Mauritius, June 2022
A national validation workshop focusing on the Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) Report, aiming to provide a comprehensive state of the marine environment including information on the environment, socioeconomics, threats and legislation opened, today, in Port Louis.
The Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr Kavydass Ramano; the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mrs Christine Umutoni; and other personalities were present at the opening ceremony. The MEDA Report has been prepared under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Nairobi Convention regional project on the Western Indian Ocean large marine ecosystems namely, the Strategic Action Programme, Policy Harmonisation and Institutional Reforms (SAPPHIRE).
Photos: GIS Mauritius
At the very outset, Minister Ramano extended his gratitude to the UNDP and the Nairobi Convention Secretariat for their support to Mauritius under the SAPPHIRE project for the preparation of the MEDA report. The report, he said, will serve as a reference document and tool for a better understanding of environmental problems affecting the coastal and marine ecosystems as well as informed decision-making based on new scientific evidence and findings for the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources. He called for the regional collaboration in terms of both technical and financial support to tackle coastal and marine issues and the adverse impacts of climate change in a holistic manner.
The Minister also spoke of Government’s commitment towards the protection of the coastal and marine environment. Some of them are: a new Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan for Black River which has been recently prepared and is in the process of finalisation with the support of the UNDP/GEF; the preparation of ICZM plans for Pamplemousses, Rivière du Rempart, Flacq, Grand Port, and Savanne supported by the Agence Française de Développement and the Indian Ocean Commission; and the rehabilitation by the Ministry of 25 eroded sites over a total length of some 20 km.
Regarding the Wakashio oil spill incident and the increase in maritime traffic in the region, the Minister elaborated on several initiatives including the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan for the Republic of Mauritius which has been updated in 2021, and the implementation of an Integrated Environmental Monitoring Programme. “The Ministry is also in the process of recruiting the services of an international consultancy firm to carry out an Environment and Socio-Economic Impact Assessment post the Wakashio oil spill”, he added.
The ban on various categories of single use plastic products and plastic carry bags and the array of strategic measures initiated for the development of blue economy in the country were also highlighted by Minister Ramano.
Also speaking at the event, Mrs Umutoni congratulated the Government of Mauritius for its commitment in tackling the climate crisis and its engagement to update the MEDA Report. The comprehensive report, she added, highlights the impacts of climate change on the socio-economic environment and areas of concern for the country including the preservation of the coastline and coastal erosion, islet management, preservation of the mangroves and seagrass beds and coral reefs. She also dwelt on the support of several UN agencies to provide assistance to Mauritius in developing the blue economy in the country including the restoration of marine ecosystems, promoting sustainable tourism, capacity building and elaboration of policy frameworks.
For more information about the SAPPHIRE project, visit this page.