Even though Mauritius is among the smallest polluters, it is among the most vulnerable on the planet to climate change. According to the Climate Vulnerability Index Ranking, Mauritius is the 46th most threatened country in the world.

In his 2024/25 Budget, the Minister of Finance, Renganaden Padayachy, plans more than Rs 5 billion to fight global warming for the financial year. But in total, Rs 300 billion will be needed by 2030.

If every year, hundreds of millions go for drain projects, for the financial year 2024/25, Rs 1 billion is allocated to continue the implementation of 132 drainage projects with a total value of Rs 3.5 Md.

Besides bad weather and flash flooding, another direct consequence of the phenomenon is the rise in sea levels. “We cannot remain indifferent as we see our pristine beaches washed away, our coral reefs destroyed and our lagoons and forests deprived of their lifeline. Our actions today must be bold,” the Chief Financial Officer was to say in his budget speech, delivered on June 7.

So act. The minister wants everyone's collaboration, that is to say the government, the business community and civil society. He estimates that “the agenda for adaptation and mitigation of the effects caused by climate change will cost around Rs 300 billion”.

Funding sources

The government plans to draw from almost everywhere to raise these funds. While it will partly support these measures financially, it is counting heavily on the contribution of advanced countries and international institutions under the 'green finance' chapter.

This is how Mauritius was able to obtain, last January, money from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Kingdom for a substation project with gas-insulated switchgear in Mauritius as beneficiary project as part of the Room to Run Sovereign (R2RS) transaction. Up to 100% of the total project cost of $110 million, or Rs 4.8 billion according to today's exchange rate, corresponding to the climate change mitigation component of the loan, was made possible thanks to to the additional capital released by the British government guarantee. This is one example among many others. In total, the government hopes to raise Rs 180 billion internationally.

If at the government level, we try to sort things out, Minister Padayachy is also counting on the private sector. This is why it introduces a tax called Corporate Climate Responsibility (CCR), equivalent to 2% of company profits. Companies with a turnover of less than Rs 50 million will be exempt from this tax. This money should be used to support national initiatives to protect, manage, invest and restore the country's natural ecosystem and combat the effects of climate change. A Climate and Sustainability Fund will therefore be created to implement this agenda. This will also be open to donations from international organizations and individuals, and will be managed by a joint public-private committee. The government allocates Rs 3.2 billion in this fund for projects aimed at combating climate change.

According to the estimate made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its Selected Issues Paper on Mauritius, published on July 20, 2022, by 2030, Mauritius will need USD 2 billion to implement mitigation and USD 4.5 billion for adaptation measures to combat extreme conditions caused by climate change. This makes a total of USD 6.5 billion (Rs 303.9 billion), according to today's exchange rate. This is more or less the figure put forward by Renganaden Padayachy in his budget speech.

Beach erosion

Over the past 10 years, Mauritius has experienced erosion of its beaches of up to 20 meters in places. And the phenomenon should increase. According to the Ministry of the Environment, with the acceleration of the phenomenon, the sea is expected to rise by 49 centimeters by 2100. While beaches are the main source of income for the hotel industry, a sector which has greatly contributed to the economic development of the country and which made it possible to recover after the Covid-19 pandemic, these are in the process of disappearing. Rising water levels and beach erosion mean that they have never been so threatened.
More than 37 kilometers of our coastline have been heavily affected by beach erosion in recent times. Over the next five years, the government plans to restore more than 26 km of shoreline and rehabilitate around 30 degraded sites across the island. Among these shores, those of Trou-aux-Biches, Pointe-des-Lascars, Grand-Baie, Mon-Choisy, Bain-Bœuf, Bel-Ombre, Riambel, Rivière-des-Galets, Saint-Félix, Blue-Bay, Pointe d'Esny, Poste-de-Flacq, Belle-Mare, Palmar, Albion, La Preneuse, La Mivoie Rivière-Noire, La Prairie, Flic-en-Flac, Wolmar, and Le Morne.

Corrective work based on the adaptation of ecosystems on approximately five kilometers of shoreline in Bain-Bœuf, Mon-Choisy, Le Morne, Grand-Sable, La Prairie, Grande-Rivière Sud-Est and Baie-du-Cap are also underway. menu.

To do this, the government intends to allow the extraction of sand for nourishing beaches, as announced by Renganaden Padayachy in his budget speech. A method already heavily contested by environmentalists and NGOs who campaign against the destruction of the environment.

In Le Défi Quotidien last Monday, Carina Gounden, Program Coordinator of the NGO mru2025, spoke out against the resumption of this activity which has caused much damage in the past. “Offshore mining has caused several environmental damages, including disruption of ecosystems and destruction of marine habitats, leading to a decrease in marine biodiversity. We also know that offshore sand mining changes ocean currents, which has unpredictable effects on coastal ecosystems, including worsening coastal erosion,” she explained.

Coral farms

“To rebuild our marine ecosystem, we are launching a lagoon reseeding program,” says Renganaden Padayachy. The creation of 250 coral farms in Belle-Mare, Pointe-aux-Feuilles, the port of Port-Louis, Trou-aux-Biches and Flic-en-Flac is therefore on the program. Using sustainable coral farming techniques to grow and transplant approximately 25,000 corals into degraded reef areas each year for three years as well. As oysters can act as natural water purifiers by filtering and removing pollutants, the government will offer individuals and businesses the opportunity to establish oyster farms across the island.

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