GIS – 18 December, 2018: Climate change is one of the most daunting challenges which humanity is facing and is affecting all aspects of the development agenda, from poverty eradication to healthcare, and from economic growth to disaster risk reduction. Owing to the worsening tendency, its adverse impacts would be among the most serious hurdles in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for vulnerable countries such as Mauritius.
The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, made this statement today at the signing ceremony, in Port-Louis, of a Joint Monitoring Framework (JMF) on climate change.
The JMF was signed during a High Policy Dialogue on Climate Change. Signatories were Minister Sinatambou and the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Mauritius, Mrs Marjaana Sall. The JMF captures the areas of possible Mauritius-EU discussions, guidance to meet the targets of the Nationally Determined Contributions and partnership in the field of climate change.
In his address, the Minister underlined that the ranking of Mauritius as the 16th country with the highest disaster risk and the 10th most exposed to natural hazards as per the World Risk Report 2018, highlights its vulnerability with regard to the consequences of climate change. The impacts are already visible, he pointed out, with notably the increase of surface temperature, increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. This calls for urgent and tougher actions to address climate change, he added.
In addition, Mr Sinatambou emphasised the importance for Small Island Developing States such as Mauritius to enhance their adaptation capacity to meet projected climate change impacts. On that note, he commended the EU for the signing of the JMF that will enable Mauritius to undertake both mitigation and adaptation activities. Despite being responsible for only 1% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Minister indicated that Mauritius is determined to do its fair share as far as mitigation actions are concerned and to contribute to the global effort and moral obligation to save the planet by taking climate change related measures.
According to the Minister, Mauritius will, in this endeavour, need the support and assistance of donor agencies and developed countries for access to funding, capacity building as well as technology development and transfer. Mr Sinatambou expressed gratitude to the EU for its unflinching involvement as well as ongoing commitment in championing climate change actions on the global, regional and local fronts. The EU, he remarked, has recently supported key initiatives such as land drainage, developing climate smart agriculture and building the capacity for the preparation of climate finance bankable projects.
Moreover, the Minister reiterated Government’s firm intent to accelerate climate change related actions and elaborated on some key measures, namely: the mobilisation of up to 2.15% of the GDP in 2017, amounting to some Rs 10.3 billion, under the Mauritius Nationally Determined Contributions to implement climate change projects; the revamping of the National Environment Fund; and, the provision of Rs 2 billion to tackle pressing local environmental challenges.
As for Ambassador Sall, she highlighted EU’s relentless commitment to assist Mauritius to meet its climate objectives and to translate its international commitment into actions. The JMF, she indicated, constitutes of jointly agreed objectives, indicators and actions that will facilitate a closer collaboration between the two parties to tackle climate change.
The EU and Mauritius, the Ambassador pointed out, share a longstanding partnership, wherein Mauritius has been granted the necessary support and assistance to implement its priority actions which pertain to climate mitigation and adaptation. Mrs Sall dwelt on key local interventions of the EU in the field of climate change, including: grants to small farmers for the adoption of climate smart agricultural practices; support to SMEs to allow them to switch to green practices; support women from vulnerable groups to engage in income-generating activities from waste recycling.
The Ambassador also announced EU’s new support initiative that is the grant of Rs 120 million to strengthen agricultural-related research and innovation capacities of local institutions to face challenges of climate change.
Joint Monitoring Framework
The JMF aims at: reducing GHG emissions by 30% by 2030; improving resilience of the coastal zone; implementing an effective national disaster risk reduction strategy in line with the Sendai Framework on disaster risk reduction (2015-2030); enhancing resilience against high intensity rainfall events in flood prone areas by developing and implementing a Land Drainage Master Plan; promoting low carbon technologies for electricity generation from renewable energy sources to at least 35% by 2030; and, enhancing native forests cover and tree plantation for an enhanced sink capacity.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: email@example.com Website: http://gis.govmu.org