Map Courtesy CIA World Factbook
French Polynesia is a French overseas "country" (French: pays d'outre-mer, or POM) in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island, and the seat of the capital of the territory (Papeete).
France annexed various Polynesian island groups during the 19th century.
French Polynesia is located in an area of high seismic activity. In September 1995, France stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing on the Mururoa atoll after a three-year moratorium. The tests were suspended in January 1996, as France acceded the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Between 1946 and 2003, French Polynesia had the status of an overseas territory (French: territoire d'outre-mer, or TOM). In 2003 and beginning of 2004 it was briefly an overseas collectivity (French: collectivité d'outre-mer, or COM). The new status of overseas "country" gives a large autonomy to the territory, while remaining part of the French Republic.This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "French Polynesia".