World Wetlands Day 2008 -- Mauritius


Report on World Wetlands Day - 2008

The Environmental Protection & Conservation Organisation - EPCO, a national environmental NGO in Mauritius, with the support of the students of La Gaulette State Secondary School including the local community of the village celebrated the Worlds Wetlands Day 2008.

As reported last year by Mr. Kheswar Beeharry Panray, CEO-EPCO; Mangrove plantations in Mauritius that were estimated at about 20KM2 in the 80s have drastically decreased to half, thus an indication of how fast our wetlands are decreasing. Hence, in this context, as well as, in the context of the project, 'Wise Practices for Coping with Climate Change', funded by GEF through the UNDP Small Grant Programme, La Gaulette was chosen for the pilot project. After a vulnerability assessment exercise carried out with the help of the inhabitants of the village, one of the recommendations was to reinstate the mangrove plantations that existed some 20-25 years ago along the shoreline.

On the 4th February 2008, a Mangrove Plantation Campaign was launched by EPCO to sensitise the local community, including some 200 school children, on the importance of mangrove in the mitigation process of climate change impacts. Some 1000 mangrove plants (Rhizophora mucronata) were planted in the highly degraded wetland of La Gaulette coastal Village of Mauritius.

Mr Kheswar Beeharry Panray ,CEO- EPCO, pointed out, "Mangrove plantation in Mauritius that was estimated at about 20KM2 in 80s has drastically decreased to half, this can be taken as an indication how fast our wetlands are decreasing".

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2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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