ROBERT WAN - One With The Pearls & Environment
This section was inspired by one of Robert Wan’s earliest presentations where he outlined his nascent philosophy about the environment and his responsibilities and commitments towards it.
Even at that early stage of starting his business where cost and expenses had to be at the barest minimum, he already understood that if you treat and invest in the environment with respect and care, as you would with any of your business partners, it will repay you handsomely with the purest of produce. Mother nature can be very generous if it is treated well, he was quoted to have said.
He set up Tahiti Perles and they were given the most ideal location to set up their pearl farms when they bought the Tuamotu Gambier atoll in 1961. Today, his pearl farms still retain the original pristine geographical and environmental advantages largely due to him maintaining the same environmental commitments made nearly 60 years ago when he started our quest to produce the highest quality pearls that he will be renowned for. Some of the advantages and effort are:
- A tropical climate that provides the ideal environment for the oysters to grow and thrive
- Very limited vegetation and animal life can negatively disrupt the ecosystem around the atolls
- No pesticides are used on the Atoll to grow any crops
- Marine fauna is very rich and diverse is essential to sustain the ecosystem.
- Being located far away from the nearest population thus minimising the effect of pollution.
- Only using only biodegradable cleaning products to reduce contamination
- Wastewater is collected, treated and reused.
Due to his effort to care and contribute towards the conservation of the ecosystem that he is a part of, Tahiti Perles was awarded the Bio Certification in 2009. Our atolls are also designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO; testimonies to all of our efforts.
At the end of the day, humans are just the conductors in an orchestra that nature has long perfectly assembled. Nature should be given a standing ovation for producing beautiful masterpieces without hardly any effort from us. No one leaves a music hall after a memorable orchestral performance except with the utmost respect and awe of the performance they have just enjoyed, mesmerised and moved by. We must feel the same about our pearls; the gift of and from nature and a reminder of what we owe to nature.
The world we live in, nature and our environment and ourselves are much like oysters and it’s pearls. The world is our oyster and we are their pearls. The world was already beautiful and pristine when we humans first stepped in. The world provided us with our beautiful surroundings without asking anything back in return. And like the pearls that you are wearing, all nature is asking for us to take pride, own and care for it. That is the first lesson. The second lesson is that we humans should take heed that every one of us - like every pearl - regardless of colour, size, shape, origin or whether we are perfect or imperfect is beautiful.