The UNDP partners with the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre for a workshop on Climate Change and Sustainability under the Stockholm+50 initiative.

October 15, 2022
Climate Change and Sustainability Workshop

The event brought together various local stakeholders to reflect on climate change challenges and discuss sustainable solutions for inclusive development in Mauritius.

UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles/Jean-Yan Norbert

On October 12, the UNDP Country Office for Mauritius co-organised a half-day Climate Change and Sustainability workshop with the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre (RGSC). The event brought together various local stakeholders to reflect and discuss on the four main axes of climate action, namely (1) upscaling the capacity of the population for sustainable consumption and production; (2) achieving food security and avoiding food wastage; (3) upscaling renewable energy technologies and improving energy efficiency; and (4) protecting natural resources and biodiversity in Mauritius.

During his welcome address, Dr. Aman Kumar Maulloo, Director of the RGSC, stated that “awareness is the fundamental step for action”. Dr. Maulloo reminded participants that as Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Mauritius is one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse effects of climate change.

Presenting the key findings and outcomes of the Stockholm + 50 consultations in Mauritius and the global conference held in June 2022, Mr. Madookur Desha, Stockholm + 50 Project Coordinator at UNDP Mauritius, emphasized that multi-stakeholder engagement and access to education for all are crucial for raising public awareness on climate change and sustainability.


Addressing Climate Change Challenges and Exploring Sustainable Solutions in Mauritius

As a Small Island Developing State, Mauritius is vulnerable to external shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war which have sparked cost-of-living crises. The country imports around 75 percent of its food and according to a 2021 UNEP report, food waste in Mauritius amounts to around 118, 632 tons per year. During the group discussions, participants were able to share their experiences and explore the opportunities for collaboration in possible climate-smart agriculture practices and sustainable waste management towards a circular economy.

Access to clean and affordable energy is vital for social progress, economic development and environmental sustainability. About 84 percent of the primary energy requirements of Mauritius are met by imported fossil fuels. The group discussions informed stakeholders about the UNDP project Transition to a Low-Carbon Economyand other initiatives carried out by the Government to meet its updated NDC targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and achieving 60 percent of energy production from green sources by 2030.

Participants of the workshop acknowledged the importance of natural resources protection and nature-based solutions as Mauritius is one of the World’s biodiversity hotspots. Due to increased anthropogenic pressures associated with development, only 2 percent of the country’s native vegetation cover remains, resulting in severe land degradation and endemic species being threatened of extinction.

Rising sea levels resulting from global warming pose a significant threat to island states like Mauritius. Accounting for 42 percent of the total coastal and marine ecosystem in Mauritius, coral reefs act as barriers against strong swells. Coral reefs have also been a major source of livelihood for many coastal and inland communities. The workshop was also an opportunity for UNDP partners on the coral reef restoration project to raise awareness on the state of coral reefs in Mauritius after the 2016 global coral bleaching event impacted approximately 45 percent of the total live coral cover in the lagoons of Mauritius.