The islets of Nokanhui, New Caledonia View larger

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The islets of Nokanhui, New Caledonia
Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND

Art photography by Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND of the islets of Nokanhui south of Île des Pins in New Caledonia. In 1774, Captain Cook landed on a long island, which he named New Caledonia in a reference to his native country.

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Orientation Landscape
Color Blue

The islets of Nokanhui, New Caledonia

Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND

Art photography by Yann ARTHUS-BERTRAND of the islets of Nokanhui south of Île des Pins in New Caledonia. In 1774, Captain Cook landed on a long island, which he named New Caledonia in a reference to his native country.

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The GoodPlanet Foundation, chaired by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, seeks to raise public awareness of ecology, making it a central issue, and to promote living together.

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In 1774, Captain Cook landed on a long island, which he named New Caledonia in a reference to his native country. The wild appearance and luxuriant vegetation of the surrounding islands and islets gave the impression of an oceanic Garden of Eden. This heavenly vision ended in 1863, when France turned several of the islands into prisons. No fewer than 22,000 people were “transported” there, including those deported for taking part in the Paris Commune of 1871. After they had served their terms, many remained on the islands, but the islands’ first governor considered this population too small. From 1894 on, he invited more than 500 families, among whom he distributed 25,000 hectares of land. Native Melanesians were denied French citizenship until 1946, when the “indigenous law” was abolished, and only former convicts and colonizers were recognized by France. Today, the Kanaks have achieved independence, sharing sovereignty with the French government under the Matignon agreement of 1998.

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