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Floating islands project in French Polynesia

Who is “The Seasteading Institute”?

Founded in Silicon Valley in 2008, the Institute promotes the development of civilizations on the oceans.

Through ocean research, the inventory of new and advanced technologies, and the support of an international team of entrepreneurs, marine biologists, marine engineers, aquaculturists, maritime attorneys, and investors, the Institute is determined to build the first floating islands on innovative modular platforms and to use the latest in environmentally-friendly technologies.

What is the floating islands project in French Polynesia?

The project consists of constructing ecological floating platforms in a lagoon of French Polynesia that could offer a response to the challenges of rising sea levels and sustainable development.

These platforms would also provide a basis for homes, offices and infrastructure to encourage the formation of vibrant communities and explore new ways of living together.

At the same time, we want to promote innovation in digital and marine technologies by creating an attractive destination benefiting from its unique framework.

Why was French Polynesia chosen?

The Institute was in the process of evaluating potential host countries when it was invited by a Polynesian to consider French Polynesia, given the many strengths of the region:

  • Strong institutional stability and modern rule of law
  • Infrastructure and local market developed for essential goods and services
  • Frequent and direct air and sea links to major population centers
  • Broadband Internet connectivity with provisions for redundancy and increased capacity
  • Large pool of qualified professionals and available service sector and marine services
  • Protected and shallow water in some lagoons
  • Low cyclone and tsunami activity
  • Ideal climate

How much will the floating island project cost French Polynesia?

The Polynesian government will fund neither the studies nor the completion of the project. No Polynesian tax dollars will fund Seasteads. No local investors will get tax exemptions either. The Institute estimates that the amount we are going to have to invest in Polynesia will be between 30 to 50 million USD for the pilot phase.

What will be the regulatory framework for the project?

The floating island project will improve the traditional framework of special economic zones with provisions specifically designed to attract investors in French Polynesia. Because free zones already exist elsewhere, we need an innovative legislative framework and streamlined administrative procedures to attract partners and investors.

Where will the Floating Island Pilot be deployed?

During our trip to French Polynesia in September 2016, we visited several promising sites. Detailed studies must now be undertaken, taking into account in particular the local residents, the seabed, the currents, and the profile of the wind and waves.

What will these floating islands look like?

The images on our website come from ideas and studies done before we chose French Polynesia as our host country. Our architects will design floating islands that suit the specific environmental and aesthetic needs of the site we select.

Will the environment be protected?

The environment is a major concern of the project, and our architects are very sensitive to protecting it. Our islands are designed to have a negligible impact on the environment, use renewable energies and may even, according to some preliminary studies, lead to an improvement of the ecosystem under certain conditions. We plan to form partnerships for the monitoring of the seabed and to share knowledge about our progress.

What does the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the government mean?

The protocol signals the willingness of the government and the Institute to work together. In 2017, the Institute will complete and submit to the government environmental and economic studies. Following that, the government will develop an appropriate legislative framework for the project.

You can download the text of the protocol (english text at in the second part).

What’s the benefit for French Polynesia?

Our partners and companies attracted by this project will contribute to the diversification of the Polynesian economy and help retain local graduates who might otherwise look abroad for opportunities.

Significant investments in construction will spread to the local economy, and businesses and residents will maintain or increase employment with domestic suppliers and traders.

We hope to help place Polynesia at the center of international efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, notably by developing the technologies needed to maintain populations threatened by rising sea levels in the Tuamotu and elsewhere.

Listen to Minister Jean Christophe Bouissou present the project and its benefits to TNTV: