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Vallée de Ferney accelerates its conservation efforts with the support of CEPF

Ferney achieves a crucial milestone in its mission to protect the biodiversity of the Vallée de Ferney. The proposed project, implemented by the teams of Ferney Ltd and the Vallée de Ferney

Conservation Trust, aims to mitigate the impact of climate change and has received financial support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). With a grant of Rs 13 million (284,022.73 USD) over three years, Ferney can pursue an ambitious project to enhance the climate resilience of the entire area surrounding the Nyon River. This project includes the restoration of degraded forests, reforestation of pasture areas, and the establishment of an agroecological farm closely linked to the community. The grant agreement between Ferney Ltd and CEPF was signed on November 15 at the offices of FORENA (Foundation Resources and Nature), the representative of CEPF in Mauritius within the regional consortium comprising the islands of the Indian Ocean.

Strengthening the ecosystems

According to Jean Noel Wong of CIEL Properties, the award of this unique grant marks a significant step forward for environmental protection in Mauritius.

It allows Ferney to continue implementing its long-term vision for strengthening the ecosystems of this region of high environmental value,” he said. ”
Our project is driven by an innovative approach combining conservation, sustainable agriculture, and community resilience. It is fully aligned with the CIEL group’s sustainable development strategy. We thank CEPF for helping us restore the unique nature of the Southeast of the island, of which we are partly stewards.

Ferney is the very first recipient of a “Large Grant” from CEPF for the 2022-2027 funding cycle, explained Manoj Vaghjee, president of FORENA. “After a rigorous process by CEPF, Ferney was chosen because it has already begun significant work in an area deemed a priority for CEPF, one of the ‘Key Biodiversity Areas’ of Mauritius identified within the regional Biodiversity Hotspot. Ferney’s projects will also create employment and enable skills development, an important criterion for the organization. More than just a funder, we want to be a true partner for project leaders protecting biodiversity and those aiming to facilitate climate change adaptation. We will accompany Ferney throughout these three years to contribute to the success of its projects.

The CEPF, a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, and the World Bank, aims to support biodiversity by empowering civil society in transitioning economies to protect biodiversity hotspots, which are among the most biologically rich terrestrial ecosystems, yet


With CEPF support, Ferney strengthens the resilience of natural habitats crucial for native flora and fauna, which are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, while encouraging active engagement of local communities. The project focuses on three major axes:

  1. Restoration of 20 hectares of degraded forests in the Vallée de Ferney and reforestation of 10 hectares of its pastures (formerly covered by forests).
  2. Creation of an agroecological farm.
  3. Dissemination of knowledge and best practices related to the first two axes.

The first initiative aims to eliminate invasive species and introduce pioneer species such as “Harungana madagascariensis” and “Leea Guineensis” to stimulate natural regeneration. Ten hectares are allocated to reforestation, thereby enhancing local biodiversity. The second aspect, the agroecological farm, aims to train farmers from neighboring villages to regenerate up to two hectares of land by 2026 within the Ferney Agri Hub. This initiative seeks to create a symbiosis between trees and crops, providing ecological, economic, and social benefits. It particularly emphasizes the involvement of women in the Vieux Grand Port region, strengthening the autonomy of local agri-entrepreneurs. The Ferney Agri Hub currently hosts a dozen agri-entrepreneurs dedicated to sustainable agriculture.

The Vallée de Ferney Conservation Trust, established in 2007 through a partnership between the CIEL Group and the Mauritian government, already collaborates closely with the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation (MWF) for the conservation and reintroduction of endemic species in the valley and the Bambou mountain range. With this new funding, a new collaboration with the NGO Nature Yetu, based in Mahébourg, is taking shape. The NGO brings expertise and experience in conservation and restoration practices. This partnership also contributes to communication and the dissemination of best practices, involving academics, ecosystem specialists, and students.

Ferney, at the heart of the CIEL Group’s sustainable strategy

The Ferney Estate covers 3,100 hectares, including over 1,500 hectares of forests and more than 1,000 hectares of agricultural land. Through the Vallée de Ferney Conservation Trust, the CIEL Group has actively contributed over the past two decades to the conservation of this diverse and vital ecosystem by replanting over 35,000 endemic trees and reintroducing plant and animal species on the brink of extinction. This conservation effort aligns perfectly with its overall sustainability strategy, one of whose three pillars is “Activate Climate Response.” CIEL’s ambition is to make Ferney a benchmark for sustainable development, an eco-responsible living destination, and an outstanding eco-touristic site.

The signing of the grant agreement between CEPF and Ferney Ltd represents a joint commitment to biodiversity preservation, the promotion of sustainable agriculture, and the strengthening of community resilience. It marks a significant step toward a long-term vision for the regeneration and enhancement of the natural ecosystems of the region, ensuring a greener and more sustainable future for the area and its residents.

About CEPF

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, and the World Bank. It was established in 2000 to support biodiversity, essential for human survival, by empowering civil society in developing countries and transitioning economies to protect global biodiversity hotspots, which are among the most biologically rich terrestrial ecosystems, yet threatened. Mauritius is part of the Biodiversity Hotspot MADIO (Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands), which also includes Madagascar, Comoros, and Seychelles. Locally, Ferney falls within the “Key Biodiversity Area” of the Bambou chain, classified as a priority by CEPF. The current funding emphasizes Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) to climate change.

CEPF is represented in Mauritius by FORENA, which is part of a regional consortium (RIT) led by IUCN NL to support beneficiaries of the MADIO Biodiversity Hotspot (Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands).

About CIEL Limited

CIEL is an international Mauritian group, listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, and present in six sectors of activity (Textile, Financial Services, Health, Hospitality, Real Estate and Agro) and more than 10 countries in Africa and Asia. The Group employs 37,500 employees.


Ferney’s projects will also create employment and enable skills development


The Foundation for Resources and Nature (FORENA) is a non-governmental organization based in Mauritius, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of biodiversity and fragile ecosystems that enrich Mauritius.

About Vallée de Ferney Conservation Trust

The Vallée de Ferney Conservation Trust is a public-private partnership working for the Ferney Valley and the Bambou mountain range in the southeast of Mauritius. It aims to restore the ecosystem, including plants critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable, according to IUCN.

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