Following the Transition ceremony, Mauritius Government officials met to discuss the continuation of the Green Recovery work on sustainable food systems, fiscal policies to encourage Nature-based Solutions and Climate Smart Agriculture, boosting the agro-processing sector, and the Operation COSHARE (COVID OSH and Resource Efficiency) programme for the hospitality sector. These projects were established under the PAGE Green Recovery Fund programme (2021-2022) in Mauritius. The meetings happened on 28th September, and 3rd and 4th October.
The meetings held at the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security focused on Boosting the Agro-Processing sector (report by UNIDO) and Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture opportunities (report by UNEP). A working committee was envisaged to take the agro-processing sector forward. This committee would consider: the marketing and labelling of local agro-processed products, the training of public officers on new agro-processing techniques for further dissemination to operators, and the creation of a dedicated platform for agro-processors. Concerning the Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture project, it was decided to re-evaluate and further promote the existing Household Gardening Scheme. This government scheme was introduced in 2021-2022, and a lot of interest came from urban dwellers, close to 5000 applications were received.
The meeting held at the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development on 4th October, was to discuss the Fiscal Policy report and toolkit (UNEP) on how to promote and encourage Nature-based Solutions and Climate Smart Agriculture. Further discussions are being held at the level of the Ministry to re-evaluate the existing government agricultural schemes, in order to ensure that the transition to sustainable agriculture is achieved.
Also, on 21st October, the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) and ILO formally ended the Operation COSHARE programme. High-level government officials were present from the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, and Dr Coffi Agossou, ILO Country Director for Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, and Seychelles was present in person and intervened during the event. The audience consisted of the Operation COSHARE beneficiaries, who shared their positive experiences and outcomes of the programme. Most enterprises were able to identify ‘quick-wins’ during the programme, and this was very encouraging for them. The NPCC, local partner working with ILO on this project, provided some interesting insights and shared future opportunities to continue the work.
And on 23rd September, Ms Joy Kim Aeree, Head of Economic and Trade Policy Unit, UNEP, who was present for the PAGE Transition Ceremony, took the opportunity to meet with the Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development to discuss the Sustainable Budgeting Approach Tool. There was an interest to further explore the tool for Mauritius. Further discussions are ongoing.
PAGE and national partners held a PAGE Transition Ceremony on 21-22 September, which marked the opening of greater opportunities for Mauritius in sustaining its achievements towards an Inclusive Green Economy (IGE). PAGE’s core engagement in Mauritius has now ended.