Source: Pixabay

Many of us find ourselves confined at home again with new partial or total lockdowns. While this may lead to hectic times for some, it may also create opportunities for others to catch up with a variety of online professional development courses.

We have compiled a short list of interesting and free courses that many environmental professionals as well as educators, can find of value to their respective work.

1. National Geographic’s storytelling for impact courses

This series of self-paced courses for formal/informal educators and youth (ages 16–25) aims to help “visualize and communicate powerful stories that inspire change.” …


While the dodo bird is famous around the world, the island where it used to live is less known, particularly in the Americas, Caribbean and Oceania regions. Many Mauritians can relate to these interesting conversations about Mauritius that one experience as you meet and talk with people from different corners of the globe:

“I’m Mauritian…No I’m not from Mauritania but Mauritius, the island”

“Yes it is an African country…an island in South Western Indian Ocean…about 800 km East of Madagascar…Oh, you also don’t know where Madagascar is found?

And more than once, I’ve found myself drawing imaginary lines in the…


Invasive introduced species, are today the biggest threats to Mauritian biodiversity, including its unique forest ecosystems and associated wildlife.

While a quarter of the island is considered forested, only about 5% of the land area is actually composed of native forests, with the rest being plantations and scrublands.

Besides being highly fragmented, these remnants of natural forest are dominated by invasive plants such as the strawberry guava (locally known as ‘Goyaves de Chine’), which are effectively taking over and replacing native plants, and consequently the many animal species that depend on them.

Several studies on the impact of invasive plants…


In ‘forest restoration’ and tree planting initiatives, there is often emphasis on the number of trees planted or to be planted. But it does not matter if 100 or one million trees are planted, if eventually none of them or only a small percentage survive. These numbers also do not help make a case for nature-based approaches if evidence on the benefits are not well documented and strategically communicated.

Tree planting can provide multiple benefits. These include improvement of air and soil quality, biodiversity enhancement, carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change, protection from rapid onset disasters and much more.

However…


Source: Pixabay

Lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has prompted many organisations and individuals to re-think how they practice daily activities and adapt to a virtual environment.

For conservationists and also nature lovers, being mostly confined at home limits active involvement in biodiversity conservation and options to be outdoors in nature.

Along this line, a regional leg of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) recently held a webinar for members from the Eastern and Southern African region to discuss behaviour change and the adoption of environmental-friendly habits. The discussions and tips shared provided an opportunity to reflect on our own…


Meet one of the world’s rarest plant

In the span of 380 years of human colonisation, which amount to less than 0.005 % of its age geologically, the island of Mauritius went from being completely covered with forests to now having only about 5 % of the original forest remaining. Concurrently, the island lost hundreds of species including the famous dodo.

Engraving showing Dutch activities on the shore of Mauritius in 1598 when it was still in pristine state| John Theodore and John Isreal De Bry| Wikimedia Commons

I would like to think that I am not the only one who sometimes have an active imagination when standing on Mauritian soil and try to picture how things once were and looked. I live in the region where…


Originally published in February 2019 on conservationbytes

The island of Mauritius is known, particularly in the conservation circle, for the ill-fated dodo and its conservation success stories, which include the recovery of iconic avian species such as the Mauritius kestrel (Falco punctatus) and the Pink pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri) which were near extinction several decades ago.

However, behind this veil of achievements, local political realities is increasingly making the protection and management of Mauritian biodiversity more challenging as new issues emerge.

Emergence of human-wildlife conflict

In the midst of the third government-led mass cull of the Endangered Mauritian flying fox (Pteropus niger) in 2018, a…

Fabiola Monty

African. Mauritian. A voice for nature. Words on the natural world, sustainability, Mauritian culture & history.

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