11 October 2021, Rodrigues.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) is financially supporting the Rodriguan community to undertake key conservation activities in the nationally declared Anse Quitor Nature Reserve. This contribution will benefit a community-led project that the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) of Rodrigues launched in the presence of beneficiaries and key stakeholders today.
The MWF is the largest NGO of the Republic of Mauritius involved in the conservation and preservation of endangered plant and animal species. Its project, entitled Community restoration of the Anse Quitor river system and protection of critically endangered endemic species in a nationally declared Nature Reserve in Rodrigues, has benefited of a USD 50,000 financial contribution from the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme, and is part of a longer 5-year conservation project co-funded by the European Union.
The main objective of this community-led project is to restore Anse Quitor river system by controlling Invasive Alien species of plants which are lowering the water-table and threatening the native riparian flora. This initiative will not only allow to preserve IUCN critically endangered species such as ‘bois pasner’, ‘bois puant’ and ‘bois goudron’, but will also involve the full-time participation of 10 members of the local community, thus providing livelihoods and on-the-job training.
Implemented with the collaboration of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly Commission for Environment Forestry Service, this 2-year project also aims at:
- eliminating invasive trees along 400m of the river;
- collecting and destroying the fruits of invasive alien plants;
- fencing and restoring 1 hectare of forest in the reserve;
- planting 20,000 native and endemic seedlings along the river and in the new restoration plot created in the reserve;
- empowering community members to carry out conservation work with on-the-job capacity building in restoration of forest habitats, propagation of native and endemic seedling;
- sensitizing school children on Invasive Alien Species; on the protection and conservation of native biodiversity, and on climate change and its mitigation;
- organizing Volunteer Conservation Work Days in Anse Quitor Nature Reserve so as to increase the capacity of the Rodrigues youth to bring about positive environmental change and help the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation fulfil its mission.
Combining efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
During the launch ceremony of the project, Reshad Jhangeer-Khan, Rodrigues Manager of MWF, thanked the UNDP and the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme for their financial support, which allows to continue the conservation work with Rodrigues’ communities. He also acknowledged the European Union for their financial support, and the Rodrigues Regional Assembly for their ongoing collaboration.
Addressing the ceremony virtually, Pamela Bapoo-Dundoo, National Coordinator of the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme, highlighted the importance of community actions to address local environmental issues in a global climate change context. She also added that : “this ceremony marks the official launching of the first 3 projects approved under GEF Operational Phase 7 by UNDP Small Grants Programme for Rodrigues for an amount of Rs 6,1 M.”
Amanda Serumaga, UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles also attended the ceremony virtually, and emphasised that “the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) has been a privileged partner of the UNDP GEF SGP through the last 25 years.” UNDP Resident Representative also stated that the UNDP looks forward to a continued collaboration with communities and the civil society to achieve progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
The project was officially launched by Jean Richard Payendee, Commissioner responsible for the Environment and Forestry. In his speech, the Commissioner praised the MWF and Forestry Service for their continued efforts to conserve Rodrigues’ biodiversity while involving local communities. He also underlined the importance of protecting and restoring fragile habitats present in Nature Reserves, whilst ensuring food security.
For more information on the UNDP - GEF Small Grants Programme, please contact:
GEF Small Grants Program
United Nations Development Programme
2nd Floor, SIPF Building
1, Remy Ollier Street, Port Louis, Mauritius
Tel: (230) 213 53 84
Fax: (230) 212 14 11
For more information on the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, please contact:
Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (Rodrigues)
Solitude, Rodrigues, Mauritius
Tel: (230) 8314 558
Fax: (230) 8314 559