GIS - July 02, 2012: The National Heritage Fund (NHF), which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Arts and Culture, signed on 29 June two agreements with Friends of Environment and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. The ceremony was held in Port Louis in the presence of the Minister Arts and Culture, Mr. Mookhesswur Choonee.
The agreement with Friends of Environment is related to the management of the Martello Tower Museum at La Preneuse whereas that with Mauritian Wildlife Foundation pertains to the protection, maintenance and restoration of the fauna and flora on Ile de La Passe.
The main objectives of NHF are to safeguard, manage and promote the national heritage of Mauritius; and preserve the national heritage sites as a source of material for scientific and cultural investigation and as an enduring basis for the purpose of development, leisure, tourism and enjoyment of present and future generations worldwide.
The Martello Tower which accommodates a museum was renovated some 15 years ago at the initiative of the NGO Friends of Environment. Since then, it has been managed by that NGO. The first management contact between the NHF and the Friends of Environment was signed in 2000 and has been renewed regularly. The present agreement which expired last month is being renewed for a further period of three years.
Ile de la Passe, on the other hand, has a glorious history linked to the Naval Battle of Grand Port, and is also rich in biodiversity in terms of native/endemic seabirds, land birds, reptiles and native plants. Accordingly, under the agreement, valid for five years, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has agreed to collaborate with the NHF to protect, maintain and restore the fauna and flora on the island.
According to Minister Choonee, the partnership between Government and the private sector is essential for the successful implementation of several projects in Mauritius. The country needs the help of one and all to protect its heritage, he said. On that score, he announced that Government is intently working to propose Ile de la Passe as a potential candidate for the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Minister made an appeal to the public to keep Mauritius clean and not to spoil its beauty by littering.