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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Nov. 19) – Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of famous French ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, presented French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru Friday with an educational program on respecting nature, particularly coral reefs.

"It's important to put in the hands of future decision makers, the young people, all the necessary information so that they can make better decisions in the future, particularly with regards to nature," said Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society.

He noted that nature is the first thing that attracts tourists to French Polynesia ahead of culture. He also operates the five-star Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, which was named N° 1 worldwide among all resorts and lodges and the N° 4 Pacific Rim resort in the 2005 Condé Nast Traveler magazine's 18th annual readers poll.

His proposed education program is expected to be distributed throughout French Polynesia next year. Some 5,000 students, plus their teachers, will be presented the program, which consists of comic strip, video or DVD images, whichever is the most appropriate.

Cousteau said French Polynesia is an extraordinary and incomparable area compared with the rest of the planet. "The perception of this area of the world is one of a very protected place where people feel at ease and do not feel the tension that one finds elsewhere," he said. That image must be preserved, he added.

Cousteau said several countries have lost the beauty of their nature, but French Polynesia still has time to prevent such a danger from occurring by informing young people of the importance of nature and what it represents.

Ocean Futures Society is a non-profit marine conservation and education organization that services as a "Voice for the Ocean" by fostering a conservation ethic, conducting research and developing marine education programs. Cousteau serves as a spokesman and diplomat for the environment, traveling the globe to meet with world leaders and policymakers, both at the grassroots level and the highest echelons of government and business, educating young people and documenting stories of change and hope.

November 21, 2005


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