Threats to environmentally sensitive areas from peri-urban expansion in Mauritius

Hammond, D.S., Gond, V., Baider, C., Florens, F.B.V., Persand, S., and Laurance, S.G.W. (2015) Threats to environmentally sensitive areas from peri-urban expansion in Mauritius. Environmental Conservation, 43. pp. 256-267.

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Abstract

Rapid population growth and economic change on the tropical islands of Mauritius have led to one of the highest rates of urban build-out in the world. Pressure on many of the island's natural features and resources increasingly risks further degradation to the environmental services that they provide to the country. Fourteen types of marine and terrestrial environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs) are critical to the nation's sustainable development. Twelve of these ESA types are currently at risk of degradation, owing to their spatial proximity to built-up areas (BUAs) and current use designation. There was a bimodal distribution in proximity; eight of the 12 ESA types analysed had an area-weighted modal peak < 500 m from the nearest BUA, and four ESAs had a modal peak 2–3 km from the nearest BUA. Six coastal and marine ESAs had limited protection from urban expansion and over-use. The Mauritian experience reflects trends that are emerging across many tropical developing countries, where the bulk of future global growth in urban area is expected to occur. The approach detailed in this case study is replicable and may be useful in assessing degradation risk as a result of urban expansion in other island countries.

Item ID: 38323
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-4387
Keywords: conservation; islands; environmentally sensitive areas
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2015 23:40
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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