GIS – 18 November 2013: A sub-regional training programme On Beyond Response: Better Preparedness for Environmental Emergencies, organised at the initiative of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, kicked off this morning at Gold Crest Hotel, Quatre Bornes.
The training programme will give an overview of measures to combat environmental emergencies and provide the tools for assessing environmental risks, contingency planning and preparation for emergencies at local level. It will also help strengthening regional cooperation, knowledge sharing, networking and building capacity for preparedness in case of any upcoming challenges.
The participants from Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles and Mauritius will be provided with the necessary tools to carry out assessment of environmental risks, contingency planning and the preparation required for emergencies. They will learn from experts in the field of environmental emergencies preparedness and become more conversant with the available tools to improve response capabilities to attend to emergency situations in their respective countries.
In his address, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr. Devanand Virahsawmy, deplored that environmental emergencies are not being addressed properly in poorest countries which are considered to be the most vulnerable. This also applies to some extent to middle-income countries due to insufficient resources to invest in appropriate preparedness measures, he said. In this connection, technical assistance and capacity development are important to help identify potential risks in order to develop preparedness and response plans, he added
Under the Africa Adaptation Programme, funded by the Government of Japan, Mauritius has already developed a Disaster Risk Reduction Strategic Framework and Action Plan. Studies carried out in the preparation of this Framework have revealed that substantial areas are exposed to flooding, coastal inundation and landslide hazards, the Minister said.
As a proactive Government Mauritius has already established a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre and set up a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, an apex body which reports directly to the Prime Minister.
According to the Minister, a National Climate Change Adaptation Policy Framework has been elaborated to foster the development of policies, strategies, plans and processes to avoid, minimise and adapt to the negative impacts of climate change on the key sectors. It aims at integrating and mainstreaming climate change into core development policies, strategies and plans for Mauritius.
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