Mauritius in World’s Ten Best Ethical Destinations for 2015
Also, Mauritius established fishing reserves and marine parks and has instigated a community-based coral farming program to combat the loss of reefs. (Image: Ethical Traveler)
Mauritius is ranked highest among the Sub-Saharan African region regarding the environmental protection aspect, according to the World’s Ten Best Ethical Destinations 2015 report in which the island appears yet again.
The complete list for 2015 (in alphabetical order) includes Cabo Verde, Chile, Dominica, Lithuania, Mauritius, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Uruguay, and Vanuatu. Ethical Traveler does not rank the countries within the top 10.
The 2015 report welcomes three countries, which were not in the 2014 list, namely Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
This 2015 list of top ten countries is a survey of developing nations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe to identify the world’s best travel and tourism destinations.
Ethical Traveler conducted this survey by focusing on four categories: environmental protection, social welfare, human rights and animal welfare.
Information sources from Freedom House, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Reporters Without Borders, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank and LGBT resources helped to prepare the top ten list for 2015.
“Each place selected as a Best Ethical Destination also offers unspoiled natural beauty, great outdoor activities and the opportunity to interact with local people and cultures in a meaningful, mutually enriching way,” the report outlined.
Each country’s level of environmental protection is assessed on environmental health, preservation of resources and cultivation of beneficial, sustainable practices.
On the environmental protection level, Mauritius is ranked highest among the Sub-Saharan African region although the island was outstripped by Chile.
The Indian Ocean island already has a rich, diverse flora of more than 670 species of flowering plants, of which more than 300 are endemic, and it is embarked on a campaign to plant 200,000 trees by the end of 2014.
Also, Mauritius established fishing reserves and marine parks and has instigated a community-based coral farming program to combat the loss of reefs.
Chile score the highest mark regarding the environmental aspect because of the first carbon tax in South America, which has been approved by Chile, due to take effect in 2018 and designed to cover about 55% of the nation’s carbon emissions.
However, the report mentioned that it is the latest in a series of measures the government has implemented in its effort to move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy, with a goal of getting 20% of its electricity in this manner by 2025.
Concerning social services, Mauritius is considered as the only African country that has comprehensive income security programs for citizens over 60.
Besides, the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index found that Mauritius and Cabo Verde had the highest scores in the African region.
Being eighth on the list, Mauritius is doing especially well-beating out, astonishingly, both the United States and the United Kingdom.
In regards to human rights, Mauritius, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu follow with the second highest score.
“These countries are beacons that we hope other developing countries will follow. Mauritius, for instance, was ranked first for the eighth consecutive year in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, while Uruguay has consistently remained one of South America’s human rights leaders,” the report noted.
Additionally, Mauritius still have outdated laws that penalize same-sex relations and it was not disqualified because these laws are very rarely enforced.
Concerning animal welfare, the island has to make visible improvements in animal welfare in order to stay in the 2015 list due to lack of progress in protecting native monkeys from capture and export to animal-testing facilities in the West.
Finally, the report highlighted that all countries, even those figuring in this year’s winners, face serious challenges that they must address to continue moving forward.
No Asian country qualified for the list because human rights are violated, lack of social protection and non- respect for animals.