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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN MAURITIUS

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources is responsible for promoting agricultural sustainability.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Action has been taken in two fields:
1. Recycling of organic wastes and development of organic farming.
2. Development of integrated plant nutrient systems to cut down on chemical inputs.

Furthermore, attempts are underway towards integrated pest management (IPM) for a few pests (Liriomyza leaf miners and Plutells spp. on crucifers) so as to minimize the use of pesticides, in line with FAO's definition of IPM for its field work programmes.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  


The private sector and small farming communities participate in sustainable agriculture.

Programmes and Projects 

An islandwide land resource appraisal is ongoing on marginal soils with a view to improving land management.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

Remote sensing and geographic information system techniques will be resorted for developing management practices that help to maintain the quality of land resources. Remote sensing activities are supported from the Government of India.

The Government is strengthening its institutional research and extension capability to develop and disseminate technologies linked with sustainable agriculture.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 4 June 1997

To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Health, and the Meteorological Services are responsible for the protection of the atmosphere. Legislation to protect the atmosphere is under review.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government also supports the conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases, including biomass, forests and oceans, as well as other terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems, through forest preservation, ongoing programme of reforestation, and establishment of nature marine parks.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 


With the assistance of the US Country Studies Programme, Mauritius is preparing its National Inventory of GHG emissions, and has also undertaken various studies, including the vulnerability assessment and adaptation measures for water resources, agriculture (sugar cane), and coastal protection.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Montreal Protocol (1987) was signed in 1992, and ratified on August 18, 1992. The London Amendment (1990) was signed on October 20, 1992. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 1992, and ratified on September 4, 1992.

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The National Parks and Conservation Service within the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources is primarily responsible for issues related to biodiversity and genetic resources. It shares responsibility with the Ministry of Environment and Quality of Life.

Other institutions actively involved in conservation matters are the Mauritian Appeal Foundation, the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute, and the University of Mauritius.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Wildlife and National Parks Act (1993) governs the National Parks and Conservation Service. A Technical Committee was set up to draw specific protection plans for most endangered plants species.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  
A management plan on the ecological restoration of numerous islets around is being implemented. Captive breeding of endemic threatened birds has been enabled and two species have been saved from extinction. In-situ and ex-situ conservation of endangered endemic plants is being actively pursued.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

The Wildlife and National Parks Advisory Council was set up in 1994 and given responsibility for overseeing the National Parks Project.

Biodiversity protection is given very high priority by the Mauritian Government. Various national programmes for the conservation of biodiversity are being implemented. In 1994, the first national park (6,574 ha) of Mauritius was proclaimed. This park is the refuge for most endemic fauna and flora. Mauritius was the first country to ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity through GEF. Various projects for the restoration of degraded forests are underway.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

The total number of trained foresters is eight. Two of them have been trained at the Deradhurn Institute of Forestry, India. There are four technical officers, one has been trained at Jersey Wildlife, one at Kew Gardens and one in Australia. Staff members regularly attend workshops, seminars and conferences of the Convention on Biodiversity.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

Under the Indian Ocean Commission, funds are made available for setting up a Conservation Management Area with 5 hectares and training for staffs abroad and locally.

Funding is mainly provided from the Government, the Conservation Management Fund and the World Bank.

Cooperation

The Convention on Biological Diversity was ratified 1992. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was ratified in 1975. The latest report to the CITES Secretariat was submitted in 1995.

Mauritius cooperated with IUCN in the preparation of the Red Data Book. Mauritius cooperates with Kew Gardens and Orstom in the preparation of the 'Flore des Mascareignes."

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 4 June 1997

For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Mauritius is not affected by desertification but is sometimes affected by drought. The measures that are taken against drought are as follows:

(i) For domestic consumption of water there is a constant monitoring of the levels of all reservoirs, and when levels are low, all the population are advised through TV and radio to make economic use of water, also water supply than is restricted.
(ii) For agriculture, irrigation methods have been chosen which use less water, for example surface irrigation was replaced by drip irrigation.
(iii) The construction of a new dam - the Midland Dam - was propsed in order to increase water storage capacity.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertifiaction, Particularly in Africa was ratified in 1996.

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 4 June 1997

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

No information is available.

 

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Forestry Service is responsible for the management of all state-owned land, within the framework of the National Forest Policy. The Forestry Service is a department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There are two main legislations for the protection of forests and wildlife, the Forest and Reserves Act of 1983 and the Wildlife and National Park Act of 1993.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Main objectives for the management of forests are, inter alia:
(i) protection of the strategically located upland forests for soil and water conservation and for the protection of the rare native flora and fauna;
(ii) production of timber, poles and other forest products for local needs.

The Forestry Service has the following annual targets:
Production of 1.2 million of forestry and decorative seedlings.
Re- and afforestation of 200 ha. of state lands.
Weeding and tending of 700 ha of young plantations.
Production of about 15,000 m3 of timber and poles.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  
The private sector, NGOs and youth movements are important to sustainable forestry.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Once densely covered with indigenous species, the forest cover of Mauritius today amounts to 57,059 hectares of which 34,540 hectares are privatly owned. About 1% of the total land area is under native forests. There are about 22,500 ha of state-owned forests out of which 4,600 hectares have been declared Nature Reserves and National Park. There are 12,400 ha of forest plantations, with Pelliottii as the major species (about 80%). The Pine forests in the central uplands play a major role in soil and water conservation. A limited amount of utility timber (about 8,000m3) is exploited annually. Most hardwoods are being imported.

Mauritius being a small island, land is a very scarce resource. The forest plantations are not sufficient to meet the local demand for timber and the furniture and construction industries rely heavily on imported timber. Mauritius has an annual felling programme of 100 ha approximately.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

The senior staff of the Forestry Service consists of three university trained professionals. There are 126 forestry technicians and a supervisory and labour force of about 1,300 persons. There is a shortage of technical staff at all levels. Over the years the labour force has been reduced and the Forestry Service is gradually resorting to mechanisation, especially for land preparation prior to reafforestation.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

The Forestry Service is totally funded by the Government.

Cooperation

Mauritius has no long tradition of commitment and participation in international movements for ecological conservation, but it has solid working links with such agencies as the United Nation Environment Programme, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust and others.

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 4 June 1997

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Central Water Authority is in charge of freshwater. The supply and management of fresh water resources is the responsibility of the Water Resources Unit of the Ministry of Energy.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 


Some 99.8% of the population has access to safe water resources, and 99.1% has access to sanitation services.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.


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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The National Environment Commission and the Environment Coordination Commission are responsible for land management. Local authorities are statutorily responsible for the implementation of Outline Schemes, while the Ministry of the Environment only advises on important strategic issues.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  


The introduction in 1994 of the National Physical Development Plan (NPDP), prepared under the Environmental Investment Programme, marked a historical step towards handling multi-sectoral issues such as housing, industry, leisure, and environment, within the overall development process in an integrated fashion. In concrete terms, the NPDP testifies to the government's commitment towards the sustainable use of resources and purports to strike a balance between development and the protection of the environment, while at the same time seeking social equity. The NPDP has two main objectives, namely:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Governmental organizations, parastatal bodies, and NGOs are all active in this area.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

The effective elaboration and implementation of plans, which evolved within the overall planning process, has been hindered due to the lack of adequate human resources both at the professional and sub-professional level.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

There are ad hoc training programmes for officers of the Department of Environment.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.


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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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MOUNTAINS

No information is available.


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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is primarily responsible for ensuring integrated planning and implementation.

Various national agencies and government bodies, including the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, the Central Water Authority, the Ministry of Environment and Quality of Life, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Town and Country Planning, among others, have been active in implementing measures for the management of freshwater resources, energy, land use, transportation in tourist resort areas, and construction in coastal areas. Other measures include the prevention of near shore water pollution, waste minimization, and the improvement and expansion of health facilities.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Fisheries Act (1980) and the Maritime Zones Act (1977) are under review.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Regarding natural and environmental disaster reduction, Mauritius has also taken steps to improve communication networks, promote exchange and dissemination of information for disaster preparedness, including early warning and pre-disaster planning, and relevant training and access to technology for early warning, risk assessment and disaster management. Mauritius has also established a disaster emergency fund, under the Prime Minister's office, for efficient and quick response and relief.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

Mauritius participates in international cooperative scientific programmes, such as the Indo Pacific Tuna Programme (IPTP) of FAO, the regional tuna project of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), and the regional environment programme of the IOC. National institutions responsible for integrated coastal management have access to several data bases, including the regional tuna database, the bank fishery database, and the marine ecosystem and coastal pollution database.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provides finance for activities in this area and Mauritius works with JICA, Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), UNEP, and IPTP. Mauritius is also a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the Western Indian Ocean Tuna Organization (WIOTO).

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The government has prepared comprehensive legislation for the control of hazardous substances with a view to protect human health and the environment. Mauritius has taken steps to follow the recommendations of Agenda 21 on toxic chemicals. The government has actively participated in the implementation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure of the Amended London Guidelines. Most of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) have been banned.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Waste Water Sector in Mauritius is under the Waste Water Authority.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

From 1992 to 1996, considerable effort has been exerted to promote the waste sector by setting up programmes aiming to provide sustainable and environmentally sound facilities of sewage systems. Measures are also being taken for the institutional strengthening of the Waste Water Authority, to ensure the efficient operation and financial management of the sewage sector.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

In 1992, under the National Environmental Investment Programme, the Government of Mauritius launched a Sewage Master Plan Study with the objective of identifying programmes to provide a long term solution for the safe disposal of human and industrial waste. The Master Plan was completed in 1991 and, since 1994, the Government of Mauritius has been organizing the financing of the following projects:

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

Hazardous Wastes


Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.


Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Department of Environment (DOE) is presently drafting regulations aiming at defining hazardous waste, minimizing its generation, banning importation and controlling exportation of such wastes as well. There is a long-term plan to train the staff of the Department of State and other agencies.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

Mauritius is presently constructing a landfill with a provision for cells for accommodating hazardous wastes. These cells will have a composite liner. Emphasis will be laid on development of environmentally-sound management of hazardous wastes.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed and ratified in 1992 and the latest information was provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat in 1995. Mauritius has also ratified the Bamako Convention aimed at controlling the movement of hazardous wastes.

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

Radioactive Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Radiation Protection Board and the Physics Department of the Ministry of Health are in charge of matters of radioactivity.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

The following institutions use radioactive materials:

The Ministry of Health is the only institution where there is radioactive waste. Such waste is disposed of in the following manner:

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Ministry of Health is cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency for the management and disposal of radioactive waste.

 

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This information is based on Mauritius' submission to the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

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