The future as per mru2025 – A vision for the South of Mauritius
The “authentic” south of Mauritius is a natural capital for Mauritius, including the added-value to tourism, deserving to be the highlight of promotional brochures. mru2025 proposes to lever the relative low urbanisation of this coast (the only one of Mauritius where the sea can be seen from the main coastal road), to create a coastal geopark extending between La Cambuse to Bel Ombre, with Pomponette at its heart.
Global geoparks is a concept from UNESCO which applies to delimited areas of variable surfaces, that represent a geological heritage for the world. A region having the status of a geopark will not only be given the means to be protected but becomes a sanctuary for earth sciences, where geological and other data is recorded and managed. Geoparks become knowledge hubs allowing the training, sharing of information and the raising of awareness around environment-related matters. As at July 2020, the UNESCO counted over 160 global geoparks, including the 15 they added to their list with the first semester of 2020.
The variety of geological formations along the southern coast of Mauritius should allow this region to match the first of the four prerequisites for becoming a geopark. Such a project would allow the south coast to maintain its authentic cachet, preserve its ecosystems and biodiversity while opening avenues to modern jobs and activities to its inhabitants allowing them to take control of the future of their region.
Even if it fails to meet all requirements to become a UNESCO global geopark, the southern coastal region of Mauritius has enough “natural capital” to become the touristic destination’s “nature / environment / biodiversity” Joker card.