"We need to protect our oceans as if our lives depend on it - because they do." - Sylvia Earle
We would like to introduce Dr Kamla Ruby Moothien Pillay, the Director of Mauritius Oceanography Institute, a passionate explorer of the undersea world. With a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Madras (India), Dr Moothien Pillay has started her marine research career in the early 1990s at the Ministry of Fisheries in Mauritius.
Mauritius, together with Rodrigues Island, is well known for its unique biodiversity and presents a green goldmine for the global pharmaceutical industry, yet it has been largely underutilised up until now. With the increasing demand for natural products or plant-based ingredients, Dr Vidushi Neergheen-Bhujun's work holds immense potential for pharmaceutical industry and economic development.
In Mauritius, in a small village named Anse Jonchée, where people depend on agriculture and fishing to earn their living, Mrs Laurianne Ghansseeram started her own small business of plant-based essential oils production in 2006. She owns a small fancy shop named 'Les Huiles essentielles de Laurianne' and a traditional distillation factory located in front of her house, which catch the attention of all tourists passing by who are her main customers.
In Madagascar, nearly half of children are malnourished. The main cause is the poor quality of the food they receive, notably in disadvantaged households (due to inadequate breastfeeding practices and complementary foods that are nutritionally very lacking). For 14 years, GRET, a French NGO, has been fighting early childhood malnutrition in Madagascar by educating mothers and distributing infant flours through the hotelin-jazakely restaurants for babies.
Mrs Ntombenhle Khathwane is featured by Forbes Magazine as one of the 30 most promising young Entrepreneurs in Africa 2016 and honoured as one of 100 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) in the Business and Entrepreneurship category.
“The eradication of hunger is not just an end in itself: It is a first step toward sustainable development and progress in general, for a hungry man is not a free man. He cannot focus on anything else but securing his next meal,” said Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former U.N. Secretary General.
Prof Namrita Lall is a Professor and a Research Chair of Medicinal Plant Science at the University of Pretoria. She holds a PhD in Phytomedicine from the University of Pretoria and a BSc in Biological Sciences. The unifying research interests of Prof Lall include antituberculosis natural product leads from medicinal plants, susceptibility studies of other bacteria to medicinal plants, cytotoxicity of plant extracts/compounds, anticancer activity of medicinal plants, and antityrosinase (skin pigmentation, skin lightening) activity of plants.