Land Tenure Journal, No 2 (2012)

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Land and marine tenure in French Polynesia: case study of Teahupoo

Tamatoa Bambridge

Abstract


The diversity of Pacific cultures (0.3 percent of the population to 25 percent of the world's languages) is important. Most of the island societies manage their resources and territory in communities meaning that the interaction with state tenure governance is extremely varied. The lack of centralization of power until to the colonial era, with the notable exception of Tonga or Hawaii, no doubt encouraged the continuation of legal pluralism in the Pacific. In the scientific and technical literature on the Pacific Islands, land and marine tenure are systematically treated separately. Yet, the Pacific Islanders have historically established relations of continuity between land and marine tenure resulting in priority and/or specialized control of territories and resources.

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