28 March 2019

Mauritius: National Workshop Focuses On Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

press release

A national workshop for the validation of the outcomes of component one of the Adapt Action Programme set up by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), opened this morning at La Pirogue Hotel in Flic en Flac. The Programme has as objectives to help 15 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.

For Mauritius, the Adapt Action Programme is focusing on three key sectors, namely: climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessment; the formulation of the National Land Drainage Master Plan; and the elaboration of a new framework to enhance National Disaster Risk Reduction Management.

In his address at the opening ceremony, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Nazir Soobratty, underlined the alarming effects of climate change and observed that the world has experienced an unprecedented series of four warmest years. In the wake of extreme weather events, climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth are projected to worsen globally in the coming years, he said.

The Permanent Secretary underscored the urgent need for bold and concrete actions to combat climate change. We need to build resilience, reduce our vulnerability and strengthen our capacity in terms of disaster risk reduction and management, and more importantly as a Small Island Developing State, our priority remains adaption, he stated. In this regard, he highlighted Government's proactive stance and indicated that 2% of the country's GDP, roughly USD 285 M, is earmarked annually for environment and climate change related actions as well as some USD 57 M has been injected into a National Environment Fund portfolio to implement measures such as flood management, and rehabilitation of eroded beaches.

Other series of measures to improve response and preparedness to disasters include: the setting up of an institutional and legislative framework through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act (2016), a Land Drainage Authority Act (2017), and a Local Government (Amended) Act (2018), to effectively manage flooding and water accumulation.

According to the Permanent Secretary, along with Governmental initiatives, the technical and financial support from the international community is essential to meet the Mauritius's objectives for a climate resilient and safer country. To that end, he underlined that the Adapt Action Programme will enable Mauritius to assess its vulnerability in terms of coastal erosion, sea-level rise, loss of habitat, and water vulnerability in specific vulnerable regions. France, he further emphasised, is a longstanding and key partner to Mauritius and has provided support to the country's socio-economic development. The AFD, he said, has provided considerable assistance to Mauritius in a number of important environmental and climate change related projects, namely the formulation of our Nationally Determined Contributions.

The workshop and the Adapt Action Programme

The workshop aims at validating the findings of Component One of the Programme which focuses on climate change vulnerability assessment on coastal zone and recommendations for adaptation measures to reinforce resilience capacities on coastal zones.

Under the Adapt Action Programme, Mauritius is to benefit in terms of capacity building, feasibility studies and impact assessment to the tune of Euros 2 M. 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.

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