The Republic of Mauritius, being vulnerable to impacts of climate change, is highly dedicated to systematic observation of climate data and has shown keen interest in related research. It is to be noted that the first climate observation in this part of the world was made in Mauritius in 1774. As a result, a broad understanding of climate processes over and around Mauritius has emerged.

Local scientists are actively participating in international activities to fullfill the commitments of the country towards the implementation of the Climate Change Convention and related programmes. Mauritius is fully involved in the activities of the following bodies:

There are well-established institutions to cater for research on the science of climate change. Studies are under way to address issues such as the GHG inventory, impacts and adaptation of vulnerable sectors.


Mauritius maintains a network of meteorological stations in the region. Observations are also received from ships, aircraft and drifting buoys. Other climatological observations are also made in the private sector on a voluntary basis. The National Meteorological Services maintain a well-organized data bank, which is easily accessible for research purposes.

An extensive network of hydrometric observations exists to monitor closely water resources and requirements.

A well-established system to record and analyse variations in crop productivity in relation to microclimates exists.

Variations in sea level are monitored from data collected at two stations, one in Mauritius and the other in Rodrigues. Observations on waves and sea surface temperature are made regularly. Seawater quality and the state of the reefs are also monitored.

The Central Statistical Office is responsible for keeping a data bank on socio-economic sectors. Monthly records of all disease occurrences are also kept.


The following institutions are involved in research on climate change issues:


Research have been under way for some time and is continuing on the following aspects:

The modelling approach was used by the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute to assess the vulnerability of the sugar cane crop to climate change without catering for CO2 fertilization effects. The calibrated model was run for different sites to choose one representative of the island’s productivity. Four GCM outputs for the region with different combinations of rainfall and temperature increments were used with daily meteorological data of the chosen site to create the scenarios.

The study revealed within its limits than sugar production was very vulnerable to climate changes. Production decreased by 32-57% with the GCM scenarios and from 3-81% with the incremental scenarios. The reductions resulted mainly from lower water use efficiencies and more than 20% rainfall was needed to offset a 2°C rise in temperature. 

A new technique called Aerial videotape–assisted vulnerabiltiy analysis (AVVA), as recommended by the US country studies programme, has been used to prepare maps of the coatal geomorphology of Mauritius. It involves videotaping the coastline from a small plane at very low elevation. The AVVA approach is a quick, useful and cost effective tool for determining the impact of sea-level rise on coastal resources. The technique uses detailed field data to identify land and infrastructure that are at risk and determine adaptation measures.

The coastline of Mauritius has been videotaped from a helicopter flying obliquely at an elevation of 30 to 50 m. The video film has been analysed and using the method provided on the Guideline for Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment on coastal classification geomorphology (types of beaches and coastal low use) has been prepared.

Three adaptive options, namely irrigation, a change in variety type and a change in harvest date were evaluated using the modelling approach under GCM scenarios.

The adoption of irrigation mitigated all impacts of climate change while a change in harvest date had no effect under the present production system. However, there could be beneficial production with the combination of irrigation adoption and a change in harvest date. The change in varieties showed that the genetic potential exists but will have to be incorporated in new varieties to tolerate changes.

Additional amounts of water needed for the adoption of irrigation, will range from 319 to 396 Mm3 according to the different GCM scenarios. Hydrologically, this will be possible but will be very costly in terms of extension of infrastructure and additional water storage capacity.

Four Profiles on the western coast at Flic-Flac, were surveyed and changes in the shoreline between 1975 and 1996 were estimated, using aerial photographs and site survey in 1996.
Profile No
Changes in m
Rate of 
erosion (m/year)
No 1
No 2 (about 0.5 km from No 1)
No 3 (about 0.5 km from No 4)
No 4




More comprehensive research is required on the following:


Proper data organization is vital to address climate change issues. The present set up does not fulfill these requirements and there is a need to centralize all climate change related data. The location of such an important data bank should rest with the Central Statistical Office.


There is an urgent need for training so as to enable the adoption of the appropriate approach for research.