The PAN Project started in 2010 for an implementation period of 5 years. Due to delays in the early years, the project is being extended to 2018. Besides main funding from UNDP/GEF that permitted the establishment of the project in place, there is also co-financing from the Government of Mauritius and the private sector.
The Project’s main objective is to create a reconfigured network of private and state protected areas that is designed to safeguard a representative sample of Mauritius’s terrestrial biodiversity under an effective and adaptive management regime.
More precisely, the project seeks to strengthen the systemic, institutional and operational capacity to:
- Identify, prioritise and target gaps in representation that can be filled through protected area expansion, and complementary conservation, efforts on private and state-owned land;
- Develop regulatory drivers and an incentives framework to support PA expansion, and complementary conservation, efforts on private and state-owned land;
- Establish and administer a conservation stewardship program to implement PA expansion initiatives on privately owned or managed land;
- Effectively plan, resource and manage an expanded PAN comprising both private and state protected areas;
- Cost-effectively mitigate the threats to, and pressures on, the unique biodiversity contained within the expanded PAN (notably the spread of invasive alien species); ensure better integration of the PAN into the country’s socio-economic development priorities, in particular development of the tourism industry, to ensure its long-term financial sustainability; and
- Respond effectively to the needs of, and meaningfully involve, different stakeholder groups in the ongoing planning and operational management of the expanded PAN.
The NPCS is the local Government Institution who possess the authority and mandate to run and oversee local terrestrial conservation projects or initiatives. Some current projects that involve the NPCS are as follows:
- Updating of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2006-2015) to integrate the CBD 2011-2020 Strategic Plan and the new Aichi Biodiversity targets. The project is funded by the Global Environmental Facility.
- Projet regionale de biodiversité, an EU- Funded project where the objective is to contribute to regional integration by ensuring more effective, coherent, coordinated and adaptive biodiversity management in line with international and regional agreements and priorities for sustainable development and to improve livelihood.
Forestry Services Projects
The Forestry Service has the mandate to manage the State land forests in Mauritius except for the Bras Black River Gorges and Bras d’Eau National Parks. Though conservation of native forests is not their main objective, the Forestry Service indeed supervise biodiversity projects funded by the Republic of Mauritius such as;
- Production of approximately 100,000 native plants annually.
- Phasing out of exotic tree plantation which are replaced by native specimen.
- Management of Nature and Mountain Reserves.
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s)
There are two NGO’s active in the realm of terrestrial biodiversity conservation in Mauritius, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) and Forena.
The former is the country’s largest conservation NGO which has accomplished a tremendous work in the sphere of animal species recovery and recreating models of native Mauritian forests. Most of these projects are still ongoing. Some of them are as follows;
- Native Animal Species recovery project.
- Restoration of Ile Ronde and Ile aux Aigrettes.
- Recovery of native reptile populations in collaboration with the National Park and Conservation services and Durrell Wildlife Conservation trust.
Forena is a more recent NGO which deals with smaller scale projects.
At the level of the private sector, there is a growing interest for native biodiversity conservation and restoration. Some private initiatives are:
- Restoration and protection of 200 hectares of native habitat in la Vallée de Ferney by Ciel Group.
- Restoration and recreation of native forests in Chamarel by Bioculture ltd.
- HSBC providing part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to biodiversity restoration and conservation.
The University of Mauritius and the NPCS are the two main organisations conducting biodiversity research in Mauritius.