5 Aug 2004

Pitcairn Island turning to eco-tourism

10:32 am on 5 August 2004

The people of Pitcairn Island are becoming entrepreneurial to kickstart their moribund economy.

For many years the Pitcairn Islanders have operated a philately service, providing stamps to collectors around the world.

But a downturn in interest in stamp collecting means they are having to employ other means of support.

The Auckland-based British commissioner, Leslie Jaques says one of the main ventures is creating a "high-value, high-intelligence" eco-tourism opportunity.

"There are eleven endemic species of plant on Pitcairn that don't live anywhere else in the world, and say the Republic of Ireland has got one and the UK has got three, so that's an opportunity. There's also Henderson Island, which is one of the islands comprising the group which is already a world heritage site, and there are species of birds that don't live anywhere else, so you've got ornothology, you've got the eco-adventure, you've got culture, you've got history."