(eTN) – The Mauritius Minister for Tourism, Michael Sik Yuen, was at hand as guest of honor when Skal International, through Skal Mauritius President Suzy Edouard, announced the honor of being selected as recipient of the Asia Environment Award 2012. The “Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve Project” was emerging as simply the best in this year’s Skal Award listings, located at the La Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes on the island of Rodrigues.
Established in 1985, and now 27 years in existence, the ecotourism and conservation project has, since its establishment, added over 120,000 indigenous plants and trees to the estate, brought 553 tortoises to the reserve, and has seen well over 300 young ones hatch and develop on site, not a mean task considering that the areas is mainly composed of limestone underground. One of the project’s aims is to restore a piece of what used to be an indigenous tropical forest to showcase to visitors and locals what once was, and what needs conservation and care to retain for future generations.
Alongside the event was reportedly a one-day conservation and tourism conference held at Hotel Voila Bagatelle to not only celebrate the award but to map out future plans of yet more conservation projects, which can be used as an eco-tourism resource. Hearty congratulations on this accomplishment to the Skalleagues in Mauritius and the resort’s Director, Owen Griffiths, and his entire staff.