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Environmental Crime Legal Framework In Mauritius

The Constitution of the Republic of Mauritius (1968) does not specifically provide for environmental protection or management or sustainable development. However, The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development was created in 1992: And serves as the key institution responsible for environmental impact assessments. The National Network for Sustainable Development is chaired by the Minister of Environment and provides a forum for discussion with civil society, NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders.

Featured Legislation

1991: The Environment Protection Act was signed, providing for the protection and management of the environmental assets of Mauritius so that their capacity to sustain the society and its development remains unimpaired and to foster harmony between quality of life, environmental protection and sustainable development for the present and future generations.

1993: The Wildlife and National Parks Act was signed, providing for the protection of fauna and flora in Mauritius and related matters such as administration of wildlife resources and the creation of nature reserves.

2002: The Environment Protection Act was amended, serving as the country’s most comprehensive legislation which addresses environmental protection and management. The updated legislation places emphasis on the enforcement of administrative frameworks and details procedures for environmental impact assessments. The Act also establishes a National Environment Fund as well as an Environment Appeal Tribunal.

2002: The Beach Authority Act was brought into force. The legislation established a Beach Authority to provide for a legal framework for the management and control of public beaches in Mauritius.

2004: The Animal Diseases Act was introduced. ​​The Act consists of 23 sections, divided into 4 Parts: Preliminary (I); Importation of animals (II); Animal diseases in Mauritius (III); Miscellaneous (IV).

2005: The Environment Protection (Declaration of Environmental Laws) Regulations were drafted. These Regulations declare the enactments specified in the Schedule to these Regulations to be environmental legislation for the purposes of section 3 of the Environment Protection Act 2002. The list contains various Acts and Regulations relating to construction, water, noise prevention, waste prevention and disposal and environmental sanitation.

2011: The Piracy and Maritime Violence Act was adopted. This Act defines the act of piracy and of interference with safe navigation and confers powers of enforcement on police officers within and outside the waters of the Seychelles. It also concerns cooperation with other states in the framework of the Law of the Sea Convention, and defines the jurisdiction of courts in the Seychelles with respect to offences covered by this Act.

2013: The Mauritius Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Temporary Provisions) Act was created. This legislation provides for the setting up of an interim Management Committee of the Mauritius Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and defines the composition of the Committee. The Society was created by the Mauritius Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

2015: The Renewable Energy Agency Act was instituted. The Act establishes the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (Agency) as a body corporate, defines its functions and powers and provides with respect to its administration. The Agency shall, among other things: (a) advise the Minister on all matters relating to renewable energy policy and strategy; (b) every five years, elaborate a renewable energy strategic plan; and (c) establish the necessary mechanism and framework to increase the use of renewable energy.

2015: The Native Terrestrial Biodiversity and National Parks Act was enacted. The Act makes renewed provision for – (a) generally the protection of wild fauna and flora; (b) giving effect to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and any other biodiversity related Convention to which Mauritius is or may become a party; and (c) the identification, control and management of reserved lands and private reserves, and for related matters.

Featured Case Studies: Transnational Environmental Crime, Human Security, and Biosecurity

  • Mauritius has established an “environmental police" – also known as tourism police – to deal with the administration of criminal justice on environmental matters. The UN Environment, in partnership with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, is taking steps to support countries like Mauritius to mainstream course elements on environmental crimes, enhancing curricula of police and prosecutors to build capacity. Other training objectives include creating a pool of national trainers in order to improve intra and international coordination among agencies, and strengthening the environmental law program of the African Prosecutors Association. A sustainable training programme on environmental crime education has also been launched, enhancing the capacity of African police and prosecutors to handle environmental crimes rapidly and competently. Officials in Mauritius are calling for the improvement in cooperation between the police and prosecutorial authorities in the quality of investigation and prosecution. In Africa, most policies have not recognized the severity of environmental crime as part of the administration of criminal justice, erecting barriers for enforcement and compliance with environmental laws in Mauritius.

References and Further Reading


Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change: Tel: +(230) 203 6200, Email: