Mauritius: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the conservation management and propagation of three critically endangered species of high genetic fitness was signed between the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) and Fresh Inc., a global cosmetic company based in the United States, this morning, at the Caudan Arts Centre, in Port Louis.
Signatories were the Acting Director of the NPCS, Mr Sunil Gopal, and the Vice President of Fresh Inc., Mr Michael Irilli. The Attorney General and Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, the Senior Manager, Sustainable Development of Fresh Inc., Ms Agathe Bernadot, and other personalities were present on occasion.
Through this MoU, Fresh Inc. would extend its financial assistance for the next five years to the NPCS to undertake this conservation work. The multinational company would also acknowledge its collaboration with the Republic of Mauritius in its marketing campaigns and press announcements so as to further enhance the visibility of Mauritius not only as a biodiversity hotspot in the southern hemisphere but also as a sustainable tourist destination.
In his keynote address, Minister Gobin highlighted that through this conservation programme, not only these three critically endangered species of high genetic fitness, namely: the Hyophorbe vaughani (palm tree unique to Mauritius); Trochetia boutoniana (Boucle d’Oreille); and Erythroxylum Lauri folium (laurel-leaved redwood tree); will be re-introduced in the wild but will ultimately be removed from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.
On this score, he thanked Fresh Inc. for coming up with a such initiative for the Republic of Mauritius, as through this MOU, our collaboration with international stakeholders is being enhanced to further market our activities and achievements.
Furthermore, Minister Gobin remarked that this MoU comes at an opportune moment as recently World Wetland Day 2023 and World Migratory Bird Day 2023 were celebrated.
“I had seized the opportunity at that time to make a request to the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement and to the Convention on Wetlands through their representatives present in Mauritius for the extension of their collaboration in the activities being undertaken by my Ministry for the conservation of biodiversity, namely wetlands in our islets and outer islands which form part of the territory of the Republic of Mauritius,” he pointed out.
He further added that emphasis was put on the fact that our wetlands in territorial waters require special attention and need to be listed together with the unique flora and fauna found thereat. “I am confident that our scientists and technical persons must have done considerable work on these islets, but these efforts need to be sustained,” Mr Gobin said.
The current collaboration with Fresh Inc, Minister Gobin underscored, is mainly geared towards conservation activities in the Bel Ombre Macchabée Biosphere Reserve. On this score, he reiterated the commitment of the NPCS and that of his Ministry in the execution of this MoU and to ensure its successful implementation.
For her part, Ms Bernadot recalled that Fresh Inc. has been collaborating with the Republic of Mauritius for the past three years through the discovery of a unique tea from Bois Chéri that powers their newest product innovation called the Tea Elixir Serum.
This MoU, she indicated, has been considered after several partnerships over the years with the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security and the NPCS in order to find a project to be able to give back to the island and help safeguard its genetic diversity for the future generation through notably: sustainable conservation management practices; research and public education; and awareness campaigns.