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Friday, April 19, 2024

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Better Management Of Marine Biodiversity Announces Minister Maudhoo

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A new Fisheries Bill which will provide for better management of marine biodiversity and resources as well as promote a sustainable ecosystem is being finalised, announced the Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, today at the opening of a workshop for the project Mainstreaming Biodiversity in the Management of Coastal Zone at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port-Louis.

The Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr Kavydass Ramano; the Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin; and the UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius, Ms Amanda Serumaga, were present.

Minister Maudhoo underlined that the project is being funded to the tune of some USD 4.6 million by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with the assistance of the UNDP. The aim, he stated, is to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem management into physical development planning and tourism sector activities. As at date, 80% of the project has been completed, he informed.

The project, he indicated, is in line with the Government’s vision to transform Mauritius into an Ocean State by promoting blue economy as one of its main pillars of development. It is instrumental to incorporate policy, strategy, knowledge and technological expertise for the emergence of the blue economy as a game changer for the economy hence the need for such collaborative workshops, he added.

New Fisheries Bill

Minister Ramano extended his appreciation to the GEF and the UNDP for the extension of the project to December 2022. He underlined that the extension will help to review and update the Environment Site Assessment (ESA) GIS datasets and maps and finalise the report on ESA study, Strategy and Action Plan.

He further indicated that amendments will be brought to the Environment Protection Act 2002 for effective management of ESAs adding that an ESA Coordinating Committee is being envisaged.

For his part, Minister Gobin called for the input of local authorities as regards the management of coastal zones. He also spoke of the need to look into the biodiversity hotspot of Agaléga and St Brandon and to focus more on islets and outer islands.

As for Ms Serumaga, she highlighted that the mainstreaming project spans over five years and is line with the UNDP’s vision to support community-led initiatives that address global environmental issues. She urged for a stronger synergy between the public and private sectors as well as the civil society in this endeavour.

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