03 Jun 2022
Rogers Group and Odysseo unite for marine conservation
Rogers Group and Odysseo have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the protection and regeneration of our marine ecosystems. Extending over two broad action categories, namely "Research and Impact" and "Tourism and Edutainment", this partnership aims to create sustainable and innovative practices in the region of Bel Ombre that can be replicated in other parts of the island.
Preserving what we already have, regenerating what we have lost, and making our marine ecosystems more resilient. These three pillars constitute the foundation upon which this MoU signed by the two parties is based. While it all started from the prospective idea of identifying possible synergies between the Rogers Group and Odysseo, this partnership quickly turned into a pooling of resources of the two stakeholders. On the one hand, Bel Ombre is a region that the Rogers Group is actively transforming into a local and regional benchmark of “Sustainable Art de Vivre”, where several initiatives have been undertaken for the protection of the lagoon since 2013. On the other hand, Odysseo has all the scientific expertise and know-how in terms of conservation of aquatic species and education on the contribution of oceans in the fight against global warming. The oceanarium, which houses nearly 200 aquatic species in its 45 aquariums, is also actively involved in the regeneration of corals.
“In the long run, all the research and implementation work that we undertake with Odysseo in Bel Ombre aims to create a pristine lagoon where the influence of our economic, conservation, and restoration activities have a positive impact on the marine biodiversity,” says Mehul Bhatt, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Executive at the Rogers Group.
To him, it is essential to shed light on the effects of climate change and land-based activities on lagoons, coral reefs, and subsequently, on the biodiversity they shelter. An impact not without consequences since the biodiversity of the oceans produces 50% of the oxygen on Earth and absorbs 30% of the planet's CO2, not to mention the contribution of our lagoons in terms of embellishment of our country.
Taking its educational mission very seriously, Odysseo wishes to share its knowledge and know-how with the Rogers Group to bring sustainable projects to fruition.
"The Territory of Bel Ombre is fully aligned with an integrated vision for the sustainable management of the “ridge to reef” Mauritian territory,” says Stéphane Robert, General Manager of Odysseo. “With Lamer. Later. Lavi., we discovered a real willingness from the Rogers Group to get involved in both terrestrial and marine conservation, making Bel Ombre the ideal place to jump-start our coral rehabilitation project,” he adds.
According to Stéphane Robert, the future of tourism and fishing, two major sectors of our economy as an island state, closely depends on the good health of our marine and coastal ecosystems. Stéphane Robert also confirms that it is becoming crucially important and urgent to work together to restore or maintain a healthy state of our natural spaces.
“Coral reef rehabilitation is part of the solution. However, this action loses all its meaning if it is not integrated into a visionary program that considers the interrelationships of the natural environment and the actors in the region concerned,” he states.
Beyond making the Bel Ombre lagoon a model of restored aquatic biodiversity, capable of being replicated in other lagoons around the island, this approach also aims to infuse an ecological and edutainment dimension into the tourist sector by offering visitors to Bel Ombre the opportunity to discover a preserved natural capital where they will be able to contribute significantly through impactful activities such as coral gardening.