Mauritius Minister for Tourism Michael Sik Yuen was at hand as guest of honour when Skal International, through Skal Mauritius President Suzy Edouard announced the honour 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 years Skal Award listings, located at the La Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes on the island of Rodrigues.
Established in 1985 already 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 projects aims is to restore a piece of what once was 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.
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