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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, August 25) – Some 1,000 tons of coconuts were loaded aboard the Chilean naval training ship Esmeralda yesterday for transport to Easter Island, where they will be planted.

Tahiti has been shipping coconuts to Easter Island – also known as Rapa Nui - since 1996. The latest batch will bring the total to more than 10,000 Tahitian coconuts that have been planted there.

The coconuts are part of a partnership formed by the French Polynesia government and the local government on Easter Island to repopulate the trees.

The Esmeralda, currently visiting Tahiti, will take 15 days to reach Easter Island from Papeéte with its load of coconuts originally from a nursery at Faaroa, Raiatea, in French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands.

The coconuts will be planted in Easter Island’s main village as well as at the home of each resident who wants to grow a Tahitian coconut tree.

Since Easter Island has a climate the same as that of the Austral Islands in the extreme southern part of French Polynesia, the percentage of germinating coconuts is usually very high.

August 26, 2004

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

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