Writing on Environmental policy issues /Africa Global Village -article 5

By Linley Bignoux

Speaking in the northern town of Grand Bay, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Devanand Virahsawmy, pointed out that the concept of sustainable development in Mauritius began to be assimilated in the national policy when Government comprehended that able option.

Minister Virahsawmy pronounced that a robust policy on sustainability is being forged in the country with the help of non-governmental organizations and the private and public sector to stem environmental degradation and looking at “a green economy and blue economy” in the future.

The Minister explained that since 2008, sustainable development has always been high on Governments agenda.

“The first milestone on the path to sustainable development was accomplished with the preparation of the recent Green paper, the formulation of a vision for MID, followed by the preparation of six reports of the MID consultative working groups, “he said.

Mr Virahsawmy also underlined the importance of realistic policies for sustainable development and illustrated that the achievements on sustainable development in Mauritius which received assessment at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20 conference in Brazil in July.

However, its findings were not commented on, it is expected to be drilled out in the coming months by the Virahsawmy’s Ministry of Environment.

As part of the government’s environmental sustainability plan to reinforce environmental policy, they intend on creating a high-level panel to oversee all policies and measures relating to climate, land, energy and water Strategies in a consolidated effort to springboard the nation in the African region.

According to government officials at the Prime Minister’s Offices the government wants “coherent” policies about the environment that are workable and not paper-based, and intend on further wholesale changes and introduction of environmental policies and new laws this year.

Although controversy has surrounded the government’s new-fangled environmental strategy since its inception in 2008, with many environmentalists and conservation groups criticizing the government for being lacklustre in advocating to the Mauritian public what it is actually about.

Moreover, political commentators and environmental reporters have scrutinised the governments MID environmental policy expressing concern
that it is weak and nothing more than a paper project.

With many within the media and environmental organizations saying that developing a blue economy out of the oceans and a green economy on land
are not feasible, which the government has already outlined recently that apparently will create jobs for Mauritians

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