Climate change is one of the most serious and pressing challenges of our times. It has evolved from a mere environmental issue into one which threatens the very foundation of mankind and is now affecting all aspects of the development agenda from poverty eradication to human health and from economic growth to enhanced preparedness to alleviate suffering.
This statement was made yesterday by the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop for the preparation of climate finance and bankable projects held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Balaclava.
Referring to the latest World Risk Report 2017, he underpinned that Mauritius is ranked as the 13th country with the highest disaster risk and 7th on the list of countries most exposed to natural hazards. Hence the need, he stated, to deal with climate change which requires a multipronged approach both with regard to its understanding and implementing appropriate actions at different levels.
According to Minister Sinatambou, Mauritius is doing its fair share to contribute to the global effort to combat climate change despite its limited resources. Mauritius has signed and ratified under the Paris Agreement on 22 April 2016, the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) which pledges for a quantified economy-wide target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30% by the year 2030, he recalled. The sectors for adaptation include land drainage and infrastructure, coastal zone, water, food security, health and biodiversity. For mitigation, the sectors include renewable energy, energy technologies, low emission transport, waste management, and embellishment and greening campaign for Mauritius.
The Environment Minister pointed out that Mauritius has already embarked on the implementation of the NDC with the assistance of various donor agencies such as Agence Française de Developpement, the European Union and the Commonwealth. He added that resources from the national budget are being mobilised to build resilience so as to move to a low carbon development pathway. The implementation of the NDC for the Republic of Mauritius will require over 1.5 Billion USD for mitigation measures and about 4 Billion USD for adaptation measures across all the sectors, in the form of finance, investment, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building, he underscored.
Mr Sinatambou however deplored that capacity building remains a constraint and challenge for the Government of Mauritius although the country is witnessing large investment and substantial development partners' support. We need sustained capacity development to deliver adequate services, manage the environment, address the problem of climate change and support development, he underlined.
The workshop is aimed at training and building capacity for identified institutions with need to access climate finance for new or on-going programmes and projects with relevant sectors to climate change adaptation strategies and mitigation measures. The workshop will provide background information on international institutions such as the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund, their operational modalities, terminologies used and templates used for providing project data or information.
Resource experts are from the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, key Ministries including Finance and Economic Development and Donor agencies.
Participants will be equipped with useful skills drawn from their practical experience working on identification and formulation of projects. The workshop will also focus on training and engaging participants in discussion to share and exchange experiences. They will benefit from increased awareness on project as well as programme preparation for climate finance, practical skills on working on own projects and institutional capacity building.