Republic of Mauritius

In the context of World Wetlands Day, celebrated annually on 2nd February, the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, in collaboration with the National Parks and Conservation Service and the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation, organised, today, a Clean-up Campaign at Bras d’Eau National Park.

The Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin; the Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo; and other personalities participated in this cleaning exercise, over three kilometres, from Bras d’Eau Public Beach to Mare Sarcelles, along Poste Lafayette coastal road.

It was followed by a symbolic tree planting ceremony of endemic species such as Bois de chandelleBaume de l’Ile PlateMandrinetteBois caféLys du pays and Veloutier blanc at Mare Sarcelles. This area is a natural water body, comprising numerous ponds with a native fern Acrosticum aureum, an important and thriving population of mangroves, and other native plant species including the orchid Oenellia polystachys. The site is ideal for bird watching as it supports a few species of migratory birds. An area of 0.5 Ha at Mare Sarcelles Wetland is presently being restored, and some 200 endemic trees will be planted there.

In a statement, Mr Maneesh Gobin recalled that World Wetlands Day commemorated the date of adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2nd February 1971 in Ramsar in Iran. The Convention on Wetlands, also called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and judicious use of wetlands and their resources, which are designated as Ramsar Sites. “As a contracting party to the Ramsar Convention since September 2001, Mauritius is committed to preserve and protect its wetlands which are home to a unique biodiversity,” affirmed the Agro-Industry Minister.

According to Mr Gobin, the Bras d’Eau region was very important and should be preserved at all cost. He called on Local Authorities, namely the Flacq District Council, to act responsibly while delivering Building and Land Permit so as not to endanger wetland ecosystems, which were key in ensuring freshwater supply, providing food and building materials, enabling flood control, recharging of groundwater, and mitigating climate change.

For his part, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo urged Mauritians to take the moral and collective responsibility to keep the country clean and to kick off the bad habits of throwing waste all over the environment. He stressed that while Government was putting in all the relevant efforts and providing adequate facilities to prevent littering and illegal dumping, citizens should change their attitude and manage their waste disposal better with a view to preventing the degradation of the environment for future generations.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.

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