The Adapt'Action programme of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) aimed at providing technical assistance to countries seeking technical assistance for the institutional, methodological and operational implementation of their commitments to the fight against climate change was launched yesterday at the seat of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development in Port Louis.
The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, the Director of AFD, Mr André Pouilles-Duplaix, and a team of consultants from AFD in charge of the project implementation in Mauritius were present at the ceremony.
In his address, Minister Sinatambou pointed out that according to the 2016 World Risk Report, Mauritius is the 7th most vulnerable country to extreme climate events. Over the past 15 years, the average number of tropical cyclones has not increased, but they have become more intense, he underscored.
Speaking about the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) of Mauritius, he underlined that they consist of climate change mitigation and adaptation components. The component concerning mitigation aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. In terms of adaptation to climate change, Mauritius wants to take action on all fronts: infrastructure, mitigation of risks of climate-related disasters, preservation of water resources, management of coastal areas, agriculture and food security, fishing, biodiversity and health, he said.
The Minister also recalled that Mauritius is among the lowest producers of greenhouse gas in the world, emitting only 0,01%. Hence, he underlined, mitigation measures are less important for Mauritius that adaptation measures. He expressed satisfaction that the Adapt'Action programme will focus on the management of coastal zones and drains. He expressed concern that 13 sites and 10 beaches are critically in danger adding that the improvement of the drainage system for flood management is critical for Mauritius.
For his part, the Director of AFD, Mr André Pouilles-Duplaix, highlighted that Mauritius is a privileged partner of France while reaffirming his commitment to provide both financial and technical support for the development and promotion of green infrastructure projects in Mauritius.
He underlined that the French Government, through the AFD, has set up the Adap'Action Programme to help vulnerable developing countries from Africa and Small Islands Developing States to achieve low-carbon and climate resilient development with a focus on adaptation to climate change.
Under this assistance, Mauritius would benefit in terms of capacity building, feasibility studies and impact assessment worth 2 million euros. The assistance will help Mauritius to access funds from the Green Climate Fund and other funding institutions for the implementation of the Mauritius' Nationally Determined Contributions.
The Adapt'Action Programme
With an assistance of 30 million euros over a four-year period, Adapt'Action will support 15 countries with a priority focus on Africa, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which are among the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
The challenge lies in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the NDCs submitted by 163 countries, following COP21. These NDCs refer to the concrete commitments made by the countries concerned in their fight against climate change.
The assistance programme for Mauritius, spread over 48 months, comprises three axes namely:
· Strengthening of climate governance to ensure effective implementation of NDC by conducting capacity building activities for all sectors;
· Translating measures identified under NDCs into sectoral public policies, combined with concrete action plans focusing on key relevant sectors; and
· Designing transformational climate programmes and projects with a priority focus on adaptation based on a robust analysis of issues concerning vulnerability to climate change and the various potential adaptation solutions, and integrating the management of uncertainty.
The Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the first phase of the project have been prepared by the AFD in concert with the concerned authorities namely; the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Land Drainage Authority (LDA), National Disaster Risks Reduction Management Centre, Ministry of Tourism, and Mauritius Meteorological Services.
The ToRs were finalised during the Coordination Committee on the implementation of the Mauritius' Nationally Determined Contributions held on 5 July 2018. They are : development of a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Policies, Strategic Framework and Action Plan for the Republic of Mauritius; provision of technical assistance to the LDA to foster mainstreaming of climate change in public policies; preparation of a project dedicated to flood risk management in the context of climate change which can be submitted to AFD and the Green Climate Fund for a joint funding; and climate change vulnerability assessment and capacity building for integrated flood management and coastal tourism.