When most people try to visualize the “Sea” they envisage large marine expanses, and their underwater ecosystems. Until recently, the Sea Around Us project (SAUP) was way offshore, too. Yet, the sea also includes the coast – where the land meets the sea and where one finds some of the world’s most productive marine areas such as reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds. Coastal areas are of great importance to fisheries, not to mention tourism, aquaculture, transportation and gas and oil.
The Republic of Mauritius consists of a main island, Mauritius (20º17’ S, 57º33 E), and a group of small islands in the South West Indian Ocean namely Rodrigues, the Cargados Carajos, Agalega, Tromelin and the Chagos Archipelago. The total land area amounts to 2040 km2 whilst the marine exclusive economic zone covers an area of about 1.9 M km2 extending from 100 S to 200 S and from longitude 550 E to 750 E.
Major tourism impact in the physical alteration and destruction of habitats is mostly due to the tourism operation, rather than building of tourism infrastructures. The major degrading tourism activities are building in sand dunes and in mangrove swamps, and driving in coastal dunes. The major areas affected by tourism are the southern part of Mozambique, in the parabolic dune environment. Mangrove destruction is mostly due to urban expansion.
The United Nations Environment Programme as the Secretariat of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) established the GPA Coordination Office in The Hague, The Netherlands after the adoption of the GPA in Washington D.C. in 1995.
This report presents an assessment of the social and economic importance of three priority activities contributing to physical alteration and destruction of habitats (PADH) within the coastal and marine environments on the well-being of countries in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. These activities include:
The Global Programmes Action of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/GPA) Coordination Office in The Hague, The Netherlands, coordinates the tasks and activities of UNEP as secretariat of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from land-based Activities. This GPA was adopted by 108 Governments, including Tanzania, and the European Commission in Washington D.C. in 1995.