The Rogers Foundation has come up with the idea of sharing with the public the comprehensive information collected on the rich natural and cultural heritage of Bel Ombre. The rich biodiversity of Bel Ombre will soon be showcased on the "Bel Ombre Pedia" platform.
For years, Rogers has been pursuing a sustainable, environmentally responsible approach to development in Bel Ombre to promote the area’s natural and cultural heritage. The Group’s Hotels sector, Veranda Leisure & Hospitality (VLH) has carried out a major beach rehabilitation project. The Leisure segment, Island Living has recently launched the historic Bay2Bay Tour. Rogers Foundation is also involved in a wider range of activities, such as capacity building through training for local people or the environment, leveraging Reef Conservation’s work.
This non-governmental organisation (NGO) involved in marine environment protection in Mauritius has recently been appointed by Rogers to study the lagoon as well as the terrestrial fauna and flora of Bel Ombre. The organisation’s scientists have subsequently sought the support of the Rogers Foundation to investigate the interaction between the various animal and plant species in order to map the region’s ecosystems.
Scientific experts, including the botanist, Jean-Claude Sevathian and the ecologist Pierre Baissac have done meticulous work over a two-year period from January 2017 to list all the area’s species with descriptions and photographs.
Inclusion is about sharing
This project stems from the Rogers Foundation as part of its “Respect Our Coast” program. It will be launched once all the data has been collected – this includes comprehensive information on Bel Ombre species living in the mountains, rivers, mangrove, lagoon, as well as those living along the coastlines and in or around coral reefs.
For example, a fact sheet will give detailed information on a species, its habitat and conservation status listing by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as well as a “Did you know” anecdote. Forty-four other fact sheets tell the story of the region. You will discover, for example, that various renowned figures, including Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, the author of the novel, Paul et Virginie, have visited Bel Ombre.
After completing a first phase on the history, the ecosystems and how they are interrelated, Bel Ombre Pedia will delve into sustainable initiatives showing man’s involvement in conservation. Finally, learning and awareness-raising activities will target local communities, students, youth groups and foreign visitors.
The Rogers Foundation is sharing this wealth of information with the hope that Bel Ombre Pedia will raise public awareness of the unique value of the area.
The Respect Our Coast programme
In 2013, the Rogers Group reiterated its commitment to the conservation of the coastline through the launch of Respect Our Coast. This programme brings public institutions and private partners as well as NGOs and citizen groups together to work on marine and coastal ecosystem conservation projects. The key pillars of this initiative are awareness, education and training. Respect Our Coast’s flagship project is Bis Lamer, created by Reef Conservation. This mobile educational unit has been travelling the island since September 2014 to increase awareness of the need to preserve marine ecosystems among the Mauritian people.