MAU­RI­TIUS

BOOSTS EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL AWARE­NESS WITH CORAL PLANT­ING

Nomad Africa Magazine - - Nature + Wildlife - Words: DI­ETER GOTTERT

The first In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and Sus­tain­able Tourism was re­cently held at the Le Méri­dien Ho­tel, Pointe aux Pi­ments, in Mau­ri­tius. On the 2nd day of the con­fer­ence on Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and Sus­tain­able Tourism, guests were in­vited to wit­ness a coral plant­ing event or­gan­ised by the Min­istry of Tourism.

the two day high pro­file event at­tracted de­ci­sion­mak­ers and stake­hold­ers from all spheres within the tourism industry in­ter­na­tion­ally, in­clud­ing a num­ber of African coun­tries, and was hosted by the Mau­ri­tius Min­istry of Tourism with well over 400 del­e­gates in at­ten­dance. On the 2nd day of the con­fer­ence on Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and Sus­tain­able Tourism, guests were in­vited to wit­ness a coral plant­ing event or­gan­ised by the Min­istry of Tourism. VIP’s were taken to the ex­clu­sive Trou aux Biches ho­tel re­sort and among leisure wa­ter sports and mag­nif­i­cent white beaches that Mau­ri­tius has to of­fer, four small boats were launched from the ho­tel

beach pier to take guests on a glass bot­tom boat tour off the is­land to wit­ness the coral plant­ing. Coral farm­ing is the process of plant­ing frag­ments of co­rals that were cul­ti­vated in a nurs­ery, which are then re-planted back into the ocean on empty new spots. Mau­ri­tius has ideal con­di­tions in or­der for co­rals to flour­ish – warm tem­per­a­ture wa­ter, which is clean and a shal­low ocean floor, where co­rals will be able to grow con­sis­tently. Mr Anil Gayan SC, Mau­ri­tian Min­is­ter of Tourism said: “We are very keen in pre­serv­ing what we have, this why we have ma­rine parks set up in var­i­ous parts of the is­land. We are do­ing a lot to give back to na­ture what we took from na­ture and we hope that what we are giv­ing back to na­ture is go­ing to be an im­prove­ment”. “If the coral reefs get de­stroyed, then the habi­tat for the fish will also. We don’t want that to happen,” he added. The event co­in­cided per­fectly with the con­fer­ence with most guests never hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced coral plant­ing – a most op­por­tune ex­er­cise boost­ing aware­ness of the en­vi­ron­ment and let­ting guests par­tic­i­pate.

Up Above: Mau­ri­tius Tourism Min­ster Anil Gayan, as­sist­ing with the coral plant­ing. Left: Divers in­vite Ghainain Min­is­ter of Tourism, Arts & cul­ture, Cather­ine Afeku, to tie a fresh young coral to the ny­lon rope. Above: Divers ex­plain to guests the pro­ce­dure of at­tach­ing the freshly cul­ti­vated co­rals to the ropes.

Up Above: The co­rals are planted un­der­wa­ter by divers metic­u­lously on a steel grid in hor­i­zon­tal lines with each coral firmly placed at in­ter­vals on the ny­lon ropes. Above Left: Sam­ples of the co­rals in bas­ket placed in a bowl. Above Right: Le­sotho’s Min­is­ter of Tourism, En­vi­ron­ment & Cul­ture Mot­lohi Maliehe and No­mad Africa Mag­a­zine’s Pumzile Mlung­wana shar­ing a mo­ment.

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