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The Forestry Sector is the most vulnerable land-based sector in Mauritius. It is expected that about 8,000 ha of the total area of 57,059 ha forest lands will be lost in the next two decades due to population growth and its effects on forest lands.

Changes in the agricultural sector is one of the issues that may affect the forestry sector, manly because of reduction of sugarcane lands and improved irrigation and dam constructions. It is also predicted that Natural Forests under private ownership would be lost as a result of increased pasture development for deer ranching, built-up areas and infrastructural development.

About one thousand hectares of privately owned Natural Forests would be acquired by the government to expand the existing National Park in 2020. The area of existing state owned native forests will remain more or less unchanged as they are legally protected and because of this, the native forests are generally not exploited for timber. Timber production will be carried out from forest plantations only. At present only 30% of the demand of utility timber is met from local production. The balance is imported mainly from Madagascar. All hard woods are imported. In the next two decades Mauritius will heavily depend on imports to meet the projected increase in demand.

One issue that have had a very beneficial impact on forests is the removal of import duty on cooking gas and this has made it accessible to virtually every household in Mauritius.

Close collaboration with the Forestry Service and the University is expected so that by 2020 some 50 highly endangered plants can be brought back from the brink of extinction.



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