The Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) for Low Carbon Island Development Strategy for Mauritius will assist in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in a more integrated and sustainable way towards achieving the target of reducing the emissions by 30 % by 2030.

The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, made this statement today at Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa in Balaclava at the inauguration of a two-day inception workshop on NAMA. This project forms part of the Government Programme for the elaboration of a Mitigation Strategy and Action Plan for Mauritius.

In his address the Minister pointed out that climate change remains one of the most serious and pressing challenges that mankind is facing. It represents a major impediment on the pathway of sustainable development and with the worsening tendency, it is most likely that climate change and its adverse impacts would be among the most serious hurdles in the achievement of sustainable development goals for vulnerable countries such as Mauritius, he cautioned.

He recalled that the main cause of global warming and sea level rise is the increasing emission of greenhouse gas from industrialised countries. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s report, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide reached a new record of 408 parts per million in March 2018. With the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, the surface temperature is going up steeply and that extreme climatic events are being observed daily in every corner of the planet.

In a bid to tackle climate change Mr Sinatambou called for collective actions and united commitment from all countries. A stage has been reached, he pointed out, whereby the urgency of climate mitigation action requires efforts beyond commitment taken by the developed nations. He added that solidarity in terms of actions by developed and developing countries is critical.

Speaking about Mauritius, Mr Sinatambou said the country’s contribution to global emissions of greenhouse gases stood only at around 0.01% but that it is among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. He recalled that the country has been experiencing warmer temperature, more intense cyclones and frequent torrential rains with recurrent flooding and landslides. As per the World Risk Report 2017, Mauritius is ranked the 13th country with the highest risk to disaster and 7th country exposed to natural hazards worldwide, he said.

The Minister underscored that the priority for Mauritius is adaptation to climate change adding that several measures have been implemented in this regard. He pointed out that mitigation and adaptation are complementary strategies for reducing and managing the risks of climate change. Substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades can reduce climate risks in the 21st century and beyond, increase prospects for effective adaptation, reduce the costs and challenges of mitigation in the longer term and contribute to climate-resilient pathways for sustainable development, he said.

According to him, mitigation can also be in terms of simple actions in our daily lives such as composting, tree planting and sustainable consumption. Mauritius has already implemented national schemes for adoption of solar water heaters, composters for household, energy efficient bulbs and is undertaking on-going sensitisation campaigns for a change in the mindset of our population, he added.

NAMA project

The NAMA project extends over four years and is expected to be completed in 2021. Estimated at 1.6 million US dollars, the project is being implemented with the assistance of international partners namely the Global Environment Facility, United Nations Environment Programme and the Denmark Technical University.

This project will allow Mauritius to comply with the obligations under the Paris Agreement which requires the setting up of an Enhanced Transparency Framework for domestic Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system to track and report on mitigation actions to meet the Nationally Determined Contributions.

The inception workshop will kick start the project under which wind farms and a MRV system for the energy sector will be set up. The ultimate aim is the elaboration of a Mitigation Strategy and Action Plan for Mauritius in line with the Government Programme.

Source: Government of Mauritius