AD214: ‘Paradise is getting rocky’: Mauritians see climate change as threat to quality of life

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Dispatches
2018
214
Thomas Isbell and Sadhiska Bhoojedhur

For Mauritius, the small island nation that Mark Twain referred to as the model for heaven, rising temperatures and rising sea levels can mean a host of threats, from more severe cyclones and floods to deterioration of coral reefs and beach erosion – an already-occurring phenomenon that the environment minister summed up this way: “Paradise is getting rocky” (Financial Times, 2017).

The government has been vocal about climate change and its potential consequences for the island’s all-important tourism industry, plant life, even physical safety (Commonwealth, 2017; Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, 2018; Mauritius Meteorological Services, 2018). Mauritius was one of the first countries to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and has worked to incorporate climate-change policies into its development strategies (Republic of Mauritius, 2016). 

How do ordinary Mauritians see climate change? According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, a majority of Mauritians have heard of climate change and think it is making life worse in Mauritius. A majority attribute climate change to human activity and think ordinary Mauritians can help fight it.

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