Climate change is exacerbating the inherent environmental vulnerabilities of small island developing states like Mauritius, characterised by a small land area, susceptibility to natural disasters, geographical isolation, limited natural resources and sensitive ecosystems. Likely negative climate change impacts include a (potentially significant) increase in annual mean temperature; a declining trend in total annual rainfall, but an increase in the frequency of intense rainfall episodes; sea level rise of 18–59 cm by 2100; and an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones. Climate change is thus a direct threat to human wellbeing and life-supporting systems, but also compounds problems caused by unsustainable practices such as sand mining, and environmental problems resulting from human pressures such as coastal and soil erosion.
Complement the ongoing general budget support programme in support of the government's ten-year economic reform of the Government of Mauritius, which includes the ‘Maurice Île Durable’ strategy.
Complement and reinforce existing support in order to strengthen donors’ complementarities and coordination, especially with the Environment Aid Programme of the French Development Agency (AFD).
The GCCA intervention, now completed, focused on mitigating the negative impacts of development on the environment through the introduction of an enabling legal framework, thus encouraging consistency between the economic reform programme and sustainable development.
An Energy Efficiency Bill approved by Cabinet is submitted to the Mauritius National Assembly and a new Building Control Bill is approved by the Cabinet.
To support the latter, technical assistance was provided to support the development of a building rating system, as well as the preparation of a policy and guidelines on sustainable building.
The approval and/or submission of the Energy Efficiency Bill and the Building Control Bill were specific conditions governing the disbursement of the two general budget support tranches of €1.4 million each.
Regular and structured policy dialogue is held to ensure that the expected results are achieved, in coordination with other stakeholders and donors involved in this sector.
Technical working groups were set up to provide recommendations for the evolution of the ‘Maurice Île Durable’ strategy in a way that better addresses sustainable development challenges, including climate-related ones.
Programme implementation has led to a number of direct and indirect achievements, including the following:
- A Climate Change division was set up at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in March 2010.
- The Energy Efficiency Bill was approved by Cabinet in October 2010 and voted in March 2011. An Energy Efficiency Management Office was set up in December 2011 and its website launched in June 2012.
- Working groups mobilising around 300 participants have been set up around key topics of the ‘Maurice Île Durable (MID)’ strategy, and have started providing recommendations. More details are available on the MID website.
- The new Building Control Bill including requirements for sustainable building was approved by Cabinet for submission to the National Assembly on 5 June 2012.
- A workshop on sustainable buildings and constructions was held in Pointe-aux-Piments in March 2012.
- Work has started on a policy and guidelines on sustainable buildings and construction; national targets have been proposed for Mauritius Green Buildings 2025, and the "Brilliant Pearl Green Building" rating system has been developed and proposed for implementation on a mandatory basis for public buildings and on a voluntary basis for private buildings.
- The limited time frame available for the setting of conditions governing the disbursement of general budget support made the negotiation process difficult.
- On the government side, there is a strong conviction that isolated plans and programmes are not very effective and fail to exploit synergies between various actions, especially where different donor agencies and different assistance programmes are involved. Donor interventions are thus expected to support the national sustainable development policy and investment programme, which includes a portfolio of projects and actions ready to be supported by donors. The GCCA programme, through the use of budget support, was in line with these principles.
The project is completed. However, the EU will continue the close dialogue with the Government of Mauritius and different stakeholders and support the ongoing initiatives within the existing framework of development cooperation.