GIS– 27 January, 2020: Government is committed in adopting a responsible and environmentally sustainable development policy and will pursue its initiatives in ensuring the protection of the environment.
This was the gist of the message of the Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr Kavydass Ramano, at a press conference, held this morning at the seat of the Ministry in Port Louis. He recalled that the Government Programme 2020-2024 outlines four pillars aimed at championing this new policy. They are: Investing in clean energy; Shifting to a cleaner and greener Mauritius; Mitigating risks from climate change; and Protecting marine resources.
Some of the measures announced include: finalisation of a Climate Change Bill; accelerating the development of renewable energy to reach 35% in 2025 and 40% in 2030; promoting the setting up of a photovoltaic system for households, SMEs, cooperatives, NGOs, small planters and breeders; implementation of a national cleaning and waste management programme; implementation of a centralised medical and clinical waste incineration project to ensure better management of toxic and hazardous products; and introduction of new eco-friendly measures such as building norms and improve public infrastructure for better protection against natural disasters such as cyclones and floods.
Minister Ramano further dwelt on the Assises de l’Environnement held on 16 and 17 December 2019 where more than 400 participants from 22 institutions participated. He pointed out that the Assises were successful and that the Ministry has received 69 reports and suggestions which will be tabled and used for the elaboration of a Master Plan for the environmental policy 2020-2030 as well as an Action plan for the next five years. The first draft will be ready in April and next month a series of 12 measures to be implemented in the short term will be announced, he indicated.
Speaking about the ongoing preparations in the context of Cavadee and Maha Shivratree festivals to be observed on 8 and 21 February respectively, the Mr Ramano recalled that his Ministry has an important role to play as regards ensuring cleanliness on all sites on a 24-hour basis. Six hundred bins and 15 000 biodegradable plastic bags will be distributed in all 240 ‘kovils’ and 760 temples around Mauritius, he announced. Two types of compost bins, one for organics products and another for non-organic products, will also be provided, he said.
Minister Ramano also spoke about the ‘Fleurir Maurice’ competition, which is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change and the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology. The competition will target students from public and private primary schools across Mauritius. The aim is to promote the active involvement of young children in the protection of the environment.
The competition will comprise two components: bedding of plants by the pupils; and mini exhibition, sensitisation campaigns, and sorting of waste. Schools have to submit application forms from 17 to 21 February 2020. A sum of Rs 3 000 will be remitted to each participating school and the first, second and third winners for each educational zone will receive Rs 30 000,
Rs 20 000 and Rs 10 000 respectively.
With regard to the 540 000 tons of waste being disposed at Mare Chicose, Mr Ramano underlined the urgency of implementing a sorting system as well as the importance of recycling and composting. The Minister thus announced that he will lead a delegation to Reunion Island from 28 to 30 January 2020 to better understand the Reunionese model of waste management and in particular the sorting and the recycling and waste management sector. Based on these observations, his Ministry will eventually define an Action plan for better waste management in Mauritius.
The Environment Minister also spoke of the protection of the coastal zones from erosion and added that works will soon start in coastal areas at St Martin, Bel Ombre, Providence, Grand Sable, Petit Sable, Bambous Verieux, Bois des Amourettes, and Grand Bay. The scope of works includes rock revetment, perched beach, cycle track, boat ramp and landscaping.
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