Local legislation regulates both the collection and the exportation of biodiversity. Where permits are required, users should submit applications AT LEAST 4 MONTHS in advance.
Any sampling (access) of biodiversity is subject to Access and Benefit Sharing declaration. Depending on how or where the sampling is done, collecting permits might also be necessary (for example, some parts of the lagoon are classified as natural reserves and some collecting methods, such as collecting on SCUBA, require permits). Furthermore, certain species are protected and additional permits are required for any activities that disturb them. Finally, export of certain protected species is governed by further regulation, notably CITES.
A summary of applicable regulations follows:
Access and Benefit Sharing Declaration (DIREN)
All sampling (access) to biodiversity in French Polynesia requires researchers to complete a declaration "Declaration APA" to the FP Department of Environment (DIREN).
France is a signatory to the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD). Compliance with the CBD's Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) is the responsibility of French Polynesia. Note: APA acces et partage des avantages = access and benefit sharing
Protected Species in French Polynesia (DIREN)
See list of species protected in French Polynesia. Sampling or otherwise disturbing these species requires additional procedures depending on the species and activity proposed. If you wish to study a protected species, please provide details well in advance, as obtaining necessary authorizations can take a long time. Researchers may be granted specific derogations to allow the study of protected species:
- FP legislation: The Council of Ministers can permit collection and exportation for scientific research purposes only if the request specifies precisely the utilization and destination of the specimens subject to the derogation.
- Requests for permits, authorizations and derogations, are addressed to the DIREN, Direction Régionale de l'Environnement in French Polynesia.
CITES Exportation (HC)
CITES is an International treaty regulating cross-borders exportation of endangered species: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Some species (e.g., corals) are protected by CITES and the relevant authority for French Polynesia is the French High Commission in Papeete.
- Appendix I: Prior grant of an import permit and either an export permit or a re-export certificate are required.
- Appendix II: Prior grant of an export permit or a re-export certificate is required.
- The CITES appendices can be found on the CITES website.
To export CITES regulated species please complete the form (below) and submit it via the Gump Station Forms page AT LEAST 4 MONTHS IN ADVANCE. There are fees associated with exporting items under CITES (e.g., Customs Agent) and these will be passed on to you.
(Note: countries interpret what is covered by CITES slightly differently, and so while French regulations govern export from French Polynesia, you should also consult your destination country to be sure of the regulations for import.)
Fisheries Regulation: Collection of Marine Animals (DRM)
Collection of marine animals is regulated by the French Polynesian fisheries department. For example, collection of marine animals using SCUBA requires a permit. Researchers collecting marine life (animals) should consult the latest fisheries regulations prior to carrying out any activities.