Africa-Press – Mauritius. The Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, organised, today, a mangrove sensitisation campaign at the Case Noyale Social Welfare Centre to commemorate the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, observed on 26 July annually.
This day aims at raising awareness on the importance of mangrove ecosystems as ‘a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem’ and promoting solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses.
The sensitisation campaign will span over the months of July and August 2022 along the West coast of Mauritius in Community Centres and Social Welfare Centres in a bid to educate the communities about the importance of mangrove conservation.
It will also provide general information about climate change, its expected effects and impacts, and how to prepare to effectively deal with the eventualities of climate change. Today’s event saw the participation of some 35 fishermen, youth and coastal inhabitants.
Furthermore, this sensitisation campaign is being carried out simultaneously with the mangrove plantation programme undertaken by the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, with the support of Non-Governmental Organisations and other stakeholders along the West coast of the island this year.
Some 9,000 mangroves will be planted in Le Morne region by the NGO Association pour le développement durable. The mangrove plantation programme is being implemented through funding from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development under the National Environment and Climate Change Fund.
It is recalled that since the start of the mangrove restoration programme in June 1995, propagules have been planted on the west, north, south and east coasts of Mauritius, amounting to more than 400,000 seedlings covering an area of more than 200,000 m2 to date.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, mangroves are rare, spectacular and prolific ecosystems on the boundary between land and sea.
These extraordinary ecosystems contribute to the wellbeing, food security, and protection of coastal communities worldwide. They support a rich biodiversity and provide a valuable nursery habitat for fish and crustaceans.
Mangroves also act as a form of natural coastal defence against storm surges, tsunamis, rising sea levels and erosion. Their soils are highly effective carbon sinks, sequestering vast amounts of carbon.