Stop the devastation of ESA - ESA Bill Now
Say STOP to the destruction of Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA)! How? By asking policy makers and landowners to partner with the civil society to ensure that the ESA Bill is implemented as soon as possible.
Let's preserve and better manage our natural treasures! Sign the manifesto for the ESA Bill!
In 2008, the Mauritius government started working on a bill, known as the Wetlands Bill. However, it has not been debated or voted on in Parliament until today!
In 2009, the Ministry of the Environment is conducting a study about ecologically sensitive areas of Mauritius and Rodrigues (ESA Study 2009 - (285MB)). This report has never been revealed to the public and the bill it recommends, the ESA Bill, remains on stand-by.
In 2018, the Wetlands Mauritius Collective - of which Eco-Sud is one of the founding members - reads this report and broadcasts it in the public domain via an open letter to the deputies published in the newspaper L'Express. The article reminds them the need to preserve the ESA.
The report clearly states that the Mauritian laws are not appropriate to the protection of the ESAs:
- Gaps in Legal Protection
- Lack of thresholds that should be respected for ministerial decisions/non-disclosure
- Inadequate environmental impact assessment
- Inappropriate environmental planning
- Inadequate enforcement
To this day, the bill is still not implemented. It’s even worse: 10 projects have been launched on these same ESAs in 2018. This is why we need your support in advocating for the protection and conservation of ESAs.
As members of civil society, you can help us in different ways by signing the Manifesto for the ESA Bill, for example, by writing to your local deputies or by supporting the “ESA BILL NOW!” campaign on social networks.
ESA Bill Mauritius - Videos series
ESA direct and indirect threats
A law for ESAs
The Civil Society who signed this manifesto is asking the political parties and the candidates to the legislative elections of the Thursday 7th November 2019, to make a firm commitment regarding the environment and the ecosystems.
In the 2018 World Risk Report, Mauritius Island obtained the highest World Risk Index (WRI) of Africa, to the point that it appeared amongst the 16 countries in the world, with the highest risks, facing the natural hazards.
However, our natural treasures keep being destroyed without a law that could insure their full protection.
It is now more than the time to do it, so that:
- The Mauritian citizens can continue benefit from the ecosystemic services of ESAs
- The biodiversity is preserved
- The ecosystems can be able to increase their resilience capacity in front of the climate change effects
Why such a Bill?
- 90% of our mangroves have been destroyed
- Mauritians ingest 2kg of pesticides per year and per person
- According to Statistics Mauritius, only between 2017 and 2018, the importation of pesticides increased by 6,6%, while the forests total surface decreased by 18 hectares during the same period
- During the last 20 years, the insectivore bats population decreased by 80%
- 20% of our lagoons are composed of living corals
- Our lagoons suffer from eutrophication, meaning they are asphyxiated by the lack of oxygen
If the link between the public health and the destruction of the biosphere has been proved, it also has been noticed that it is also linked to lung and skin diseases, cancer, viruses and bacteria’s propagation, mineral intoxication.
In 2009 already:
- 90% of our wetlands were affected by the backfilling
- 60% of our wetlands were fragmentated
- Our urbanisation level was 36 times higher to the global average (D.S Hammond, 2015)
- There were only 4,4% of endemic forests left
A lot of those ecologically sensitive areas are unknown by Mauritians and are inaccessible because they are privatised. They are threatened to disappear due to the projects that are being developed there (mainly real estate).
There is an important opportunity to create new jobs revolving around the need to protect and restore those living treasures, but also around the need to raise awareness about the environmental issues.
The ESA Bill, a priority bill
The Civil Society asks for the 2009 ESA Bill to be refreshed, discussed and voted for at the parliament as soon as possible. Therefore, it is asking every political party to commit by signing this manifesto.
The Manifesto signatories
- Royals & Friends Action Line (RAFAL)
- SOS Patrimoine en Péril
- Small Planters Association
- Mauritius Marine Conservation Society (MMCS)
- Centre for Alternative Research and Studies (CARES)
- Institute for Environmental and Legal Studies (IELS)
- Mahebourg Espoir
- Sea Users Association
- Rezistans ek Alternativ
- Rodrigues Private Industries and Allied Workers Union
- Syndicat des pêcheurs
- MAHEBOURG OTANTIK
- KOLECTIF ECOGUARDS
- Collectif Wetlands Mauritius
- Aret Kokin Nu Laplaz (AKNL)
- Fridays For Future Mauritius
- Friends of the Environment
- Mission Verte
- Protégeons l'écosystème de Roches Noires
- Rodrigues Workers Federation
- Rodrigues Tourism and Allied Industries Workers Union
- COUNCIL OF RELIGIONS
- Collectif Citoyen Maurice Environnement
- Southern Mangrove Aquaculture Cooperative Society Ltd
- Yemaya Adventures
- Institut Bon Pasteur
- General Workers Federation (GWF)
- ALL EMPLOYEES CONFEDERATION
- Prévention Information Lutte contre le Sida (PILS)
- Collectif "Protez later nou Zanfan"
- Government Services Employees Association (GSEA)
- LALIANS LESPWAR
- Port Mathurin Harbour Workers Union
- Rodrigues Government Employees Association
- Mauritius Conscious Travel
- Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM)