Validation workshop presents, discusses Action Plan for Greening Public Sector project

Mauritius: A validation workshop to present, discuss and validate the Action Plan, green charter and institutional mechanism elaborated in the context of the 'Greening of the Public Sector project being spearheaded by the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, with the support of the European Union (EU), was launched this morning, by the Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr Kavydass Ramano, at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port-Louis.

Mauritius: A validation workshop to present, discuss and validate the Action Plan, green charter and institutional mechanism elaborated in the context of the ‘Greening of the Public Sector project being spearheaded by the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, with the support of the European Union (EU), was launched this morning, by the Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr Kavydass Ramano, at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port-Louis.

Some 100 participants, comprising members of the Project Steering Committee, focus groups of five pilot organisations where the project is being implemented, and representatives from all Ministries, parastatal bodies and private entities, are attending the one-day workshop.

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The Minister of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms, Mr Teeruthraj Hurdoyal, also graced the opening ceremony.

In his address, Minister Kavydass Ramano highlighted that the project is a strategic starting point for the public sector to redefine its operations and services and expressed conviction that it will play a leading role in the ecological transition of our country.

The Environment Minister raised the alarm as regards the urgent need to redefine our way of life in the wake of climate change. 

According to him, the ecological transition must no longer be seen as a choice but as the way forward if we want to progress. 

Not only will it ensure green growth, but it also has the potential to open up new opportunities for businesses, jobs, and development, he pointed out.

Moreover, Mr Kavydass Ramano underlined that the implementation of the project would translate into better management of resources and social capital in the public sector leading to a reduction in public expenditure. With this project, the Government hopes to inspire our population and partners to adopt green practices and make sustainability a way of life, he added.

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As for Minister Hurdoyal, he emphasised that the elaboration of the Action Plan bears testimony to the determination and commitment of both the Environment and Civil service ministries to address the issue of climate change, strengthen the resilience of the country, and pioneer new solutions for a sustainable future. 

Furthermore, he underpinned the need to prepare ourselves against climate change through a concrete action plan to both mitigate and adapt to the imminent threat and to strive towards a more sustainable future.

The Minister recalled that making Mauritius greener and more sustainable is high on Government’s agenda and emphasised that the Greening of the public sector is one area where Government is determined to lead by example.

The ‘Greening of the Public Sector‘ project, he affirmed, has been worked out for Government to set the lead and engage in the Greening of the public sector in order to reduce carbon footprint and to transition to a more ecological society through the adoption of sustainable practices, which he stressed remains a major step towards achieving the transition to a cleaner and greener country.

Mr. Hurdoyal also dwelt on the various actions initiated to foster green culture and behaviour among officers, namely: replacing fluorescent light tubes with led ones, promoting of responsible energy consumption actions and establishing a paperless work environment through initiatives such as the E-HR system.

Also present on occasion, the Ambassador of the EU to Mauritius and Seychelles, Mr. Vincent Degert, stated that through the implementation of the project, the Government is setting the example of the need to reduce consumption, recycling and more sustainable utilisation of gas resources.

He cautioned that the current pattern of consumption of resources is not sustainable and has to change. Greening should be our main concern, and together we can make a global change, he said.

Greening of the Public Sector

The objective of the project is to encourage public organisations to green their activities through the adoption of sustainable consumption practices with respect to the conservation of energy and water, waste minimisation, paperless work, zero pollution, avoidance of hazardous chemicals, adoption of sustainable technology and also adopting business practices including sustainable procurement to sustain and improve service delivery.

Five pilot public organisations, namely, the Office of the President, the Defence and Home Affairs Division and the Government Information Service of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, the Ministry of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms and the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change are initially implementing the project.

Technical assistance has been secured from the EU under the ‘Switch to Green’ facility for the implementation of the project.

The Action Plan is based on five categories, namely:

(i) supply chain and procurement;

(ii) buildings and infrastructure;

(iii) mobility and fleets;

(iv) culture and behaviour; and

(v) digital transformation.