Monday, July 29, 2013

Climate change lessons in Mauritius

Nasseem Ackbarally in IPS: Tourism, agriculture, fishing, the water supply – climate change threatens the very foundations of society and the economy in Mauritius. As the Indian Ocean island nation develops its adaptation strategies, it is working to ground the next generation of citizens firmly in principles of sustainable development.

Launched on Jul. 5, the country’s National Climate Change Adaptation Policy Framework (NCCAPF) included familiar but worrying predictions for the future. Half of this tourist destination’s beaches could disappear by 2050, swallowed by rising seas and increasingly violent and frequent storms. Fresh water resources could shrink by as much as 13 percent while demand will rise steadily.

“We are shocked to learn that our beautiful island – or part of it – may disappear because of a rise in sea levels,” student Felicia Beniff told IPS as she emerged from a class on the environment and climate change with four friends. “We are afraid. We have many more years to live. Where will we go?”

The teenage students at MEDCO Cassis Secondary School in the Mauritian capital Port Louis are among a quarter of a million students across the island that will be exposed to principles of sustainable development.

Mauritius is working hard to correct unsustainable practices, notably through the Maurice Île Durable. Educating youth about sustainable development is part of this long-term vision to establish a new, ecologically sound economy....

Evening in Port Louis, Mauritius, shot by Peter Kuchar (pkuchar), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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