Mauritius PM blocks road threatening endangered forest
November 7, 2005
Work started last year to build a highway through Ferney Valley, primarily to service the island’s lucrative tourism industry, but environmentalists say it would wipe out flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world.
“I visited Ferney Valley last week and it was clear that we must at all costs stop construction,” he told a news conference to mark his Social Alliance party’s first 100 days in power.
“lt would have been an incredible ecological disaster,” he added.
The project to build a 25-km (16-mile) road through Ferney Valley, a thick canopy of lush vegetation, was being funded with a $19 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The road was intended to cut travelling time from the airport to east-coast resorts for the thousands of tourists who flock to Mauritius’ palm-fringed beaches every year.
Along with textiles manufacturing and sugar, tourism is one of the main pillars of the Mauritian economy.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE