Brussels — Honourable Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, Minister of Agro Industry and Food Security;
Colleagues of the EU Member States;
Mr Vishnu Gondeea, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security;
Directors of Parastatal Bodies;
Representatives of farmer organisations;
Members of the Press;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
The European Union and its Member States have already been mainstreaming environment and climate change, including mitigation and adaptation, throughout their development cooperation strategies.
Early this month, the European Union and its Member States have adopted a new European Consensus on Development which constitutes an important part of the EU's overall response to the 2030 Agenda. It will guide our cooperation with all developing countries and better integrates the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. One of the key priorities of the new policy is to protect the environment, manage natural resources and tackle climate change.
The EU considers the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement of 2015 as essential and complementary steps on a pathway towards more sustainable and resilient future. Together, these landmark Agreements have the potential to significantly accelerate the necessary economic and societal transformation that we, as a global community, depend upon for preserving our common future and the future of our planet. Without urgently addressing climate change, sustainable development is simply not within our reach and the achievement of the SDGs practically impossible.
Paris was a defining moment in the fight to safeguard the planet for future generations. We must maintain that momentum in the months and years ahead, because the prize is truly worth it: lower emissions, innovation-driven growth, job creations, more resilient societies and a better environment.
Together only can we implement the Paris Agreement. We see this Agreement as the driver of an irreversible process of sustainable growth for our economies and the key to protecting our planet. The EU stands ready to cooperate with all parties to this end - civil society, businesses, local communities, government agencies.
The European Union is determined to not only implement the Paris Agreement, but also build strong global partnerships to ensure that diplomacy and multilateralism bring real, tangible results for our people. The world, the planet, can count on the European Union.
We believe that addressing climate change provides countless opportunities to invent new and better ways to produce and consume, invest and trade, and protect lives, jobs, assets and livelihood opportunities for the benefit of people and the planet.
For this to happen, all countries need to take climate fully into account in their planning, budgeting and implementing processes. We need to make sure policies are having the desired impact.
The EU and its Member States will continue to encourage and back initiatives in vulnerable countries that are most affected by climate change impacts. There is a lot of work to do and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Government of Mauritius.
Today we are here to demonstrate a concrete action on our support to the Government to implement its commitments taken in Paris in its Nationally Determined Contributions (the NDC).
The Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+) is funded by the European Union and is active in 38 countries to support them in their endeavours to adapt to climate change.
It is considered as one of the world's largest climate initiatives with a budget of 420 million euros for 2014-2020. This initiative supports a variety of activities dealing essentially with adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction.
In 2010, Mauritius benefited from a grant of 3 million euros under the 1st phase of the programme to support the renewable energy sector.
We are pleased to announce that, under the 2nd phase, an additional 3 million euros (i.e. 115 million Rupees) was given to Mauritius in March 2017 in the form of grants to support actions towards promoting climate smart agriculture.
The European Union is committed to make 20% of entire EU development cooperation policies and instruments "climate-relevant" for the period 2014 - 2020. Through this new programme, we reaffirm our commitment to support climate action in partner countries such as Mauritius.
Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture practices features as one of the priority adaptation actions for the agricultural sector in the Nationally Determined Contributions of the Republic of Mauritius.
Climate Smart Agriculture helps address a number of important challenges: food security; the relationship between agriculture and poverty; and more importantly the relation between climate change and agriculture.
The agriculture sector indeed offers huge opportunities to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, build resilience and improve capacity to adapt to climate change.
This is why we chose to support this sector as part of our climate action in Mauritius.
The overall objective of the programme is to increase the resilience of small farmers to the effects of climate change. But, it will also increase the capacity of vulnerable small farmers and other key stakeholders towards developing and sustaining climate smart agriculture in Mauritius and Rodrigues.
The European Union has more than two decades of experience in developing and implementing ambitious climate policies and we are ready to share our experiences and lessons learned through the technical assistance component of the programme.
Today we are here to launch a Call for Proposals that would promote climate smart practices for the benefit of the small farming community. Project proposals can come from government agencies, non-state actors and farmers' organisations, including women associations, private sector organisations, local authorities and the Commissions of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly.
The Call for Proposals will be online officially as from Monday 3rd July 2017 with deadline to submit your proposals 6 October 2017.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today's event coincides with the celebration of the Climate Diplomacy Week by the European Union.
Each year, the Delegation of the European Union reaches out to our partners to raise awareness on climate challenge.
This morning I participated to a public debate on climate change with the President of the Republic of Mauritius and other key partners where I had the opportunity to share the positive action that is being taken around the globe by the EU and its Member States.
Mauritius and Rodrigues are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. That's why we support the Government in addressing the challenges of climate change.
Before I conclude, I wish to express my appreciation to the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for their collaboration in the formulation of this programme and the design of the Guidelines for Applicants for this Call for Proposals.
I thank you for your attention.
Copyright European Union, 1995-2017
SOURCE European External Action