Why did you start a new NGO?
It was never our intention to start a new NGO. We recognised our common passion to protect the marine environment around Mauritius while working together for Reef Conservation Mauritius. In the winter of 2008, the founding President of Reef, Iain Watt, and two key workers moved on to pastures new. While patient with the organisation as it passed through a painful transition period, we finally concluded that Reef had lost its way and was no longer a vehicle through which we could act effectively.
Hence, somewhat reluctantly, we founded We Love Mauritius at the beginning of 2009. However, we both remain committed members of Reef and continue to help them with their Fixed Mooring Buoy Project and others as requested. We wish Reef well and trust that we can collaborate on projects in the future.
Are you really called “We Love Mauritius”?
Technically no. The name “We Love Mauritius” was not acceptable to Companies Division and so the company we have founded is registered as WeLuvMu. However, We Love Mauritius is the day-to-day operational name of our NGO.
Why are you concerned about social justice?
Our concept of social justice goes hand-in hand with environmental stewardship. Humanity has a self-evident, individual and collective drive to improve its standard of living. Naturally, we have followed the easiest path to achieve this by extracting, storing and consuming Earth’s finite resources and disposing of our wastes in land, air and sea. It is now obvious to most of us that this process is not sustainable.
Many of our activities and our accumulated wastes are degrading the very ecological systems that we rely on to sustain us. In addition, competition for dwindling resources is resulting in conflict and even greater ecosystem degradation. It is becoming increasingly clear that the path we are following is leading us towards human and environmental catastrophe.
The only solution is to encourage everybody to move towards higher quality lifestyles in harmony with Earth’s self-renewing processes. Hence, for us, social justice is equivalent to enlightened self-interest on a global scale. Environmental stewardship is both the means and the end.