Citizens – Environmental Stewards
Whether industrial, hotelier, high-income citizen or artisan fisherman, the entire Mauritian population pollutes and degrades the environment more than is necessary. Taking into account the relative youth of the country since the permanent settlement of inhabitants, (3 centuries) this island would hold the record for the rate of degradation, especially in terms of biodiversity. Broadly speaking, four aspects should be reviewed or improved:
– The legal framework,
– Political will,
– Socio-economic development policy,
– Technical and civic education and the popularization of the ecological question and the commons.
mru2025 has the ambition in not only reaching the final goals of protection and restoration but also of reaching those with the participation of the citizen, through collective intelligence, by raising general awareness, so that citizens themselves become advocates for key sustainability mechanisms hence creating the conditions for effective dialogues between Government, coastal communities, scientists and major conglomerates.
Some mid-term actions:
1. empowering targeted coastal communities, notably youths, women, small businesses, councillors, fisher-folk, tour operators, disabled persons and senior citizens, to express their vision for the sustainable development of the coastal zone and participate in key policy-making processes,
2. mobilising local and international expertise on sustainability issues to exchange with coastal communities valuable local knowledge and user-friendly scientific work.
3. setting up a public body to enhance and protect the Coastal Commons, using the example of France’s Conservatoire du Littoral,
4. model public beach experience on the South coast using Blue Flag and the UK’s Green Coast guidelines,
5. model environmentally sensitive area sanctuary and coastal public park on the South and South-East coasts, using UNESCO’s Geopark guidelines and IUCN’s Ecosystem-Based Adaptation approach,
6. promote local sustainable tourism plans for and by small scale tourism operators and inhabitants of the coastal villages.