Course:LIBR562/S2012/Group3/French Polynesia

From UBC Wiki

French Polynesia is a self-governing overseas territory of France consisting of 118 islands and a population of approximately 245,516 (2002).[1] The territory spans 4,167 sq km and is “slightly less than one-third the size of Connecticut.”[2] French is spoken by the majority (61.1%) and is one of two official languages spoken alongside Polynesian (31.4%). [3] Statistics for literacy rates are quite high, with 98% of both male and female populations age 14 and over able to read and write. [4] Tahiti is the largest and most populous island in French Polynesia and is also home to Papeete, the capital city of the territory.[5]

Featured Library

Bibliotheque, Société des Études Océaniennes

The library of the Société des Études Océaniennes (SEO), or in English, the Society of Ocean Studies, is located at the Le Service du Patrimoine Archivistique et Audiovisuel in Papeete, Tahiti.[6] Established in 1917, the SEO is one of the oldest societies (if not the oldest) in French Polynesia. The library has more than 10,000 books, newspapers, and periodicals including several impressive 19th century works with and other rare and valuable books dating as far back as 1764.[7] Books are not available for loan but can be viewed on site.[8]

Preservation Concerns

Beyond the preservation concerns for tropical climates French Polynesia has recently made an agreement to increases its preparedness for disasters. This agreement specifies that two of the large natural disaster risks for French Polynesia are tsunamis and cyclonic waves.[9] By joining SOPAC's Disaster Reduction Programme (DRP), French Polynesia gains some critical support for disaster risk reduction. One of the key elements of the agreement sets up the infrastructure for early warning systems,[10] something that makes a critical impact for all natural disasters.


  1. French Polynesia. (2008). In The Columbia Encyclopedia. Retrieved from
  2. French Polynesia. (2012). CIA World Factbook. Retrieved June 2012.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Tahiti. Wikipedia: Retrieved June 2012.
  6. Société des Études Océaniennes. (2009). Retrieved June 2012.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. SOPAC. 2011. SPC and French Polynesia Sign Agreements to Reduce Natural Disaster Risk. Snapshots 67: 3.
  10. SOPAC. 2011. SPC and French Polynesia Sign Agreements to Reduce Natural Disaster Risk. Snapshots 67: 3.