A Climate Promise: Mauritius’ response to Climate Change.

August 3, 2020

From left to right : Mr. André Pouillès-Duplaix, Director of the AFD; Emmanuel Cohet, outgoing French Ambassador to Mauritius; Honourable Kavydass Ramano, Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change of the Republic of Mauritius, and Ms. Amanda Serumaga, UNDP Resident Representative. PHOTO : @UNDP Stephane Bellerose

Through the Climate Promise Initiative, UNDP is supporting the review of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Republic of Mauritius for the amount of  USD 300,000. In a press conference held on Wednesday 29 July 2020, Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Honourable Kavydass Ramano, announced that the review process would also benefit from the support of the French Government, through Agence Française de Développement (AFD), for the amount of 200,000 Euros.

NDCs, which are at the heart of the Paris Agreement signed in 2015, represent the efforts of countries to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change. According to Minister Ramano, for Mauritius which is listed among the most vulnerable countries to climate change, reviewing the NDCs is necessary to define new commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions and respond to the risks associated with climate change such as sea-level rise, coastal erosion and flash floods.

In the past, Mauritius’ NDCs have focused on priority sectors such as energy and transport for climate mitigation; and water, agriculture, fisheries, health, and protection of coastal areas for adaptation. To improve its response to the growing negative impact of climate change while promoting sustainable development, Mauritius has also introduced legislation, including a Climate Change Bill which is presently under preparation. Through NDCs, Mauritius has furthermore committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

UNDP’s Climate Promise Initiative

The Climate Promise Initiative proposed by UNDP aims to support 100 countries to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement by 2020, with a demonstrated increase in ambition for greater emissions reduction and resilience building.

Meant to leverage UNDP’s extensive climate portfolio and scale up urgently-needed support for NDC enhancement, this project includes the collaboration of the UN system partners (e.g. UNEP, FAO, UNICEF), IRENA, the NDC Partnership, the Green Climate Fund, and other strategic partners.

With an integrated approach to harness the wide-ranging expertise of UNDP's Global Policy Network, the Climate Promise Initiative is designed to strengthen climate solutions with perspectives from governance, health, water, gender equality, women’s and youth empowerment, disaster risk reduction, and inclusive growth, among others.

Through this ambitious project, UNDP will support the review of Mauritius’ NDCs by 1) engendering political will and societal ownership of NDC at national and subnational levels; 2) providing technical assistance to update the National Adaptation Plan and to assess climate change mitigation potential of using concentrated Solar Power; and assessments in the waste management sector; and 3) offering technical assistance on communication and learning on NDCs. UNDP will also assist the work started under Les Assises de L’Environnement and has designated an additional USD 150,000 to support the finalization of the national masterplan on the environment.

Expressing the wish that the next Mauritius NDC will demonstrate a higher level of ambition while ensuring a green recovery from the current COVID-19 pandemic.”, UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Amanda Serumaga, stressed the importance for countries like Mauritius, among other Small Island Developing States vulnerable to climate change, “to take action towards sustainable pathways”.

According to Ms. Serumaga, it is vital that SIDS work towards promoting decarbonized and resilient societies; supporting inclusive blue economy transformations, harnessing the opportunities of the digital age, and mobilizing resources through both innovative and traditional financing sources.

Support of the French Government

The support of the French Government for the review of the NDCs, through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Expertise France, includes the services of international experts such as Application Européene de Technologies et de Services and Cibola Partners.

The outgoing French Ambassador to Mauritius, Excellency Emmanuel Cohet, affirmed that partnership with Mauritius is highly valued by the French Government. Stating “the Covid-19 context is an opportunity to rethink how to implement sustainable development and biodiversity protection at all levels”. Ambassador Emmanuel Cohet also noted the importance of green growth and highlighted the existing possibilities for collaboration between Reunion Island and Mauritius regarding training in the field of sustainable development.

Mr. André Pouillès-Duplaix, Director of the AFD, stressed that France has been supporting Mauritius’ Nationally Determined Contributions since 2015. He noted that the present contribution is aimed at assisting Mauritius to upgrade its response through an evaluation of the pros and cons of the previous NDCs’; updating the current NDCs targets; and setting up an action plan and the reinforcement of the capabilities of the various stakeholders involved.

The new NDCs of Mauritius will be submitted before COP26, which has been rescheduled to November 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.