The Partnership for Action on Green Recovery Fund project (PAGE) and the National Food System Dialogue in Mauritius were launched this morning, by the Attorney General, Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin, at the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority, in Réduit.
The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security and the United Nations (UN) in Mauritius. The UN Resident Coordinator for Mauritius and Seychelles, Mrs Christine Umutoni, was present on the occasion.
The launching ceremony was followed, via Zoom, by representatives of the UN Food Systems Summit Global Team and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), amongst others.
In his address, the Minister underlined that Island Nations are more and more vulnerable to climate change and challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic
The vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States, namely droughts, flashfloods and disruption in trade routes, call upon us to think ahead and be prepared, he said.
The Minister observed that during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, the whole world including Mauritius, had a sudden call to take stock of respective vulnerabilities regarding food systems. We all have to reconsider our food systems, the way we produce, process and consume locally, and take into account sustainability, distribution channels and the avoidance of food waste, he pointed out.
The launching of today’s partnership, highlighted Mr Gobin, is important as we need to harmonise our ideas and look at the multifaceted problems arising at different levels and come at a common position for Mauritius as a country and at the regional level.
The Minister expressed gratitude to all the partners involved in the collaborative programmes and reiterated Government’s commitment at all levels to participate in the regional and international dialogue.
Our survival, he stressed, depends on what we are doing right now.
As for Mrs Umutoni, she emphasised that both programmes complement each other and recalled that the UN’s aim is to support Governments to prepare their own national dialogue for the global food system.
It is important she said, that we pick up from the current crisis and deal with the new reality.
She underlined that the PAGE project, through the combination of many UN agencies, is helping Mauritius to look through the strategies and plans for a green, fair, inclusive and sustainable recovery.
She further stated that the launching of the programmes is an important collaboration that goes beyond individual Ministries, departments and the nation, and is instead a regional collaboration for all to work towards a common agenda, that is attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
In addition, Mrs Umutoni underpinned the UN’s contribution in supporting such projects through the sharing of knowledge and expertise to help Member States design and implement their respective visions.
This partnership will bring together skills and will enable Mauritius to design and implement a fair and resilient green recovery, she added.
According to her, it is much easier when countries talk together and complement each other by coordinating and harmonising their strategies.