Island SOS Talk On Easter Island On June 4th

May 30, 2023

Ludovic Burns Tuki of Easter Island [Rapa Nui] will present during the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute’s fourth episode of the Island SOS series on Sunday June 4th at 3:00 PM.

A spokesperson said, “Running monthly, the ‘Island SOS’ series aims to highlight innovative sustainable ocean strategies from islands around the world. Each ‘Island SOS’ talk focuses on a singular island nation and topic, exploring ideas from zero waste management to sustainable tourism.

“Ludovic Burns is the Executive Director of a community-led organisation called ‘Te Mau o te Vaikava’ which aims to prioritise the conservation of Rapa Nui’s local Marine Protected Area.

Ludovic Burns To Present At BUEI On June 4 2023

“During his talk on ‘Citizen Driven Marine Protection,’ Ludovic will share how the people of Rapa Nui rebelled against an oceanic initiative created by their government without their input. Community outrage led to the formation of a coalition to ensure the health and well-being of the ocean surrounding the Island and the culture it supported.

“The coalition identified five goals, encompassing conservation efforts, education, enforcement, marine protection, and shared administration efforts between the people and government. Thanks to their efforts, the Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area [MPA], encompassing 740,000 square kilometres [286,000 square miles] of Pacific Ocean surrounding Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, was created.

“Ludovic is one of the founding forces behind the movement that rebuked the government’s initial actions in 2010. He has been the Executive Director of the community organization ‘Te Mau o te Vaikava o Rapa Nui’ since 2016 and is a part of the council tasked with implementing the five goals of the coalition. Further to being Executive Director, he has implemented eco-tourism and water sports projects on the island and was also Executive Secretary of the Rapa Nui Public-Private Council and the Executive Director of the Mesa del Mar.

“Located in South America, Easter Island [Rapa Nui] is a remote island to the west of Chile. Similarly, to Bermuda, Rapa Nui is a sub-tropical volcanic island surrounded by ocean, in this case the Pacific Ocean. The 83 square miles of Easter Island is home to just under 8,000 people, compared to Bermuda’s 21 square miles and population of nearly 64,000. Rapa Nui is also known for its numerous monumental Moai statues, created between the 13th and 16th centuries.”

A BUEI Spokesperson notes that, “‘The Island SOS’ series is intended to inspire members of our community to realise their potential in protecting our local oceanic environment. Rapa Nui is a perfect example of how community action and organising can have a significant impact on the environment of an island, conserving and preserving marine environments for generations to come.”

The spokesperson said, “Each ‘Island SOS’ takes place live for an in-person audience at BUEI’s Tradewinds Auditorium with our overseas guests presenting via video link.

“Tickets for BUEI Talks: ‘Island SOS’ are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Students with a valid ID are free. To become a member, head to our website at and click on Join and Support. Sign up as a BUEI Member today and enjoy this lecture for free! Tickets can be purchased on the events page of BUEI’s website or by phoning our Oceans Gift Shop on 294-0204.

“BUEI Talks: Island SOS is made possible by the generosity of Chubb, the exclusive sponsor for the series.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. wondering says:

    Funny how BUEI has overlooked its homegrown activists over a similar issue in Bermuda

  2. wondering says:

    Forgot to include this in the script:

    “The vote, which had the largest turnout for a consultation ever held on the island, resulted in 73% approval for the creation of an MPA that would protect the island’s exclusive economic zone from industrial commercial fishing, mining and other extractive activities while grandfathering in Rapa Nui artisanal fishing.”

  3. LOL - the real one says:

    Easter Island has an estimated population of 8,000. Historically, the residents deforested the land. Fishing is/was a major source of protein for the residents.

    “In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.” – Wiki (limits economic development which drives up the cost of living)

    Tourism is now the main economy.
    “Prior to the pandemic, Easter Island welcomed about 150,000 foreign visitors annually, and 90% of its citizens made money from the tourism industry. As a result, the effects of limiting tourism activities had a significant impact on the locals of the Chilean destination.

    The destination has not welcomed foreign visitors since the Covid pandemic started in March 2020 in order to prevent infection The inhabitants of the islands, however, are on the verge of economic collapse as a result of the lack of tourism.

    In the meantime, the tribe was contacted by the Federation of Chilean Tourism Companies (Fedetur) to request a date for the reopening of the borders. Fedetur said, “There is nothing left that can help them now that there is no economic activity that can withstand being practically idle for two years.” – The Kitchen Know How May 14, 2023

    “The cost of living on the island is increasing rapidly due to the growth in population. Groceries are extremely expensive on the island. This has led many residents to sell meat, fruit, and vegetables on the gray market in order to survive.” – World Population Review

    Yeah, it looks like Bermuda can learn from Easter Island’s failures.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Tourism is now the main economy.”

      As was the case with Bermuda in the 1970s and 1980s. By the time 1990 rolled around IB had overtaken tourism as our main source of income.

      “Groceries are extremely expensive on the island.”

      Now that sounds familiar.

  4. Toodle-oo says:

    “The cost of living on the island is increasing rapidly due to the growth in population. Groceries are extremely expensive on the island….”

    Something’s not right here . We’re being told that to get our costs down we need to dramatically increase the population size .

    • question says:

      You’re right, however he is talking about population growth on Easter Island, which for many reasons of course has no relevance to us.