hotel on islet in Blue Bay marine park

Doris Sénèque ecosud at
Fri Dec 8 00:04:08 EST 2000

Dear coral-listers,

Last September I sent a SOS on the net about the corals in Blue Bay marine park (Mauritius) being smothered by silt and I received quite a lot of answers from coral listers for which I am very thankful. The ecologist association ECO-SUD to which I belong was never asked to help save the corals though and the authorities just waited and left Nature manage on its own. Eventually the strong current of the bay washed part of the silt away while another part settled on the sea bottom.  How much damage has been done to the corals remains to be checked now...

As I explained at the time, developers bent on building a five-star hotel on an islet right in the middle of the marine park had started preliminary works on the mainland and in the sea to build a docking area from where barges would be loaded with machines and building material to be taken to the islet. Excavation works on the land and dredging of the sea bottom caused silt to spread in the lagoon and then to deposit itself on the live coral patches of the bay. 

The members of ECO-SUD attempted everything in their power to stop the works and in the end the government issued a stop order because the promoters had no permit to do these works. The promoters were also compelled to apply for an EIA permit by submitting an EIA report to the Ministry of Environment. But no legal action was taken against them despite the fact that they had broken the law.

The EIA report for that hotel project is presently open for public inspection at the Ministry of Environment, and written comments from the public will be accepted at the ministry until 22nd December. So all those who, like ECO-SUD, have been against the hotel project right from the start are carefully studying the report in order to comment on it. Up to now we have found several items needing to be criticized. We hope that the EIA committee will see through the promoters' false promises and careless assertions. 

Doris Sénèque  
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