GIS - 13 November 2015: An award ceremony for Grantees under the Switch Africa Green (SWITCH AG) Programme, a pilot initiative to foster green economy transformation in six African countries including Mauritius, was held yesterday at the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, in Port Louis.
The grantees are: University of Mauritius, Joint Economic Council, Centre de Formation Agricole Frère Remi, Association des Hôtels de Charme, the Rodriguan Commissions of Fisheries and Environment, and EMPRETEC Mauritius. The grantees’ applications were received and reviewed by a Technical Review Committee, composed of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), country focal points, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and a Sustainable Consumption and Production technical consultant.
It is recalled that the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, Disaster and Beach Management is responsible for the implementation and coordination of the project and chairs a National Technical Coordination Committee composed of Government and private sector stakeholders.
On this occasion, the Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, Mr Jayeshwur Raj Dayal, stated that as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Mauritius is very much conscious of the fact that resource efficiency and sustainability are the key path that we have to embrace in order to limit the negative impacts of global challenges and to build our resilience.
According to Mr Dayal, the Government of Mauritius is investing a lot of money, from its national budget to enhance the capital required to sustain its development. However, it should be emphasised that the financial and technical support of our development partners are critical to assist countries to leapfrog towards the greening of the economy, he said.
The Minister thanked UNEP for having selected Mauritius to be a pilot country in the SWITCH Africa Green project and underlined that Mauritius has taken many initiatives to shift to more resource efficient and low carbon lifestyles.
Switch Africa Green (SWITCH AG) Programme
SWITCH AG has been developed to support African countries in their transition to an inclusive green economy and in promoting a shift to more sustainable consumption and practices and patterns. Despite having one of the fastest economic growth rates, the continent continues to face persistent development challenges and poverty, as well as increasing negative impacts of economic activities on the environment and natural resources. The project is currently being implemented in six countries: Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mauritius and South Africa.
The UNEP, with financial support from the European Union (EU) and in collaboration with UNDP, UNOPS and other regional and national partners, is implementing SWITCH Africa Green project. The Project builds on past and ongoing capacity building activities by UNEP, its partners and others addressing Sustainable Consumption and Production challenges and promoting sustainable business ventures and green economy policies.
The specific objective is to support the development of green businesses and eco-entrepreneurship and use of sustainable consumption and production practices by having in place Micro, Small and Medium enterprises and business service providers that are better equipped to seize opportunities for green business development, better informed public and private consumers, and enabling conditions in form of clear policies, sound regulatory frameworks, incentives structures, tax, other fiscal and market-based instruments influencing key sectors.
The SWITCH Africa Green project seeks to combine work at the micro and macro-levels, providing targeted support to green private sector development initiatives. Micro, small and medium enterprises will be supported through intermediary business organisations that facilitate changes in practices and choices by producers and consumers. The project will also focus on policies, which influence investment choices. The project seeks to link on-going projects and programmes supported by the EU, which support green business development and sustainable consumption and production practices, and will build on experience in other similar EU-funded projects.
The project has three main components, namely policy support for each pilot country which will build on and scale up activities to strengthen institutions and appropriate tools and instruments; green business development to enable micro, small and medium enterprises to start and develop resource efficient and green business based on sustainable production practices; and networking facility to enable dissemination of lessons learned from the project.
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