An Arboretum which will house some 5 000 endemic plants of 600 rare species was inaugurated yesterday by the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun at the Native Plant Propagation Centre in Curepipe in context of the International Day for Biological Diversity 2018.
The theme for this year "Celebrating 25 years of Action for Biodiversity", was chosen to mark the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity and to highlight progress made in the achievement of its objectives at national and global levels.
In his address, Minister Seeruttun, spoke of the importance of preserving and conserving the endemic species of plants which are becoming more and more endangered owing to the effects of climate change on the environment. He reiterated the support of his Ministry to ensure that endemic plants and animals which are part of biodiversity are protected.
He expressed concern regarding 60% of the ecosystem across the planet which is being threatened and called for a concerted effort of one and all to collaborate in protecting the ecosystem. Mr Seeruttun further dwelt on the various measures being implemented by the Government to ensure sustainable management and restoration of native terrestrial Mauritian fauna and flora.
The Minister also spoke of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) 2017-2025 for Mauritius, which sets out the Strategy and Action Plan for biodiversity conservation for the next nine years and contribute to national development and sectoral planning frameworks through a renewed and active National Biodiversity Planning. Mauritius was the first country to sign and ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity in September 1992, he added.
Other activities organised to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity comprised: an open week for secondary students at the Arboretum and the Native Plant Propagation Centre; an exhibition on the native biodiversity; planting of endemic trees in the national parks and various selected sites; and distribution of native plants to all schools.
The International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated on 22nd May every year to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is observed in order to increase understanding and public awareness of the biodiversity.