Message on Oil Spill Damage in Mauritius

September 2, 2020

The ocean is home for marine wildlife and an indispensable life support system for mankind. I would like to express my sympathy to those who are suffering from the oil spills that occurred earlier this month in Mauritius and echo others’ appreciation to all those who are undertaking recovery works. Mauritius is known as a country of natural treasures. Its coastal and marine ecosystems are important sources of food and income for many fishermen and local villagers. Its pristine lagoons, beaches, wildlife and ocean are a renowned attraction for tourists from around the world. 

The Wakashio, a cargo ship owned by a company registered in Panama, chartered and operated by Japanese companies, was sailing from China to Brazil with a captain and crews from India, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, when it ran ashore off the southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25, 2020, and broke apart. It soon began leaking a thousand tons of oil on August 6, that devastated marine and shore areas of Mauritius.

In response to the declaration of a state of environmental emergency announced by the government of Mauritius on August 7, the government of Japan joined forces with the government and people of France, India, and others to dispatch two international disaster relief teams with supplies of absorbents and protective clothes to assist the government and people of Mauritius in cleaning up the oil spill and tackling this challenge. 

The Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, in close collaboration with The Nippon Foundation, intends to undertake research and information sharing with Mauritian partners that will support local stakeholders in the recovery of marine and shore areas devastated by the oil spill, assisting those who suffer from ecological and socio-economic damages, monitoring the impacts and restoration of marine and coastal ecosystems, and preventing the recurrence of such disasters. 

We reiterate our sympathy and encouragement to the government and people of Mauritius, support their undertaking to overcome this challenge, and will work to mobilize international support to recover a pristine and sustainable ocean in Mauritius. 


Atsushi Sunami
President, Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF)
President, Ocean Policy Research Institute of SPF
August 31, 2020
 

Please direct all inquiries to:
Media Relations Division, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
Email: spfpr@spf.or.jp

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