Mauritius

Graduating Country:
Mauritius

The Mauritius National Vision sets a clear path for the country to become a high-income, sustainable and inclusive economy.

Overview

Mauritius has transformed into a diversified upper middle-income economy, benefitting from dynamic industrial, financial and tourism sectors and high levels of human development. However, increased economic activity has adversely affected the environment. Marine and air pollution coupled with the island’s vulnerability to climate change have made it essential for Mauritius to build a resource-efficient and resilient economy.

Mauritius has transformed into a diversified upper middle-income economy, benefitting from dynamic industrial, financial and tourism sectors and high levels of human development. However, increased economic activity has adversely affected the environment. Marine and air pollution coupled with the island’s vulnerability to climate change have made it essential for Mauritius to build a resource-efficient and resilient economy.

In addition to the Mauritius National Vision, a Three Year Strategic Plan 2017-2020, entitled Rising to the Challenge of our Ambitions” was launched in June 2017. Within this plan, green economy was highlighted as an approach to implementing low-carbon growth in key sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, waste management and tourism.

Since 2014, PAGE has supported the government to pursue its vision, with a focus on building capacity for the issuance of green bonds, providing guidance on social policies, reviewing and tracking public environment expenditures, assessing industrial waste and related industrial strategies and advancing green economy learning. A significant contribution was towards the Marshall Plan Against Poverty, including the Marshall Plan Social Contract, which provides assistance to households at risk of extreme poverty. Through its work, PAGE has supported achievement of several SDGs, including SDGs 1, 4, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 17.

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PAGE milestones

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Progress in 2019: A snapshot

Global recognition of PAGE work

PAGE activities featured amongst the Voluntary National Review of individual SDGs (1, 12, 13 and 17) presented by Mauritius at the High-Level Political Forum in New York in July 2019. The PAGE supported study ‘Tracking of Public Sector Environmental Expenditures (TPSEE)’ was used to develop the report's chapter on SDG 13.

Supporting access to green finance

In July 2019, the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives (MoBEC) jointly with PAGE, initiated a study focused on access to green finance by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This will help to strengthen implementation of the SME 10-Year Master Plan that was launched in 2017. A working group of public and private sector stakeholders was set-up to oversee implementation.

Increasing the competitiveness of businesses

In November 2019, PAGE supported a pilot training aimed at optimising the efficiency, productivity, cleaner production and competitiveness of SMEs through improved workplace cooperation implemented by ILO’s Programme on Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE). Partners included the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) and SME Mauritius. The event introduced SCORE methods to local SMEs and identified capacities needed to improve competitiveness and productivity at national and international levels. To ensure long-term sustainability, SCORE trained local trainers will embed SCORE’s methods into NPCC-supported trainings on a recurrent basis.

Identifying measures to support sustainable results

PAGE has worked with national counterparts to develop a national sustainability plan that recommends measures to sustain the benefits of work beyond the partnership, including a communication plan to promote IGE and PAGE’s successes in Mauritius. A transition ceremony is planned for 2020 to facilitate national ownership and introduce complementary initiatives that will continue to support the country in reaching its sustainable development objectives.

Integrating IGE into national training programmes

PAGE and the Civil Service College Mauritius (CSCM) signed an agreement to integrate Green Economy considerations into learning programmes available to policymakers and a broader community, including businesses, teachers, trainers and the general public. This work builds on the Green Economy Learning Needs Assessment developed by the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reform (MCSAR) and CSCM with PAGE involvement.

With PAGE support, CSCM will:

  1. Mainstream IGE and SDG aspects into existing courses, such as strategic planning and project management training;
  2. Broaden the offer of Green Economy e-learning products delivered by CSCM, by integrating PAGE global training products into the existing e-learning platform; and
  3. Enhance knowledge and capacity of high school teachers on how to integrate Green Economy learning in the classroom.

PAGE impact: 2014-2019 and beyond

 
Outcome 1: National Policymaking

PAGE has played a fundamental role in supporting national dialogue, through the completion of assessments, organization of forums and by building a strong case linking poverty reduction to green economy. Examples include:

Completing sound analyses to support the case for change

Several green economy analyses, including the Mauritius Green Economy Assessment and Mauritius Fiscal Policy Scoping Study have been completed. The findings from these studies provided valuable inputs into the Mauritius National Vision objectives. Several strategic documents were developed by the Mauritian government to guide achievement of these objectives that mainstreamed IGE principles, including the “Three-Year Strategic Plan: Rising to the Challenge of Our Ambitions (2017/18-2019/20)” and the “10-Year Masterplan for the SME Sector in Mauritius”, commissioned by the MoBEC. This work supports SDG 17, target 17.4, by enhancing policy coherence.

Supporting national level dialogues on IGE

In May 2018, a week-long Green Economy Forum was organised jointly with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, to share the latest developments related to Mauritius’ green economy transition. 273 participants from government institutions, the private sector, training institutions and civil society attended to increase competences around the green bonds market and promote knowledge sharing on policy formulation and green economy transition. A final event is being planned in 2020 to mark the phase out of PAGE and operationalise the sustainability plan. PAGE will be providing targeted support to the SDG Steering Committee during the final phase. This contributes to SDG 17, target 17.14, by enhancing policy coherence and target 17.16, by supporting partnerships.

Outcome 2: Sectoral and Thematic Reform

PAGE’s work in Mauritius has spanned several sectors and cross-cutting themes with far-reaching consequences identified in the National Vision, including poverty reduction, industrial waste management, SME finance, green jobs, and public expenditure on climate change.

Linking green economy to poverty reduction

A focus of the National Vision is commitment to improve inclusiveness and reduce poverty. PAGE directly supported the development of the Marshall Plan Against Poverty, launched as part of the 2016-17 national budget, and the drafting of targeted policy measures to prevent extreme poverty. Its most important proposal — the Marshall Plan Social Contract — provides financial assistance to households found eligible under the Social Register of Mauritius for families in poverty. Funding for the Social Contract has been earmarked in successive national budget speeches. This supports SDG 1, target 1.4 on ensuring all men and women, particularly the poor and vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources.

Providing guidance on industrial waste management

PAGE supported Mauritius’ goal of greening its industry by conducting an IWA to provide strategic guidance for national policymakers in 2016. The assessment quantified the amount and main categories of industrial waste being generated in selected industries and provided insights into the legislative framework. It also identified opportunities for reuse and recycling of industrial waste, providing guidance for the development of a sustainable manufacturing industry. As a follow-up, a survey will be supported by PAGE to examine industrial waste management costs and develop recommendations on circular economy and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). This work is aligned to SDGs 9 and 12, targets 9.5b and 12.5 on upgrading the technological capacities of industrial sectors, ensuring a conducive policy environment for industrial development and promoting the reduction of waste.

Expanding SME access to green finance

According to Mauritius’ 10-Year SME Master Plan, SMEs are encouraged to adopt sustainable production practices and showcase eco-business. There is a need to improve SMEs access to finance by expanding their funding opportunities and reinforcing their capacity and financial awareness. A Forum on Green Business Development was organised in May 2018, to discuss issues related to sustainable procurement and access to green financing. Subsequently, stakeholder consultations were held in July 2019, with a national technical working group to initiate a study on access to green finance to be completed in 2020. This work supports SDG 17, target 17.3, on mobilising additional financial resources, and target 17.16, by facilitating partnerships.

Bridging the skills gap through green jobs assessment

The country’s green jobs assessment model is being updated by a local modeler from the University of Mauritius with support from PAGE. Expected to be completed in 2020, this model will project the effects of the country’s NDCs on economy-wide employment effects, including green jobs. In addition, ILO completed a study on anticipated skills needs. A national capacity building workshop will be held in January 2020, using these two inputs. This work supports SDGs 8 and 17, by promoting decent work and building partnerships.

Monitoring public expenditure related to climate change

The Public Environment Expenditure Review (PEER), supported by PAGE, sparked interest in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to introduce climate finance tracking tools within the budget process and the Treasury Accounting System. PAGE assisted the Ministry to develop a methodology and training enabling policy officials to conduct an annual computation of total public-sector environmental expenditure. This will facilitate the integration of climate change measures into the national budget process, contributing to SDGs 8, 9 and 13.

Outcome 3: Strengthening Capacity

PAGE has worked with government institutions, universities and academia on a national level to increase knowledge and capacity. Efforts have also been made to engage on an international level to share lessons and expand the partnership’s reach. Examples include:

Building institutional capacity

PAGE supported completion of the Green Economy Learning Needs Assessment in 2018 for civil servants, and entrepreneurs and workers in strategic sectors and signed an agreement in 2019 with the CSCM to integrate green economy into the college’s learning programmes. In 2020, CSCM will deliver courses on strategy planning and project management, integrating IGE principles to around 400 officers and train secondary teachers on IGE principles. This has supported SDG 4, target 4.7, by identifying priority learning needs to promote sustainable development and 17.1 on enhancing national capacity for the SDGs.

Building individual capacity

Several examples of support to build green economy capacity can be provided, aligned with SDG 17, targets 17.1 and 17.9 on strengthening domestic resource mobilisation and enhancing national capacity for the SDGs:

  • In 2017, a two-day train-the-trainer for 25 practitioners was held to support the delivery of high-quality training on green economy;
  • Support was provided to ILO’s SME development programmes through a training needs analysis, workshops and monitoring and evaluation of trainers’ performance. In November 2019, PAGE supported the SCORE pilot training aimed at optimising the efficiency, productivity, cleaner production and competitiveness of SMEs through improved workplace cooperation;
  • Representatives from government, the financial sector and academia received technical training on green bonds development, in partnership with the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) to develop a Green Bonds Market;
  • A three-day training was delivered in November 2017 on climate change adaptation and mitigation concepts and their linkages with budget-related expenditure to 150 representatives from 15 government ministries/departments. In March 2018, a follow-up session was held with local government.
Facilitating South-South cooperation

During the Green Economy Forum, representatives from provincial governments (Western Cape and Gauteng) shared their experiences on public policy and private sector engagement towards green economy to promote learning from South-South experiences. As Mauritius enters its final year of PAGE, lessons have been shared from Burkina Faso and Mongolia. Aspects of Mauritius’ sustainability plan, were shared with other phase out countries, including Peru. These examples contributed to SDG 17, target 17.9, by facilitating international cooperation to support national implementation of the SDGs.