A one-day validation workshop focusing on the Beach Management Plan for public beaches was held today at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava. This initiative of the Beach Authority aims to ensuring a systematic and integrated approach in the management of public beaches. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr N. Soobratty and other personalities were present on the occasion.

In his address, Mr Soobratty highlighted that the Beach Management Plan is a new vision for a greener, cleaner and safer public beaches in line with Government Programme 2015-2019. He underlined that for Small Islands Developing States like Mauritius, public beaches are important aspects of the country's ecosystem and play a major role in its economic development. The tourism sector, he said, contributes 8.5% to the Gross Domestic Product and the development of the coast will further contribute to the economy.

Moreover, he pointed out that the Beach Management Plan is of vital importance as it provides a framework and guidance for better decision making as regards to management and upgrading of public beaches over the long term and also help achieve sustainable development. The Plan will contribute significantly to transform public beaches into entertaining spots through strategic planning and development.

Mr Soobratty called on the population to recognise the need to protect, conserve and preserve the public beaches in the face of climate change and industrialisation.

For his part, the General Manager of Beach Authority, Mr D. Bissessur, highlighted that the country is privileged to have inherited idyllic beaches and that it is imperative to preserve them and leave this legacy to the future generations.

He recalled that the services of Mega Design Ltd was enlisted in December 2016 to prepare the Beach Management Plan. Currently, there are 126 and 12 public beaches in Mauritius and Rodrigues, respectively and the project will initially cover six public beaches based on specificities and geographical considerations, namely Mont Choisy, Flic en Flac, Belle Mare, Pereybere, P.G Union Ribet and La Prairie, he underlined.

The objective of the validation workshop, highlighted Mr Bissessur, is to implement recommendations relating amongst others to mitigating the effects of global warming and climate change on public beaches; and infrastructural development and upgrading of public beaches which includes the provisions of various facilities and amenities such as beach trader's zones, food courts, camping zones, vigilance towers and swimming zones, enhancing landscaping and visual aesthetics of public beaches, harmonise beach activities, and ensuring security and safety of users.

Other ongoing projects of the Beach Authority include the construction of retaining wall at Grand Gaube public beach; the upgrading of toilet blocks at La Preneuse and Pointe des Lascars; the provision of solar lighting on public beaches; and the construction of parking area at Pomponette public beach.

Source: Government of Mauritius