Carrying Capacity Study of La Digue-Increase in housing, tourism projects raises environmental concerns


01-March-2013

A partial view of the audience at the meeting

The study, which was presented to members of the La Digue Board and the Diguois community during a public meeting at the weekend, also revealed that employment in tourism is a real challenge for tourism establishments on the island and that there is the need to monitor the number of visitors to the island.

The meeting, held at the La Digue community centre, was also attended by stakeholders from the government and the civil society and the residents.

The study, which was one of the projects financed by the La Digue Board for 2012, was done by Marquise David, economic and tourism consultant, and Iris Richter, land use and environment consultant. It aims at establishing the current development status of the island and defining the acceptable amount of change of certain parameters in view of achieving sustainable development.

From November last year to February 2013, the two consultants visited and questioned the Diguois, tourism operators, government institutions and private companies on various issues affecting them like tourism densification, tourism and employment, tourism and cultural identity, utilities, transport and terrestrial environment.

The two consultants also presented a number of recommendations of the study to the residents. One of the recommendations which was welcomed by the residents was that no further development of tourism accommodation should be considered until the end of 2015.

The recommendations will be presented to the cabinet of ministers for approval.

During the meeting, La Digue Board chairman Barry Faure also presented the board’s 2012 report, which contains projects planned and implemented in 2012.
The report also highlights the new mandate of the board following the phasing out of the La Digue Development Fund. 

Mr Faure highlighted the new role of the board, which is now to safeguard the interest of the community in terms of policy and development.
Residents were particularly concerned about flooding, the drainage system and the frequent electricity disruption on the island.

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