An Awareness Centre and a Pink Pigeon Display Facility were inaugurated, yesterday, by the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, at the Vallée d'Osterlog Endemic Garden in Le Val. The inaugural ceremony was jointly organised by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, and the Vallée d'Osterlog Endemic Garden Foundation in the context of the International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated on 22 May each year.
The Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo, and other personalities were also present.
In his address, Minister Seeruttun stated that the Awareness Centre will offer visitors a glimpse of the variety of plants available at the Vallée d'Osterlog Endemic Garden and the role of the latter in the preservation and conservation of endemic species. During the last four years, he pointed out, an investment to the tune of around Rs 17 million has been made to develop the garden and make it more accessible to local visitors and tourists. Furthermore, a Shade House has already been set up so as to showcase the variety of endemic plants available in the garden, he added.
Speaking about the Pink Pigeon Display Facility, the Minister indicated that it has been set up to contribute to the propagation of the Pink Pigeon in the region and to offer a suitable habitat for this bird. The Pink Pigeon, he recalled, was an endangered bird in the 1970s but with efforts of the National Park and Conservation Service as well as the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, this bird's population has significantly increased.
Moreover, as access to Vallée d'Osterlog Endemic Garden is now free of charge, Minister Seeruttun made an appeal to the public to visit the place and try some activities such as the biking trail, the nature track walk, the family trail and the safari bus. He also invited students of the Windsor College present to encourage their relatives and peers to visit the garden.
The Vallée D'Osterlog Endemic Garden, which encloses 275 hectares of sub humid mountain forest, is a meeting point with nature in its most raw and authentic state. Visitors will indulge in spectacular viewpoints, lofty spots and hill tops which sculpt an amazing scenery of pristine green forests, complemented by snaking streams and waterfalls cascading over rock pinnacles and mountain flanks. It also offers educative experience for a different mindset and knowledge for an efficient protection of the environment.