Having been one of those involved in leading the French consultative process on the environment, known as the Grenelle de l’Environnement, Ghislain Gomart a leading French civil servant is helping the Mauritian government develop its Maurice Ile Durable (sustainable island) strategy, to support the effective management of natural resources, protect social harmony and safeguard investments.
photos : rogers image bank
Vivid imaginations associate tropical islands with buried treasure. However, the reality in these isolated places, sun-blessed though they may be, is that Nature is under pressure rather than abundant. There is an obvious reason: the balance between resources and requirements is even more fragile than elsewhere, as a result of the limited space and the remoteness of external sources of provisions. Hence the interest in the principles of sustainable development found in some small island states, such as Mauritius, whose Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam, seeks to involve the whole population, 1.2 million according to the latest census – added to which is the just under a million who visited last year – in the process.
In order to transform the idea of sustainable development into a real society-wide project, the Government in Port Louis has taken inspiration from the methods employed in France in the context of what President Sarkozy has termed the Grenelle de l’Environnement. One of those intimately involved there has been brought in to roll out the French consultative plan in the Indian Ocean. Having worked closely with former minister Jean-Louis Borloo, Ghislain Gomart, a senior French civil servant, has been given the task of helping the Maurice Ile Durable project to progress, under a partnership agreement between the two countries. In our interview with him, he speaks about what is involved in this commendable example of cooperation.