GIS – 20 February 2019: The Republic of Mauritius is one of the seven pilot countries in Africa selected to implement the European Union’s SWITCH Africa Green Programme to achieve green growth that will foster transformation towards green economy. Mauritius is in fact executing a transition to green and sustainable consumption and production practices in the cooperative sector. It is in this context that a train the trainers’ workshop opened yesterday at the Pearle Beach Resort, in Flic-en-Flac, with the aim to raise awareness as regards green business development.
The event is organised by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development. The SWITCH Africa Green Programme is designed and funded by the EU to support African countries in their transition to an Inclusive Green Economy and to achieve sustainable development through the adoption of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) practices.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, the supervising officer of the Ministry, Mr R. Bhugwant, highlighted that the cooperative sector contributes significantly to the socioeconomic development of Mauritius. The objectives of Government’s 2030 Agenda is to promote a growth model based on sustainable development, he stated.
The supervising officer also spoke about the importance of the project of greening of the country’s economy to protect and preserve the environment, while underscoring the role of the cooperative sector as a key player in fostering innovative green business practices. On that score, Mr Bhugwant emphasised that this EU project has largely helped Mauritius to meet its targets with regards to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as enable the country to implement environmental standards and regulations, and support initiatives spearheaded to foster sustainability locally.
Likewise, Mr Bhugwant indicated that the present workshop is geared towards encouraging and guiding cooperatives to adopt sustainable, innovative and smart actions to improve the sustainability of their business. He underpinned the necessity for entrepreneurs to remain compliant to environmentally sustainable practices and standards while they pursue their productivity and growth objectives. Moreover, he dwelt on the wide range of opportunities that eco-innovation and green businesses offer, namely business activities focusing on local products, organic farming, compost production, and renewable energies.
As part of the SWITCH Africa Green Programme, Mauritius’ key areas of intervention are agriculture, manufacturing and tourism with energy and water efficiency, labelling and standards, eco-innovation and sustainable trade as cross-cutting issues.
About the workshop
Some forty representatives of various cooperative societies and other stakeholders are attending the one-day workshop. Presentations focusing on sustainable agricultural practices, opportunities for green agro-businesses through innovation and support and funding opportunities for cooperatives were on the agenda.