12.07.26 Mexa Blue Carbon Award

Speech by Hon. Minister of Environment
and Sustainable Development
The MEXA Blue Carbon Award 2012
Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel
26 July 2012
Mr Osman Mohamed, Executive Chairman, Maurice Ile Durable
Dr Vasantt Jogoo, Chairman, Maurice Ile Durable Fund
Mrs Danielle Wong, Director of MEXA
Mrs Ng, Director, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable
Mrs Laurence Breton-Moyet, Director, Agence Française de
Chairmen and Directors
Participants of the Project
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am privileged to address you this evening on the occasion of the
MEXA Blue Carbon Award 2012. I would like to congratulate the
Mauritius Export Association for promoting such initiatives to
encourage industries to calculate their carbon footprint and adopt
sustainable measures to optimize use of their resources.
This laudable initiative is well in line with green economy which is
a concept that will significantly reduce environmental and
ecological risks of shortages of our natural resources while
improving, at the same time, the well-being of the population
through social equity.
We, in Government, firmly believe that the greening of our
economy can only be achieved if best practices are applied in key
sectors such as construction, manufacturing, tourism, transport,
energy, water, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. To this end,
Government is creating the enabling environment with the support
of the private sector and of the civil society.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The world has now a population of 7 billion inhabitants and by the
year 2050, this figure will rise to up to 9 billion. This will put more
stress on our natural resources which are already being depleted.
This trend will continue to increase with further demand for
resources such as fossil fuels, food, and water.
Coupled with greater demand for commodities, is the inevitable
adverse impact of climate change which will undermine our
development efforts and jeopardise our future if corrective
measures are not taken in time. Our food, water, land and energy
security will all be at stake. More particularly, our agriculture,
tourism, infrastructure, marine and coastal systems, and our rich
biodiversity will be further affected.
More frequent and prolonged floods, droughts, storms and other
unusual climatic conditions are already exacerbating poverty by
causing shortage of food, and affecting livelihood of populations,
especially in Africa and in Small Island Developing States where
major sectors of the economy are still heavily dependent on
nature and climate. It is therefore high time that we change our
mindset and adopt a sustainable lifestyle with low carbon footprint
since we are becoming a population that is more focused in
satisfying our wants rather than meeting our needs.
To make Mauritius a more resilient island, Government has
embarked on the Maurice Ile Durable concept which was coined
by the Prime Minister in 2008. This project has now reached its
final stage and we are actually in the process of finalising a
comprehensive national policy as well as a 10-Year Strategy
accompanied by a 3-Year Action Plan based on the 5 E’s, namely
: Energy, Education, Employment, Environment and Equity (social
justice). Moreover, the Maurice Ile Durable Fund, worth 40 million
USD, has already been set up to support projects and
programmes for sustainable development.
The Maurice Ile Durable concept is inextricably linked to our
consumption and production patterns. In this context, my Ministry
has embarked on a National Programme on Sustainable
Consumption and Production regarding energy efficiency, water
conservation, and sustainable buildings.
Moreover, we have adopted a mix of economic instruments to
encourage sustainable practices. We are encouraging private
consumers to produce electricity through renewable sources of
energy and industries to adopt resource efficiency and clean
technology. Along the same line we have supported industries
wishing to calculate their carbon footprint thereby taking
appropriate corrective measures.
Other initiatives that my Ministry has undertaken to support and
facilitate Environmental Management System at national level,
includes the industrial waste auditing which is now mandatory
under the Environment Protection Act to ensure that industries
closely monitor and mitigate their environmental impacts. An
added benefit of industrial waste auditing is that it aims at
developing a culture of industrial compliance and encourages the
adoption of cleaner technology and optimises resource use
efficiency. We have noted that several large companies
complying with the industrial waste audit regulations are now
moving one step further on the path of modernisation and efficient
production by adopting Environment Management Systems such
as ISO 14001.
In parallel, my Ministry is in the process of establishing the
necessary framework for translating the MID vision into a clear cut
10-Year Strategy and a practical 3-Year Action Plan based on the
5 E’s, namely : Energy, Education, Employment, Environment and
Equity (social justice).
As you may be aware, one of the themes of the recent RIO+20
Conference, held in Brazil, focused on “a green economy in the
eradication”. In this context, I apprised the conference, which
was attended by Heads of States and Governments as well as
high level delegations, of the various initiatives that Mauritius is
taking to promote a green economy and to create green and
decent jobs. As members of the local business community, you
will appreciate that I also raised concern about the fact that green
economy initiatives should not be converted or misused as green
protectionism by developed countries and become an obstacle to
the development of Small Island Developing States like Mauritius.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The long term economic success of our small island will not be
possible without environmental sustainability. There is an urgent
need for a concerted and coordinated effort from each and every
one of us. Government alone cannot bring along a radical
transformation of our society. We need the active participation of
one and all, that is, the private sector, para-statal bodies, NGO’s
and the civil society at large. Together we have travelled a long
road in the quest for sustainable development but we still have a
long way to go. Though we may have stumbled some times, yet
we have registered success on many fronts.
I am confident that through initiatives like the MEXA Blue Carbon
Award, we will be paving the way for a greener Mauritius for
future generations.
I thank you for your attention.