Has Tourism Contributed to Environmental Degradation in Mauritius Island?
Empretec Mauritius is a member of an international network integrating 42 Worldwide Empretec Centers. This NGO based nonprofit association is under the auspices of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The organization’s main objective is to develop the entrepreneurial capacity, provide training, technical assistance and institutional framework, to promote development and international competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, among others.
The tourism service provider in Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Tanzania is heavily dependent on natural resources, that is to say, the physical environment. The traditional marketing approach of “sand, sea and sun” has created a mindset that led to the concentration of tourist facilities in coastal areas.
Coupled with an economy’s growing dependence on tourism revenues and the agglomeration of hotels on the coastline, tourism has developed into a sector of the economy in its own right which has led to a greater use of coastal and marine resources. This dependence is not without cost, both for the economy and industry. According to Empretec Mauritius, the tourism industry has undoubtedly contributed to the degradation of coastal and marine environment.
However some of the major coastal hotels are aware of the negative impact they have on the coastal areas during recent years, accordingly best environmental practices were individually identified and implemented. Recently, there has been a joint effort of small and medium coastal hotels to identify and implement best practices of environmental management systems (EMS) for sustaining coastal tourism which Empretec Mauritius is the training organization.
Targeting Tour Operators
The actions of the tourism industry have a close relationship with the coastal and marine resources and are heavily dependent on coastal and marine resources. Therefore, for the sake of its sustainability, they are positioned at the forefront of actions directed towards the protection and preservation of coastal areas, including marine biodiversity.
However, because of the fragile ecosystems and which are interconnected in coastal areas, they are experiencing increased stress due to human activities such as fishing in the lagoon, pollution, erosion, overexploitation of coastal waters and coral.
For the survival of long term tourism, the concern of all parties inclusive of hoteliers, private sector institutions, NGO’s authorities, operators of tourism, hospitality, the public and coastal communities is required. Implementation of the essential actions is, without doubt, for sustainable use of our natural resources.
Projects to develop the spirit of Green Mauritius
The workshop on Environmental Management Systems they held last week in Mauritius, was a resounding success. Moreover, this same workshop is being held in two different areas in Madagascar. The goal is not to differentiate or to compete with other projects, but to advocate for a cause they hold at heart