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Clipperton / Ile de la Passion - Climate

A simple administrative curiosity or tiny point on a world map for some, or an unusual stopover for sailors, Clipperton burst into the public debate. Two months after the Earth Summit (COP 21), the island of the Passion (its name of baptism) was, in the opinion of scientists, a very clear example of the effects of global warming.

For Christian Jost, a geographer, professor at the University of French Polynesia (UPF), initiator of the mission Passion 2015 and connoisseur of this atoll after four expeditions in situ (and one in March 2015 with National Geographic): "Clipperton is first of the climatic disruptions of our planet. Take its coastline, erosion shrinks each year more the width of the crown in some places, while to others, Beyond the innumerable wastes carried by the ocean, the blocks of coral were torn from the outer wall, after the plane had been planed as it passed. Clipperton illustrates the increasing pressures and their impacts on these fragile island ecosystems. This atoll must be protected, monitored and valued."

A valorization of an overseas possession, entrusted to Philippe Folliot, deputy of the Tarn, who has just submitted a report to Prime Minister Manuel Valls. His visit on the spot last year during the Passion 2015 mission, the first of an elected representative of the Republic, allowed the Secretary of the Defense Committee of the National Assembly to imbibe the file: "Seen from a Helicopter, Clipperton is a jewel of nature. On the ground, the spectacle is more desolate."

The clipperton atoll is home to an astonishing biodiversity due to a barrier of breakers. Besides a colony of seabirds, its fauna is made up of land crabs and rats. As for its flora, which had disappeared in the years 2000, it developed strongly against all expectations. So many changes that Professor Jost carefully follows: " On this piece of land beaten by the ocean, the species cling and bitterly fight for their survival. The very low biodiversity makes this struggle and the alternation of power or domination of one group over another, more visible and more readable. The rats now dominate."

Philippe Folliot has also forged strong convictions about the future of this over-seas territory: "Clipperton should no longer remain in fallow. It is important for our country to develop the atoll and its riches, to exercise our sovereignty ed and planned fi er its future. We must find viable and above all innovative solutions!"

For the Tarn MP, France must therefore think concretely about the future of this atoll:" Let us regulate its legal status. Let us take a brilliant action as a major campaign to clean the beaches. In the longer term, looking at ways to implement to monitor and continue to explore the island and its EEZ."

Clipperton is an ideal observatory of the ocean environment and its transformations and can legitimately welcome a permanent international scientific base, provided it builds cooperation with neighboring states, and especially thinks of its construction and maintenance costs. Revenues are possible, such as the application of fishing rights for industrialists and holiday taxes for amateur and divers fishermen, as well as the collection of royalties via, for example, revenue philately. The model of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF) can be used as a model.

As for the establishment of a base in Clipperton, it would constitute a point of support for military forces, To ensure a better surveillance of this atoll and its EEZ, renowned for its fisheries resources, which have been looted for the moment. In the more distant future, owning a base near Ecuador, is not insignificant. Indeed, in the 9 million km of the Clarion-Clipperton zone (located between the Hawaiian archipelago and the west coast of Mexico in the northeast Pacific), nodule fields Polymetallic, these concretions of 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter rich in copper, nickel and cobalt, lining the seabed.

Establishing a permanent scientific base in Clipperton is therefore no longer an incongruous idea, as its wealth is to be protected and monitored. There then arises the problem of its profitability. So many questions about the future of an atoll of the French Republic being written (or not) in the corridors of power in Paris thanks in particular to the report of a parliamentarian of Tarn passionate about overseas, which was based on the scientific work of Christian Jost, a Lorraine geographer based in Tahiti.





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Page last modified: 24-07-2017 18:30:51 ZULU