Pyrrhic victory

Finally, the Ministry of Agriculture has ended the lease of Flat Island to Discover Mauritius, a Government owned company that had unlawfully sublet the island to Patrick Fanchette, owner of the hotel 20 Degrees Sud and friend of ex-minister of tourism Xavier Duval. While We Love Mauritius has repeatedly raised the issue of breach of the original contract (original letter and subsequent video) , it was the extinction of the orange long tailed skink, unique to the island, that appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Let us hope this hails the end of profiteering in the name of “green tourism”.
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MID Strategy – next steps

The next stage of the development of the MID strategy involves meetings of the 6 working groups under the themes of Energy, Environment (2 groups: biodiversity and pollution), Education, Employment and Equity during June and July. One thing that concerns us is that they appear to have left out ‘Food’. Perhaps because it doesn’t begin with an ‘E’. Let’s hope that one or two of the working groups pick it up…

They are open to input from the public. We will send a paper outlining pathways to fully renewable energy by about 2050. If you have any suggestions for additional contributions, please let us know.

A presentation was made at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday providing details of the process. Download it here.

Mr Ile Durable

Patrick Maurel aims to make a significant contribution to the sustainability of Mauritius. At La Chaumière, on the edge of La Ferme reservoir, an enormous structure is taking form. It is not Gamma Energy’s controversial waste-to-energy incinerator but an industrial scale composting plant. Just like the proposed incinerator, it will process unsegregated household waste that would normally go directly to the landfill site at Mare Chicose. But instead of generating electricity, it will produce compost – an organic fertiliser and soil conditioner. Unlike the incinerator, it has attracted little attention, was offered no Government subsidy and is now just a couple of months from completion.

The high humidity and organic content of household waste in Mauritius means that it is more suitable for composting than incineration. However, handling it and removing the non-compostable material is normally a difficult, unpleasant and potentially hazardous task. Patrick turned to India for the solution where a company has developed a cost-effective technology and installed it in some sixteen locations around the country. The plant in Mauritius will be the first outside India. Continue reading

Feedback – MID Green Paper

Introduction

We welcome the opportunity to provide feedback on the visions presented in the Maurice Ile Durable Green Paper. We Love Mauritius is the NGO mentioned on page xxxvi of the Green Paper that organised the MID video competition and we would be delighted to share the lessons learned from that project. Since our formation in 2008, we have been advocating for sustainability and raising awareness about specific issues.

Obviously, we fully support the initiative to develop a national policy (perhaps more correctly a meta-policy) for a sustainable Mauritius. We also recognise the immense effort that was put into its predecessor, the National Long Term Perspective Study (NLTPS or Vision 2020) and the importance that it gave to sustainability. Therefore, we ensured that Prof Odendaal was aware of its existence and sent him a copy of the abridged version. However, we were extremely surprised that he made no mention of it, neither in the consultation process nor in the Green Paper itself. Continue reading

MID Vision Statement

Here is our take. What do you think?

By 2025, Mauritius will be a global leader in terms of quality of life. Our economy will serve this goal by providing equal opportunities and fair rewards in return for meaningful contribution to our collective well-being and supplying the highest quality goods and services to the world. Our society will provide security for every citizen, including food, shelter, health and personal safety. We will also enjoy the fullest freedoms of religion, expression and relationships, while respecting the rights and sensitivities of others and preserving and celebrating our diverse heritages. Our government will be transparent, accountable and inclusive, rivalling those of traditional democracies and our legal system and human rights record will be second to none. Our systems of education, training and development will be the best in Africa, permitting each of us to explore ourselves, discover our talents and achieve our full potential in any field, at any age. Our unique environment and biodiversity will be cherished, protected and, where possible, restored to its original pristine state, with each citizen and visitor enjoying equal rights of access and responsibility for its care. Above all, we will be a model of sustainability, ensuring that future generations enjoy a quality of life at least as great as our own and inspiring other nations by our example.

May Day

The morning after the May Day holiday, Mon Choisy public beach was once again looking like a rubbish dump. For how much longer will we treat our most precious resources as if they are valueless? And why do the political parties, which brought hundreds of their members to the beach yesterday, not set a better example?