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Abstract

FIRST ARRfVED lN RAPA NUI in September 2004 at the end of a long Pacific reconnaissance. Representing two not-for-profit, non-government organizations with development aid programs to Pacific Islands, I didn't really expect to be of much assistance to Rapa Nui because it is a province of Chile. But the naked hills of Rapa Nui still testify to one the greatest environmental disasters of recorded history so it was impossible to ignore the new but solvable ecological troubles looming over the Island today - such a a continued lack of tree cover, intensive overgrazing and soil degradation, overuse of agricultural chemicals, and the depletion of coastal marine resources.

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