GIS - Dec 14, 2012: A two-day parliamentary seminar focusing on environment and sustainable development, opened yesterday at Le Victoria Hotel, in Pointe aux Piments.
The seminar is organised by the Mauritius National Assembly in collaboration with the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie and the Institut de l’Energie et de l’Environnement de la Francophonie – a subsidiary of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.
Participants are from francophone states of the Indian Ocean region namely Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion/France and Seychelles. Members from the Commission ‘Cooperation and Development’ of the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie as well as parliamentarians dealing with the subject ‘environment and sustainable development’ in their respective parliaments are also participating in the seminar.
The objectives are to ensure the reinforcement of technical capabilities of parliamentarians whose roles are perceived as decisive in the formulation and in the evaluation process of setting up of development policies. These technical capabilities are considered as essential in meeting the challenges relating to the development of national legislations and control of governmental actions pertaining to the environment and sustainable development.
Discussions are focusing, amongst others, on the concept of sustainable development and national strategies of sustainable development; commitments of Rio+20; consumption patterns and sustainable production; and sustainable development challenges in small island states.
In his opening speech, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr. Devanand Virahsawmy, said that as developing small island states, our countries share a certain number of constraints due to territorial limitations such as limited access to natural resources, increased reliance on external exchanges and a great demographic density which accentuates pressures exerted on natural environment.
According to the Minister, in the face of the complexity of such issues, it is important that parliamentarians of our countries upgrade their understanding of regional and international challenges as regards the environment, sustainable development and green economy. This, he said, will better equip them to understand the ongoing mechanisms in the context of multilateral agreements to which our countries are signatories.