GIS - 12 July, 2018: A two-day capacity building workshop on Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation under the Third National Communication opened this morning at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel in Balaclava. The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, was present on the occasion.
In his address, Minister Sinatambou pointed out that climate change is the defining challenge of our time. Mauritius, he underlined, is experiencing a warming trend of about 1.2 degrees Celsius, surpassing the global average increase of 0.85 degrees Celsius, and an alarmingly sea level rise of 5.6 mm per year which is beyond the global average of 3.2 mm per year. He observed that the island is suffering from accentuated beach erosion which has shrunk the width of some of the beaches by up to 20 metres. Hence, there is a pressing need to undertake urgent and concrete actions both in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation to save our island as well as our moral obligation to save the planet, said the Minister.
Moreover, he pointed out that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Mauritius are being mostly affected by climate change while stressing that the emissions of greenhouse gases from SIDS amounts to only around 1% of the total global greenhouse gases emissions.
The Minister underscored that the workshop is proof of Government’s commitment towards its engagement in combating climate change and empowering the population to face its growing threats whilst contributing to its mitigation. Government Programme 2015-2019, he pointed out, has as objective to revive the National Environment Commission to create better synergies among various stakeholders to address important enviromental concerns and issues. In this regard, Budget 2018-2019 has injected Rs 2 billion to the National Environment Fund, he said.
He further recalled that, according to the World Risk Report 2017, Mauritius is ranked as the 13th country with the highest disaster risk and 7th on the list of countries most exposed to natural hazards. Increased incidence of flash floods, more intense cyclones and a highly variable climate are expected to occur which may impede on the island’s progress to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, he added.
Minister Sinatambou thus accentuated on the need to conduct appropriate sector specific vulnerability assessment which is a key prerequisite to enable concerned stakeholders, in particular policy makers, to decide on the most appropriate socio-economic development model and to put in place the appropriate sectoral adaptation measures.
He called on the collaboration of the population, private sectors, NGO's and trustful partners to step up and act collectively in the adversity of climate change and building a resilient Mauritius.
About the workshop
The capacity building exercise has been conducted with the support of the Global Environment Facility and UN Environment and is in line with the obligations of Mauritius as a signatory of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The objective of the workshop is to train various Ministries and institutions on a user friendly tool developed by the University of Mauritius to assess climate change vulnerability of seven key sectors namely Agriculture, Water, Coastal Zone, Fisheries, Biodiversity, Infrastructure and Health. It will also help in creating sensitisation toolkits on how to build the adaptive capacity of four different target groups against climate change. They are the youths, women community, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.
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