3 Aug 2004

Call to create reserve of Brando's French Polynesian atoll

1:09 pm on 3 August 2004

There has been a call in French Polynesia to turn Tetiaroa atoll into a nature reserve.

The islands are about 40 kilometres from Tahiti and were bought by the US actor Marlon Brando who died last month.

The vice-president of the French Polynesian assembly, Hiro Tefaarerea, says the atoll should be classified and protected in a bid to stop those who have already pillaged enough of French Polynesia.

Mr Tefaarerea says action is urgent as several developpers have put forward plans for the atoll.

He says the islands, which are about 600 hectares in size, could be turned into a bird sanctuary and be maintained as a historic site because it served as the home of high chiefs and the Tahitian Royal family in the 19th century.