WEST COAST MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION
WEST COAST MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION
Our organization, which is a new one, is a community organization that consists of members residing on the west coast of the island and who derive their income from sea activities in the region, namely dolphin watching activities. The main reason for creating this organization is that over the past years, there have been major developments in the tourist sector and more and more people are using the sea as their major source of income. However, the big problem that came about, namely with dolphin watching and reefs conservation as well as correct information to be transmitted to clients, is that there has been very little control and training of the sea users over these issues over the years.
The project on dolphin watching activities implemented by the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society (MMCS), under funding from GEF SGP and Total Foundation, has helped us to understand that we can do something to continue the sensitization activities that they have successfully started and to cater ourselves for our economic security. It helped us to understand that we also can play an important role in monitoring our dolphin watching industry, which provides a living to the communities. One very important lesson from the MMCS project is that it is up to the operators to monitor and control the behaviour of other operators towards the dolphins and the sea in general. The MMCS cannot and does not have the possibility to control and warn the operators, they can only sensitise and note down the irresponsible behaviours. Likewise, coast guards although being a deterrent will not be able to control and monitor the dolphin operators all the time. Being part of the industry gives our organization the possibility to talk directly to our members and to get their commitment to respect dolphin watching activities and the marine biodiversity in general.

The main objectives of the project will be:
1- To replicate and continue the training to the sea users, with the help of consultants, such that the respect their environment and make them aware that they should preserve the environment for their own sake and most important for the coming generations.
2- Continue the wonderful work started by the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society under the funding of GEF SGP of UNDP and Total Foundation, most of which are listed below.
3- Start our own “Dolphins Watching Operators’ Monitoring” that will be equipped with one boat and two skippers (shared with the MMCS) who will be responsible of making sure that everyone gets to be eco friendly and in the ultimate case, report to the association who will report to the relevant authorities. Data collected on monitoring activities will be shared with NGO’s working to promote the protection of the marine environment such as the MMCS and Reef Conservation Mauritius.
4- We will get the necessary affiliation to the Tourism Authority and notify the Coast Guards of our existence, such that the Association will be recognized by the ministry and have a say in the future developments in the region.
5- Issue of newsletters on a regular basis to inform the Sea Users, Tourism Authority, Coast Guards, Tour Operators, hotels and NGOs of the current situation on the west coast whether good or bad.
6- We will seek constant feedback from tourists visiting us such that we can make a constant appraisal of the services offered by our members and see how we can improve our service.
7- As recommended from the MMCS project, and with the help of the relevant competences, we will prepare a “code of conducts” focusing on marine conservation and protection of marine biodiversity. This Code of Conduct will have to be signed by all members of the association and make sure that they abide to it.
8- Our members have also agreed to work together and give of their time and expertise to maintain approximately 10 fixed anchors that have been installed by the MMCS in strategic spots to avoid our coral reefs to be damaged by anchors normally used by most speedboats.
9- Our members are to organize at least once a year an open day for schools in the west region such that the students can discover the marine biodiversity of the region and those magnificent animals: the Dolphins.

Our organization is not a member of any NGO associations or umbrella groupings and it does not have any experience in implementation of projects. However, we will benefit from the know-how and experience of our members who are all originate from the west of the island and all of them have passed most of their life on the sea. Our organization will thus also keep a close eye on the situation as to pollution of our marine environment especially with all the projected hotels to be built in the region.

Furthermore, our Vice-President, Mr. Alain Dubois was the representative of operators on the steering committee for dolphin watching and worked closely with the Tourism Authority and the MMCS in setting up a law that could regulate dolphin watching. Mr. Dubois was also invited by the Indian Ocean Commission to represent the operators for dolphin watching at the “Atelier Etude et Conservation des Cétacés” which was held in July 2007 in Madagascar.
Several of our members have worked closely over the past two years with the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society in the implementation of their project “Sustainable Management of Dolphin Watching in Mauritius, through training and public awareness”. The Mauritius Marine Conservation Society has granted us full back up in our next upcoming activities.
Our budget for the two coming years will be of Rs. 1.8 million (approx USD 65k) and we look forward to benefit from the SGP of USD 50k and the difference will be financed by the members of the association (about 40 members at a monthly contribution of Rs 500) as it is mostly the operators who will benefit from the association activities in terms of know-how, training, better utilization of our natural resources and most of all promote the international image of our island as thriving towards a more eco-friendly tourist development. Furthermore, we will contact the local enterprises who are interested for the promotion of our island to contribute in our project either financially, by sharing their expertise or by helping to set up our logistics.
We will make it a must that our members contribute towards the day to day running of our association as to financial matters as well as giving their time, dedication and expertise towards the good running of our different projects. This is necessary as they are the one who will benefit the most from the success of our initiatives and in a broader sense, all the region will benefit as well as the hundred families relying on the natural resources of the west coast.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Association Pour l'Environnement Marin de l'Ouest
Country:
Mauritius
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
International Waters
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 14,542.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 733.00
Project Number:
MAR/SGP/OP4/CORE/07/06
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Mr. Jean Noel Mamet
Phone: 422 9283/ 464 7290
Fax: 467 7720
Email: jnmamet@intnet.mu
 

Address

38d, Pere Laval Street
Rose Hill ,

SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Pamela Bapoo-Dundoo
Phone:
(230) 213 53 84
Fax:
(230) 212 14 11
Email:

Address

2nd Floor, Sugar Industry Pension Fund Building, 1 Remy Ollier Street
Port Louis, Mauritius

Country Website