Posted by WorkingAbroad Projects on Wednesday, 8th February 2017
A few thousand kilometres outside the mainland of the African continent, you will find the small exotic island nation, Mauritius. From the beautiful white sandy beaches, you dive into the bright blue lagoons with the ability to explore the World’s third largest coral reef and the rare marine species that live there. These “rainforests of the sea” are some of the most diverse eco-systems on Earth, and while together occupying very little space, they provide a home for a vast number of marine species essential to our oceans. However, coral reefs are very fragile, and the World has witnessed reef deaths as consequences of years of increasing water temperatures, oceanic acidification, overfishing and pollution among many other reasons.
Tourism is one of the main sources of income for Mauritius, and the natural resources unique to the nation have been paying the price for human intrusion for centuries. Pollution has in particular been the result from years of development, which has failed to take the protection and preservation of the environment into consideration. In 2009, our ‘Lagon Bleu’ project started with the aim to protect, preserve and restore the marine and costal environment of Blue Bay and Pointe d’Esny.
Any task and project that you partake in has a purpose towards the protection and preservation of the environment. For example, the project’s ecological education programme has thus far reached 1500 primary school children. Educating the local population is essential, if they are to become future advocates for the coral reefs and the many rare species that still inhabit them and the islands. It is important to see every act of this project as part of a whole, and like an eco-system, they all have an effect on and purpose for each other.
So, instead of visiting like a regular tourists, why not visit this beautiful island nation as a volunteer. For a few weeks or even several months, you would help with important conservation work, while experience all that the country has to offer. In the end, your data and assistance to the local population is invaluable to the research and final evaluations that will help facilitate an appropriate protection strategy for reefs. This helps safeguard the future of the reefs, and thus in the end also the future of the country. You would in the end go back home with an enhanced understanding of marine ecosystems, developed your data collection and research skills, and in all just gained an invaluable experiences with people from around the World in a beautiful place in the Indian Ocean while making a difference.
If you want to know more about our Blue Lagoon and Coral Reef Monitoring Volunteer & Internship Programme in Mauritius, you can visit our project page here
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