GIS – 18 December 2015: The Roches Noires Caves Trail including a museum and a tree nursery, situated over five acres of land was inaugurated yesterday evening by the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, in the presence of the Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, Mr Jayeshwur Raj Dayal, and other eminent personalitites.
In his address, the Prime Minister stated that the Roches Noires Caves are a valuable asset to our natural heritage and also help to better understand the geology of Mauritius. The inauguration of this cave symbolises a new way to discover Mauritius, he said.
According to him, the Roches Noires Caves will give people in the region a new leisure, allow them to spend unforgettable moments with family as well as provide sporting opportunities in nature. It will also serve to promote eco-tourism and the study of caves.
This initiative will also help create jobs for guides and some twenty guides from the region have been trained by the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, underlined Sir Anerood Jugnauth. He stressed that for safety reasons, it is not advisable to visit the caves without being accompanied by a guide.
Moreover, he made a request to tour operators to make the most of the Roches Noires Caves and to organise outings for tourists so as to contribute to the economic progress of the country. This is consistent with my vision and my efforts to the creation of 100 000 jobs during the five years of my mandate, including 16 000 in the private, as proposed in the Economic Mission Statement, added the Prime Minister.
For his part, Minister Dayal recalled that some 200 caves have been listed in Mauritius and embellishment works in caves such as Twilight, Princess Margaret, Women's Cave, Pont Bon Dieu and also those in the region of Vacoas have been carried out by his Ministry to make those places more attractive and accessible to the public.
Ecotourism is an important issue at my Ministry, he said, adding that this is why a hiking trail 500 meters long has been created at Roches Noires Caves. He pointed out that an abandoned building has been transformed into a museum with the aim to raise awareness about the ecological importance of the caves.
Invasive plant species have been removed and thousands of endemic trees have been planted while preserving the natural character of the place, stated Mr Dayal.
My Ministry, he added, has embarked on a major project of Greening Mauritius so as to fight against the greenhouse effect and the global warming whose effects are already being felt in Mauritius.
Furthermore, he announced the intention of planting some 2 billion plants with the support of the citizens, the private sector and various ministries and in this context, a Master Plan is ready and will be implemented from January 2016, he added.
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