Stabilization of the severely eroded coastline around the St. Géran historical site

Introduction


The overall objective of the project is to enhance the cultural heritage of the Poudre d’Or Village contributing thereby to its socio-economic development and environment protection to alleviate poverty.  Some 100 000 € were  allocated by the European Union (EU) within the framework of Regional Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Coastal Zones of the Indian Ocean Countries (ReCoMaP) of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). It was one of the 5 projects selected for Mauritius following a competition among 7 countries in the Western Indian Ocean whereby 384 submissions were received.

A flyer and a poster on the project were developed to explain to the various stakeholders the objectives and activities.

Consolidation of coastal infrastructure


Stabilization and landscaping


Enhancing socio-economic and cultural activities 


Extra-curricular activities in the village schools


Sensitization Campaign


Ownership of local inhabitants

A vital aspect of the Project was the involvement of the local population. The Project formulation, design and implementation have had the support and involvement of all sectors of the population of Poudre d’Or Village and several local NGOs. A Project Implementation Committee (PIC) provided guidance and advice. Nine of its 11 had 9 members from the Village, representing the Village Council, NGOs and local leaders. The Village Council and the Pamplemmousses/Rivière du Rempart District Council were closely associated with the Project and their support had proved invaluable.


Partnership

A number of Ministries among them those of Environment, Lands and Housing, Education and Agro Industry were closely associated with various aspects of project implementation. The Beach Authority, Forestry Services, and the Mauritius Institute of Education were close partners. The Meteorological Services, Mauritius Oceanographic Institute and several others contributed information and expertise.

Commemoration of wreckage of St Géran Ship

An important activity was the initiation of an annual event of laying of wreath to commemorate the wreckage of the St Géran Ship off the coast of Poudre d’Or Village during the night of 17/18 August 1744. 


St Géran Monument

Following the shipwreck in 1744, a small memorial was set up on a promontory on the coast facing the location of the shipwreck. A pyramidal Monument in stone was established by the Societé de l’Histoire de l’Ile Maurice in 1944, 200 years after the accident.

Landscaping and embellishment

Promoting Poudre d’Or Village

The improved St. Géran Monument site was an opportunity to promote the historical site and the Village among the Mauritian population and the tourists.

Several information materials were developed for this purpose.
The rich history of the Village was researched and a flyer on the subject History of Poudre d’Or was prepared and distributed widely.

The St Géran Ship has been the subject of considerable interest. A brief on the origin of the ship and the conditions that led to the fatal accident is described in a pamphlet developed by the Association.

Paul et Virginie, the immortal novel of the tender love story, has its origin in the shipwreck. The story is related in a flyer of the Association. Paul et Virginie

An integrated part of the Village culture derives from the historic figure, a lover of Nature, Bernardin de St. Pierre. His life and work, especially on Mauritius is brought out in a flyer. It gives a perspective to the Village.

Education on sustainable development

This activity has been a priority for the Association. It is seen the various publications devoted to the subject.  Along with some of the activities on education undertaken, the basic principle and components of such an education as promoted by ADD is described in a flyer on Education on Sustainable Development.

Commemorative plaques

A commemorative plaque bears testimony to the work of ADD and its partners. Another plaque indicates the location of the St Géran Pass where the famous ship was shipwrecked on the night of 17/18 August 1744. It also indicates the other Passes nearby along the coral barrier and the place where the cargo ship MV Angel 1 was shipwrecked on 5 August 2011, during the same month 267 years earlier.