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Mauritian Flora and Fauna Evening at Ecole du Centre - Tuesday the 21st of November 2017

The 3ème students this term worked on a project aimed at improving their English language skills while at the same time celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mauritian independence through a study of Mauritian flora and fauna and its conservation.

The objectives of the programme were:

·         Exploring the diversity and fragility of Mauritian flora and fauna.

·         Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mauritian independence.

·         Understanding and interacting in English in a variety of situations.

(from left to right) Vikash Tatayah, Christine Griffiths, Vincent Florens, Tracy Ribet and Cláudia Baider

The students participated in a number of activities leading up to an evening conference which included visiting the Ebony Forest at Chamarel, planting trees at the Citadelle and welcoming guest speakers to the school including Associate Professor Vincent Florens from the University of Mauritius.

The culmination of this project was an evening conference where experts in the field, as well as the students themselves presented their work and ideas for conservation to pupils, parents and invited guests.


The talk included:

Our invited guest speakers:

Dr. Vikash Tatayah from the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation spoke about conservation in Rodrigues: Rodrigues ranks amongst one of the most degraded islands on earth.  It has lost the iconic Solitaire, as well as many other animals and plants.  Several species were or are on the brink of extinction.  However, strong will and action has improved the fate of several Rodriguan plants and animals that could have joined the Solitaire.

Dr Christine Griffiths from the Ebony Forest discussed the flora restoration work (weeding, planting) at Ebony Forest. The hope for the future and the need for community involvement. Christine also donated a number of endemic plants to the school including a Black Ebony plant, a Trochetia and a Barleria.

Dr Cláudia Baider showed the decline of native flora, using a few groups (orchids, ferns, etc) as an example, and illustrated how restoration can improve the situation.

Dr Vincent Florens from the University of Mauritius discussed two important issues:

a) The general biodiversity crisis worldwide and in Mauritius discussing why it matters, the underlying causes and the specific threats pushing biodiversity towards extinction and the corresponding response of conservationists, with a primary focus on invasive species impact and ecosystem restoration.

b) An illustration of a very topical conservation issue in Mauritius using the Mauritius flying fox as example, detailing with its importance, why mass-culling is an unbearably simplistic approach to solving the conflict with fruit growers and what the true solutions entail.


Our students:

Hemakshi Devi Romooah spoke about how social media can be used to send conservation messages.

Emilie Ah Hang outlined a project of educating children about the Echo Parakeet.

Tracy Armansin, our 3ème YouTuber showed us her video on the Ebony Forest and the Citadelle.

Ayesha Serally showed us how art can be used in the service of conservation.

Sania Uteem, Eliza Forget and Bruce Chong Hing Kive lead us on a journey from the formation of Mauritius till now following the path Trell Trell the Kestrel. They outlined a programme of tree planting at the school which we hope to put in place later this year.

Mathilde Vottero wrote a magnificent poem about saving our earth and the beautiful and unique species on our island. (Read the poem here)


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