Friends of the Environment is the only environmental organisation mainly focused on the restoration of very degraded landscapes in Mauritius. The Citadelle Native Re-vegetation Project, at the Petite-montagne, aims at restoring the hill with site specific native and endemic plants to create the first urban green space - a dry forest in the Capital city of Mauritius with a scientific evidence based approach.
The FoE is also dedicated to the renovation, rehabilitation, preservation and valorisation of national historical heritage sites namely the Martello Tower Museum at La Preneuse and the Jewish Detainees Memorial Centre at Saint-Martin.
Citadelle Native Re-vegetation Project
Dry tropical forests are perhaps the most endangered of tropical forest types as they are a lot more easier to clear. The dry forest growing on Petite-Montagne was cleared during the Fort construction during the 19th century. FoE undertook the restoration of the hill since 2006 and the project would create a unique feature on the island consisting of the first native dry forest cover surrounding a declared national heritage site in Mauritius with the full-scale restoration of the Petite-Montagne pristine vegetation.
Climate Change Mitigation Programme
Forest restoration programmes aren't just in the top 10, but are overwhelmingly the most powerful tool than any other climate change solutions proposed. Indeed, restoration through tree-planting has ‘mind-blowing potentials’ to tackle the climate change crisis and provide a wildlife sanctuary.
FoE believes that educating youngsters and the community is key to protect biodiversity as conservation is ultimately about people and its well being. Citizens are now more aware that Mauritius is at the forefront of biodiversity destruction with only 2 percent of native habitat left. Succeeding to rebuild and conserve biodiversity here can give hope and methods for other parts of the world where environmental loss is an issue.
National Heritage Sites
The FoE has renovated and now assume management of the Martello Tower Museum at La Preneuse. Since 2006, the FoE has worked on the ‘Restoration and valorisation of the Citadelle of Port-Louis’ with a team of experts.
The beneficiaries of our restoration programme are the communities living close to the restoration area with a broad spectrum of all social classes including groups under the social register of Mauritius (SRM) and the listed vulnerable groups as defined by the charter of the National CSR Foundation.
Friends of the Environment (FoE) is a non-profit organisation and was established in 1989. We work in close collaboration with the private sectors, governmental bodies, local groups and academic institutions in many spheres where the environment (Citadelle Native Re-vegetation Project) and national heritage sites (Martello Tower Museum) are concerned.
Citadelle Native Re-vegetation Project objectives are as follows:
Providing people a pleasant, stress-free environment to recharge from the bustling city life.
Showcase restoration feasibility on mainland Mauritius, to serve as an example for rehabilitating other ecologically degraded land.
Constitute a concrete example of action towards carbon sequestration, thereby mitigating the greenhouse effect and deleterious climate change.
Helping the conservation of unique Mauritian native wildlife by reconstituting a functional and self-sustaining ecosystem of native and endemic species.
Reducing fire risks, their frequency, intensity and severity as restored native vegetation of Mauritius are fire resistant.
Reducing soil erosion and landslide in Port-Louis.
Reducing flood risks which can be life threatening in Port-Louis.
Improving ecosystem services such as control of climate and disease and crop pollination that will benefit fruit growers of the region.
Educate and increase awareness about the main environmental challenges and corresponding solutions as Mauritius is among the most ecologically devastated country and currently listed as the 13th riskiest nation to live in according to the world risk index 2016.
FoE had a pivotal role for the ‘Restoration and Valorisation of the Citadelle of Port-Louis’ which is now serving as a platform for tourism, education and leisure purposes.
Restoration activities were extended to the reestablishment of the native vegetation of 2.5 hectares around the Fort, while preserving the historical value of this heritage site.
One Beat One Tree project where digital trees were grown during the PORLWI by nature festival. The digital trees represents a native tree that has been planted on our restoration sites.
We have renovated and now assumes the management of the Martello Tower Museum. Many similar projects are in the pipeline.
As a charitable and non-profit organisation, the Friends of the Environment NGO projects are mainly funded through CSR funds (Currimjee Foundation), Individual donations, Corporate donations (Move for Arts LTD) and the National CSR Foundation.