there since he was a child. I met producer Grégoire Lajeu at lunch and he immediately subscribed to a project I wrote for France TV, you know the rest…

  • What are the main measures taken by the mayor to preserve the marine ecosystem in Bora Bora? After filming, were there any changes, progress?

First of all, he invested in the management of drinking water and waste water treatment, protecting the hotels in the lagoon protection policy by promoting the creation of artificial coral reefs under the bungalows and in the vicinity of the hotels, and finally in the management of fisheries again. Establishing the ancestral custom of semi-fishing, “rahui”.

  • The involvement of the residents to preserve the resources is very disturbing and beautifully highlighted in the film, how does this affect the island?

As we can see in the film, the association “Ya Wai Mai Bora Bora” is very active, volunteers are involved every day for training, informing and commitment of the population to maintain the lagoon. For this purpose, events such as courses in schools, conferences or direct actions in the lagoon are organized.

  • The The film is partly shot with drones, why that choice? Have you encountered any difficulties?

Drone images in an atoll like this are all the more telling because we can better see the reduced size of the lagoon, which is also one of the reasons we’ve always been unable to get away from it because of its proximity. airport.

Interview with Sophie Desqueses

Watch an excerpt from the documentary.

Bora-Bora, the laboratory of the future



©Les Artisans du film

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