Interview: Mauritius' Scientist President Urges Protection of Ocean Ecosystem
An internationally renowned scientist, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim became Mauritius's sixth president on June 5, 2015 - and one of the few Muslim women heads of state in the world.
Her nomination constituted a major event in the island's quest for greater gender parity and women's empowerment, giving a higher profile to women in the public and democratic sphere of Mauritius.
Gurib-Fakim started her career in 1987 as a lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius. She was one of the leading figures in local academia with a reputation far beyond the Indian Ocean before she accepted the post of president.
She has also served in different capacities in numerous local, regional and international organizations. Gurib-Fakim has lectured extensively and authored or co-edited 26 books and numerous academic articles on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
In this exclusive interview with IPS, President Gurib-Fakim urged world leaders to save our oceans, noting that this critical ecosystem impacts millions of livelihoods, particularly for small island-states and coastal communities.
Cheikh Saya Diop/WIPO