Today saw the official opening of Reunion Island’s first National Park, which covers nearly 50 per cent of the islands interior. This includes the spectacular primary forest of Bébour-Bélouve.
Currently under consideration to become a World Heritage Site, IUCN’s Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, joined local dignitaries for the official opening of the park.
Set amongst the tree covered mountain interior, the park stretches across the craters of now dormant volcanoes.
The official opening of the park coincides with the top level summit on Strategies to Counter Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss in EU Overseas Entities and Small Island States, which is being held on Reunion Island this week.
Around 300 participants from the meeting joined local guides to walk through the impressive forests that lie between 800 and 1300 meters above sea level.
Julia Marton-Lefévre explained why this is such an important event for IUCN