Innovative TV Series on Biodiversity and Climate Change
Innovative TV Series on Biodiversity and Climate Change
A lot of small gardens in the island are neglected to a point where whole villages look run down. It appears that litter and abandoned gardens are sometimes the result of owners being ignorant of the dangers of litter, and unaware of the ways in which they can make their garden look beautiful and enjoy it. A lot of inhabitants do not connect their immediate surroundings, their gardens to “The Environment”. The lack of knowledge regarding how the people can embellish their surroundings with endemic and exotic plants adapted to their specific region, creates an environment deprived of vegetation and green spaces. This, together with a loss of knowledge regarding the soil, makes the few brave gardeners lose interest when seeing their efforts to plant fail, reinforcing the appearance of desolated residential areas with isolated well kept gardens.

CAPE Environnement is an NGO operating in Mauritius, initiated and created by Uma Arnauld and Sonia Matthews in June 2007. Its main purpose is to launch a captivating awareness and education campaign on the Environment in Mauritius. Gardens, green spaces close to villages, available spaces annexed to commercial buildings or offices will be constantly called ‘the environment’ in order to help raise awareness of the close relationship between small actions in the immediate surroundings to the bigger notion of “the environment”.

The GEO4 reports stipulates that actions regarding the environment has to be carried out at three levels: 1) The Individual, 2) Governments and 3) International Organizations.
CAPE Environnement targets the individual via most local environment – the garden - as an entry point to communicate issues in an effective, interesting and personally relevant way to all sectors of the population.

The concept is reinforced by illustrating that a much quicker and cost effective significant action can be made by encouraging each garden owner to clean their garden and surroundings and plant more endemic and native plants, to help solve the problems of pollution and climate change compared to actions by larger organizations that can require new laws and involve heavy political measures that can take years to implement.

In a TV series of 26 episodes, Uma and Sonia, the presenters are called to the rescue by volunteers to help them clean and embellish their small garden in distress. Together, they plant new trees and shrubs, endemic plants, and invite experts to explain simple methods to heal the soil, the atmosphere and attract wildlife.

This TV series targets all garden owners, but sends a particular message to young men and women: Uma and Sonia getting involved in cleaning and planting shows that youngsters like themselves need to take over, take care of their garden and surroundings and teach their children to do so since a very young age. The method to implement this is to involve owners and young ones fully on each episode, and show them how to use garden tools that make the work easy and fun.

Corporates, public and private companies are also targeted in this project. Part of the tv series will focus on the transformation and cleaning of gardens adjacent to big companies. CAPE Environment has secured a first example of this model by convincing the Mauritius Broadcasting Coorporation to be the first corporate body where CAPE Environnement will help them change their garden and introduce three hundred (300) endemic and native plants.

Rs 2,206,075 (in cash and in kind )has been estimated for the production of first 13 Episodes. Mauvilac and Phocea are each supporting 5% of our costs. The Ministry of Environment has proposed to finance 13% of our costs in September 2007. Seventy seven percent (77%) of the financing of this project is still pending. Rs 1,445,180 is being requested to the GEF Small Grants Programme. It is of course agreed that proper acknowledgement towards the funders will be visible in each episode.

CAPE Environnement is a community organization in the sense that it involves the community as volunteers who will contribute to the transformation of their garden. It is an NGO registered with the Registrar of Associations since August 2007.

This projects was terminated via termination letter dated 17 January 2011. This project has been terminated because the NGO is in the process of being de-registered since the President is now living in the UK and the NGO is no longer operating as other members have left. This project has been completed at 50% as 13 episodes were produced in projected phase 1. Phase 2 which had proposed production of 13 other episodes was never completed due to changes at the level of the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and the resulting fact that the MBC did not show interest in producing and broadcasting the remaining episodes, despite several meeting held with them.
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Project Snapshot

CAPE Environnement
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 20,317.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 9,166.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 11,466.00
Project Number:
Project Terminated Before Completion

Grantee Contact

Mrs. Sonia Mathews
Phone: 792 3281, 769 2165
Email: and


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