Improving coastal resilience and Community livelihood at Case Noyale/Petite Rivière Noire Villages

Overall objectives

To contribute to the sustainable development of Mauritius and the realization of “Maurice Ile Durable” while improving the quality of life of the communities through:
(i) Restoration of the mangrove forest using a phase-wise approach to protect   the coastal region and enhance marine resources  
(ii) Sensitisation of local coastal communities on sustainable development issues.
(iii) Empowerment of the communities through awareness-raising to improve their socio-economic well-being.

Activities

(i)    Plantation of about 30 000 mangrove propagules/seedlings on sites identified.  
(ii)    Sensitization of about 125 school children, 100 women, 50 fishermen, 60 senior citizens and 100 youth.
(iii)    Empowerment of about 50 women to create businesses and to improve their earnings.

Why the region of Case Noyale/Petite Rivière Noire?

Following an island-wide survey, vast areas from Le Morne Brabant to Les Salines, Petite Rivière Noire were identified as potential sites for mangrove planting.  

In particular, the region of Case Noyale/Petite Rivière Noire has the largest potential area. However, it has been gathered that some sites have been earmarked for touristic development - golf course, marina and coastal uplifting – and are, thus, inappropriate for a mangrove project.

The site was visited in the company of the President of the Village Council of Case Noyale/Petite Rivière Noire and a representative of Albion Fisheries Research of the Ministry of Fisheries (AFRC).

A large region known as “Au Ancre” has been identified as the most suitable site for the planting of about 30 000 mangrove propagules/seedlings. It is isolated, accessible through a footpath with no nearby settlements.

Characteristics of Case Noyale/Petite Rivière Noire region

Case Noyale/Petite Rivière Noire has about 500 households with a population of nearly 2000 inhabitants. All the houses are located adjacent to the coastal road and have been built on state land leased for a period of 25 years. It is a fishing region and the life of the inhabitants is intrinsically linked to the sea. Most of the people depend on fisheries resources as the main source of protein.

For a large proportion of the population, education has to be given the priority it deserves. There are hardly 20 students who go to secondary schools.   

Mangrove planting for immediate and long-term impacts

Coastal resources and fish catch are dwindling due to several causes including overfishing, pollution and coral reefs degradation. There are currently about 15 professional fishermen and many of them will soon retire from active life.
 
The young generation has no interest to embark on a career as fishers and the number of professional fishermen is, thus, decreasing. Options have to be identified to provide villagers with short- and long-term solutions to maintain their way of life and eventually improve their wellbeing and welfare.
The project will provide opportunities for some villagers to be involved in mangrove planting component to complement the family income. In the long-term, an increase of coastal resources will provide more socio-economic opportunities to the villages.

Improvement of school education

The village primary RCA School is located at Grand Case Noyale. Education should be given proper attention to enhance the number of successful students at CPE and encourage taking up higher education.
The project will introduce appropriate extra-curriculum activities – making presentations on topics which are relevant to the school curriculum by experts in the fields. School competitions in drawing, debate and essay on relevant themes will be organised.

A Nature Corner with endemic, decorative and medicinal plants will be set up to sensitise school children on the types of plants and their role in our well-being and in food security.

Women empowerment

Many women are unemployed. The project will organise awareness in various areas including handicraft, business creation and marketing strategy to empower the women communities to become entrepreneurs. Various institutions such as SMEDA, Ministry of Cooperatives and DBM will be invited to provide training, advice and guidance in the establishment of businesses.

Youth networking

Youth are citizens of tomorrow who will be responsible in the future for the sustainable development of the country. It is crucial that they are aware of threats to the environment, particularly in coastal villages, and learn on the proper management for their welfare and advancement.  
Youth activities will focus on outdoor competitions and outings.
Exchange programmes among youth from the villages of Le Morne and Quatre Soeurs would be organised. This will provide opportunities for the youth of the villages to interact, develop good relationship and participate in activities of mutual interest in a friendly atmosphere.

One of the activities proposed is the visit of the mangrove plantation at Le Morne and Quatre Soeurs by the Case Noyale/Petite Rivière Noire group.