Rodrigues Ile-Bio: coconut oil as biofuel

9 years, 6 months ago - October 27, 2011
Rodrigues does not want to lag behind in terms of sustainable development and, as part of the Maurice Ile Durable project, is considering the implementation of numerous projects to become an organic island.

“We want to live green. The concept of Rodrigues Ile-Bio (Organic Island) can become a reality. Rodrigues has also started segregating waste and we are thinking of using biofuel such as coconut oil,” said minister Nicolas Von Mally.

Composting as alternative to chemical fertilisers will also be inculcated as a practice among Rodriguans in the coming days.

“Going green is not as hard as it seems. The idea of composting might look daunting, but it can actually be just as easy as throwing something in the trash,” he said.

The minister also said that botanical pesticides will be used instead of chemical pesticides. It should be noted that due to the small size of Rodrigues, implementation of projects is much faster than in Mauritius.

Some of the project proposals are the strengthening of the reforestation programme, effective management and enforcement of marine protected areas and the establishment of a gene bank to preserve local varieties of beans, chillies and lime.

According to Von Mally, living green does not have to be hard and it does not have to cost a lot either.

He highlighted that even though Rodrigues suffers from scarcity of water, people are able to rear livestock and grow food. “This is possible through rainwater harvesting. We, in Rodrigues, have learnt how to collect water on our roofs and use it for non-potable purposes,” he said.

He said that Rodrigues’ experience with managing scarce resources could be used by Mauritius that is facing water problems.

Von Mally also mentioned the success of renewable energy in Rodrigues where about 8 per cent of the annual energy production comes from wind.

MID steering committee president Osman Mahomed believes Rodrigues is an integral part of the MID project.

“The MID committee had a working session in Rodrigues, which has its own specifications in terms of climate and topography. All these will be taken into consideration while we put the action plan of MID in place. This will lead to energy conservation, reducing the country’s carbon footprint and encouraging ecological businesses and sustainable economic growth in Rodrigues,” he said.

Text by the Independent

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