The British High Commission has been greatly saddened and concerned by the recent events around the grounding of the MV Wakashio bulk carrier and the subsequent oil spill in the lagoon. Our thoughts are very much with the people of Mauritius at this difficult time, especially those directly affected by the oil spill. We pay tribute to the thousands of volunteers who have donated countless hours to contain the spill. This effort has shown to the world that Mauritius can do great things in the face of adversity.
The United Kingdom has been in constant contact with the authorities since the oil spill. A leading British oil spill expert has been on the ground with the UN team advising the local authorities since the early days of this crisis. A team of scientists are currently in Mauritius to work with the authorities.
We are also concerned by the severe impact this accident will have on the rich ecosystem and biodiversity, including on the islet of Ile aux Aigrettes. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) has been doing some fantastic conservation work on this natural reserve for more than 30 years. We have been proud to support the work of the MWF over many years.
To address the numerous challenges that lie ahead in order to save the unique environment of Ile aux Aigrettes, the British High Commission is pleased to announce that it will provide £10,000 to the MWF. These funds will help to protect 4,000 endemic plants that have been transferred from Ile aux Aigrettes to another location until conditions allow their return.
On announcing this donation, British High Commissioner Keith Allan said:
“The UK stands with Mauritius in the wake of this devastating oil spill and environmental disaster. We are working closely with the local authorities but also want to assist the NGOs who are playing such an important role in protecting this unique environment. I have visited Ile aux Aigrettes many times and my daughter has volunteered on the island.
“I know what a very special place this is. I am delighted that we are able to offer this support to the MWF. We will continue to work with the Mauritian authorities to provide further assistance.”
Read the original advice at Foreign Travel Advice (UK)