GIS – 14 October 2014: In the context of the Clean and Green Mauritius Programme, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Mauritius Prisons Service signed, yesterday afternoon in Port Louis, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the setting up of plant production nurseries in the prisons compound and the manufacture of cloth bags by inmates.
The MOU was endorsed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Premhans Jhugroo, and the Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jean Bruneau, in the presence of the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Devanand Virahsawmy.
In his address, Minister Virahsawmy recalled that Government has embarked on an ambitious project for the planting of 200 000 trees across the island over a two-year period. The Ministry has, since January this year been implementing, under the Clean and Green Mauritius Programme, a national tree planting for clean air campaign.
The objective is to embellish the natural landscape of Mauritius by planting some 200 000 trees including endemic, flowering and fruit trees throughout the country by 2015. As at date, the Ministry has planted and distributed some 67 000 trees. Moreover, some 37 000 medicinal plants and some 26 000 decorative plants have been distributed in the context of the on-going Clean and Green campaign.
According to the Minister, with the additional support of the Forestry Department for the supply of 20 000 trees and 10 000 seedlings which will be grown by the Mauritius Prisons Service, the aim now is to bring to 80 000 the number of trees planted and distributed by the end of the year.
For his part, Mr. Bruneau said that the nurseries for the plant production will be set up at Melrose prison and that inmates will be involved in the manufacture of cloth bags and the production of flower pots.
The manufacturing of cloth bags by the Mauritius Prisons Service is in line with the zero plastic strategy of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, which aims at reducing the use of plastic materials in particular plastic carry bags. This initiative will also give detainees the opportunity to serve the community, the Commissioner of Prisons pointed out.
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