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Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development

Climate Change

What is Climate Change
         

What is Climate Change?

Climate change, as per the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (UNFCCC), refers to a change in the state of climate that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

(Source: UNFCCC)

Impacts of Climate Change on Small Island Developing States

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report, some of the potential impacts of climate change for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) including Mauritius are as follows: 

  • ·        By mid-century, climate change is expected to reduce water resources in many small islands to the point they become insufficient to meet demand during low-rainfall period. 

  • ·         Increase in global temperature 

  • ·         Increase Food Insecurity

  • ·        Increase in frequency and intensity of natural disasters like cyclone & flooding 

  • ·        Sea level rise is expected to exacerbate inundation, storm surge and other coastal hazards, thus threatening vital infrastructure, settlement and facilities that support the livelihood of island communities.

  • ·        Deterioration in coastal conditions, for e.g. through erosion of beaches and coral bleaching, is expected to affect local resources.

 (Source: IPCC AR4)

 

 Some observed impacts of climate change in Mauritius

  • ·        Between 1998 & 2007, local mean sea level rose by 2.1mm per year.  Over the last 5 years sea level has been rising by around 3.8 mm/year. 

  • ·        Decreasing trend in annual rainfall of around 8% over Mauritius since the 1950s. 

  • ·        Average temperature has risen by 0.740C when compared to the 1961-90 mean.

  • ·        An increase in the annual number of hot days and warm nights. 

  • ·        Flash flood in 2008 and 2013 resulting in loss of lives. 

  • ·        Mauritius experienced its worst drought in 1999 and 2011.

  • ·        Increase in the frequency of extreme weather events, heavy rains and storms.

 

Projected impacts of climate change in Mauritius

  • ·        Decreasing trend of 8% in annual rainfall.  Utilizable water resources will decrease by up to 13% by 2050.

  • ·        Increase in heavy precipitation events with increased risk of flash flood.

  • ·        More frequent heat waves in summer.  

  • ·        Increasing frequency of heat spells, giving rise to cardiovascular and pulmonary complications.

  • ·        Increase in the number of intense tropical cyclones

  • ·        Increase in duration of dry spell

  • ·        Increase events of high energy waves (tidal surge) impacting the shores of Mauritius.

  • ·        Heat stress will impact on productivity in the poultry and livestock sector

  • ·        Propagation of vector-borne and infectious diseases as a result of higher temperature and recurrent floods.

  • ·        Lengthening of the transmission period of important vector-borne diseases due to rise in temperature. 

  • ·        Live corals to be reduced by 80-100% in the event of 3.28oC rise in temperature by the year 2100. 

  • ·        Migratory shifts in tuna aggregations thereby disrupting the local seafood hub activities and other fish based industries and may result in conflict over the stock both at a national and international level.

  • ·        Changes in fish stock distribution and fluctuations in abundance of conventionally fished and “new” species may disrupt existing allocation arrangements.

(Source: Mauritius Meteorological Services)

Climate Change Division

Aware of the threats climate change will pose to Mauritius, the Government of Mauritius in its Budget for the year 2010, made provision for the setting up a Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Environment & SD. The Climate Change Division was set up and became operational on 1st March 2010.  Some of the core duties of the Climate Change Division are as follows:

  • ·        Develop a climate change mitigation and adaptation framework;

  • ·        Coordinate national,  regional and international  projects in relation to climate change and sea level rise;

  • ·        Conduct and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventories;

  • ·        Devise and coordinate the implementation of an inter-sectoral climate change monitoring  programme and its reporting;

  • ·        Identify and coordinate Research & Development priorities associated with climate change and sea level rise;

  • ·        Follow up on matters pertaining to climate change in national, regional and international fora;

  • ·        Contribution in Public Outreach Programme.

 

Some key deliverables

        i.            National Climate Change Adaptation Policy Framework

·        A National Climate Change Adaptation Policy Framework, which is the first of its kind for the Republic of Mauritius under the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP).  The key objectives of this framework are to foster the development of policies, strategies, plans and processes to avoid, minimise and adapt to the negative impacts of climate change on the key sectors and also to avoid or reduce damage to human settlements and infrastructure and loss of lives caused by climate change. Besides, the framework aims to integrate and mainstream climate change into core development policies, strategies and plans of Mauritius.

 

      ii.            Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Strategic Framework and Action Plan

·        A Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Strategic Framework and Action Plan, including Risk Maps in relation to inland flooding, landslide and coastal inundation for the Republic of Mauritius has been developed under the AAP.  These will contribute to designing robust disaster risk reduction and policies and management practices for the decades to come. It is wise to look ahead, learn about and prepare to what the future holds for the Mauritian community so as to build disaster-resilient architecture and have an up-to-date early warning system so as to enhance the country’s preparedness in the face of disasters.

 

    iii.            Technology Action Plan for an enhanced Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

·        Technology Action Plans to implement feasible technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support adaptation to climate change that are consistent with national development priorities has been completed.  12 technologies have been prioritized following a thorough assessment from an initial list of 128 technologies for enhanced climate change mitigation in the Energy sector and adaptation in the Agriculture, Water and Coastal Zone sectors.

·        The recommended technologies for priority sectors are as follows:

Sector

Technologies

Adaptation

Agriculture

 

a)      up-scaling of proven Integrated Pest Management technologies focusing on all food crop growers

b)      Micro-irrigation focusing on small scale growers of horticultural crops.

Water

 

a)      Rainwater Harvesting at Residential level (RWH),

b)      Hydrological Models (HM) and

c)      Desalination Technology in the hotel sector (Desal). 

Coastal Zone

 

a)      Dune and vegetation restoration

b)      Rock Revetments

c)      Wetland Protection

Mitigation

Energy Industry

 

a)      utility-scale wind energy,

b)      industrial and commercial waste heat recovery using boiler economizer

 

·        The reports are available on the following link:

http://ccic.gov.mu

 

    iv.            Climate Change Information Centre

·        A Climate Change Information Centre has been set up in July 2013. This Centre provides consolidated information on climate change which is accessible to students, researchers, private sector organizations, NGOs and to the general public.  This Centre aims to become a regional Climate Change Information Hub for the Eastern African Region in the near future.

·        The CCIC has embarked on the MS ISO 9001:2008 implementation.

 

      v.           Climate Change Information, Education and Awareness Raising

1)      Climate Change Information, Education and Communication Strategy and Action Plan

·     It is recognized that climate change education and awareness raising of citizens are vital tools aiming at building resilience against climate change and extreme events.  In this context, Ministry of Environment & SD has developed a Climate Change Information, Education and Communication Strategy and Action Plan in February 2014. The  main objectives of which are to enhance:

a)      access of information on climate change to the public through awareness raising and education; and

b)      public participation and engagement in addressing and responding to climate change.

The target is to sensitise 400,000 citizens by 2016 and 1 million citizens by 2020.           

 

2)      Awareness Raising

A series of awareness raising campaigns targeting over 50 000 people from civil society in particular youth, women and community organisations have been sensitized on climate change  in context of the Africa Adaptation Programme and World Environment Day 2014. 

 

3)      Capacity Development

Some 2600 professionals from various sectors, including engineering, architecture, lawyers, education, environment and health have been trained in the context of AAP.  Some 750 teachers have been trained on mainstreaming climate change in the education sector.

 

4)      Youth as agent of change in the combat against climate change

·        Young people are greatest agent of change in the combat against climate change as they have enthusiasm, imagination and abundant energy to undertake local actions, act as effective communicators in their communities and be involved in international arenas. In this context, a Training Manual and aToolkit  on Climate Change have been developed for youth to:

-        Inspire, inform and involve youth in taking action on climate change and become a climate champion.

-        Empower the youth in leading the way to mobilize their neighbors and communities to act together in the combat of Climate Change.

The Training Manual can be accessed through thefollowing link:

Training Manual

The Toolkit can be accessed through the following link:

Toolkit

 

·        With the collaboration of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, training of trainers for youth cadres was held at Helvetia Youth Centre and 6 regional training workshops for youth leaders were held at Helvetia Youth Centre, Yusoof Ali Hall, Floreal Youth Centre, Bois Cheri Youth Centre. Kennedy Youth Centre and Flacq Youth Centre. 

·        Some 600 youth leaders have been trained on climate change

 

5)      Women as agent of change in the combat against climate change

·     It is known that women play a pivotal role in the family as they help in creating general awareness on social, economic and environmental issues including climate change.  As such, they can greatly contribute in enhancing resilience building against climate change among family members.  In this context, a manual on climate change for women has also been developed to provide women with a basic understanding of climate change as well as a series of practical measures and steps that they, as well as their family members, can adopt as part of their day to day activities. 

·     5 regional workshops are planned to sensitize and train women on climate change will be carried out throughout the country.

 

  vii.            Demonstration Projects

a)      Coral farming activities at Albion, Pointe aux Sables and Trou aux Biches in Mauritius and at  Graviers and Hermitage in Rodrigues.

b)      Installation of seawater temperature sensors at 5 stations in Rodrigues (RiviereBanane, Anse aux Anglais, Grand Baie, PlaineCorail and Pointe L’herbe.

c)      Provision of salinity meters and training of onion planters on the South East Coast of Mauritius and the plantation of mangroves at Petit Sables, Grand Sables and BambouxVirieux, October 2012.

d)      Setting up of an Endemic Garden and an Information Centre at Panchavati.

e)      Awareness raising to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities including donation of Salinity Meters.

f)        Setting up of 7 Agro-meteorological Stations as part of an Agricultural Decision Support System in different regions namely at; Wooton, Richelieu, Flacq, Plaisance, Plaine Sophie, Reduit, and Barkly to provide timely and vital information to planters for a sustainable agriculture.

 

Key projects under implementation to combat climate change and comply with international requirements UNFCCC

 

A.   Third National Communication (TNC)

  • ·        The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Developmenthas secured USD 500 000 from GEF through UNEP for the preparation of the Third National Communication.

  • ·        A Project Implementation Plan for TNC has been finalized.

  • ·        The Ministry of Environment & SD is in process of recruiting a National Project Coordinator and Project Assistant for preparation of the TNC.

 

B.   National Climate Change Mitigation Strategy and Actions

  • ·        At the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Mexico in December 2010, Parties agreed that developing countries would take NAMAs for promoting sustainable development.

  • ·        In this context, the Ministry of Environment & SD in collaboration with key stakeholdershasdeveloped a Project Identification Form covering key sectors such as renewable energy, environment and green economy, land use change and forestry for the Low carbon development strategy and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions.

  • ·        On 8th May 2014the Chief Executive Officer of GEF has conveyed his approval on Mauritius proposal for the grant of USD 1.6 million. The duration of the project is 48 month.

  • ·        UNEP RISOE (URC) will assist Mauritius in the preparation of a project document for submission to the GEF Secretariat for approval by end of 2014.

 

C.   Preparation of Guideline to mainstream climate change in Building and Land Use Permit

  • ·        A guideline for mainstreaming climate change in Building and Land Use Permit is being finalised.

  • ·        The main objective of this guideline is to integrate Climate Change risk management, mitigation and adaptation in the local development process through the existing mechanism at local authorities’ level.

 

D.   Toolkit for climate change vulnerability assessment and Identification of Adaptation Options for Local Authorities

  • ·        As climate is changing, so is the operating environment for Local Authorities. The Local Authorities will need to be armed with appropriate proactive responses to the emerging climate threats.

  • ·        In this context, toolkit for climate change vulnerability assessment and Identification of Adaptation Options for Local Authorities are also being developed.  Thetoolkit is designed to strengthen the internal capacity of both the council and its staff to manage the local impacts of climate change. It is also meant to help the Council to proactively address the prevention, protection and preparedness to the adverse effects of climate change and extreme events.

  • ·        A Toolkit has been finalised for the Municipal Council of Vacoas Phoenix and a comprehensive GIS data set together with the toolkit have been forwarded to the Council.

 

E.   Capacity Development on Climate Change Measures in Mauritius

  • ·        The Government of Japan, through JICA, has agreed to provide technical assistance for the implementation of the “Capacity Development on Climate Change Measures in the Republic of Mauritius”.   The project aims at strengthening Mauritius  capacity to deal with  issues

  • ·        JICA will also donate equipment to strengthen Climate Change Education and awareness raising as well as provide training to stakeholders in Mauritius and in Japan.

  • ·        Japanese experts will assist the relevant stakeholders in formulating climate policies.

  • ·        The duration of the project will be two years and the cost is estimated at USD 800,000. 

 

F.    Mauritius 2050 Pathways Calculator

·        At COP 19, held in Warsaw in 2013, all Parties were invited to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions, in the context of adopting an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention.

·        In this context, the British High Commission through the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has proposed to offer the Ministry of Environment & SD technical assistance in terms of providing capacity building to stakeholders on the use of the 2050 Pathways Calculator.The aim is to provide assistance as follows:

-        Quantification of mitigation actions in terms of GHG emission reductions in preparing the contribution and development of a carbon calculator for Mauritius; and

-        Training/Capacity Building on the use and application of the carbon calculator.

·        An agreement was signed between the Ministry of Environment and the British High Commission on 26 August 2014.

·        The project started in August 2014 and is scheduled to end in June 2015.

 

Reports

·                         Second National Communication

      ·               National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report (2000-2006)

        ·        First TNA, 2004

·                       Food Security Fund Strategic Plan -2013-2015 

 

Suggested website

·        http://environment.gov.mu/English/Climate_Change/Pages/CCIC.aspx

·        http://unfccc.int

·        http://www.ipcc.ch/index.htm

·        http://climate.nasa.gov/

http://www.sidsnet.org/aosis

 

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