Foreword

Amanda Serumaga
Resident Representative
UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles

Foreword

Like the rest of the world, Mauritius has continued to face persistent uncertainties rebuilding the economy since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Although the country had successfully stamped out the widespread community infection from COVID-19 in 2020, the resurgence of local cases resulted in the second national lockdown from 10 March 2021. Government instituted gradual easing until October 1 when the economy was fully reopened. The country was expected to close the year with a GDP growth of 4.4 percent, lower than the 5 percent projected by the IMF. This was not unexpected given the slow recovery of the tourism sector and the pressure imposed on businesses, with 65 percent operating normally as opposed to 78 percent in 2020.

The negative impacts of the pandemic combined with the 2020 oil spill have continued to compound other vulnerabilities faced by the country. In May, Mauritius had 293 reported cases of domestic violence in just 18 days, mostly perpetuated against women – a similar trend registered in 2020.

By virtue of its status as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Mauritius is continually threatened by the impact of climate change which further constrains its ability to withstand other shocks. At the inter-ministerial council meeting of 28 September 2021, the Prime Minister noted Mauritius is in a ‘state of climate emergency’. In 2021, Mauritius ranked 51st in disaster risk- a deterioration, after ranking 53rd in 2020.

Despite these challenges, the Government remained proactive in its response, with the 2021-2022 budget announcing a forward-looking agenda focused on boosting investment, shaping a new economic architecture and restoring confidence. The country is also on course to devise comprehensive economy-wide reforms to address pre-existing structural challenges to bounce back better.

Key among these reforms is the re-orientation of the tourism sector to target high value tourism segments such as silver tourists and digital nomads, and expansion of reach beyond the traditional tourism markets; building integrated business continuity systems in the public sector to build system resilience; and systematically attracting private sector investment in priority areas.

Mauritius has also maintained its commitment to mitigate the impact of climate change, in part by aiming to reduce overall GHG emissions by 40 percent in 2030, and laying emphasis on green energy as a new pillar of the economy. Building on the foundation set in 2020, the Government also continued to invest in making health systems stronger and more resilient. In boosting the health response, the Government is also cognizant of the need to integrate health infrastructure with other productive sectors of the economy to achieve impact at scale.

The support of the UNDP in addressing the above development challenges was anchored in the UN-Socio-Economic Response Plan (SERP) for Mauritius, based on which manifold results have been achieved.

Amanda Serumaga
Resident Representative
UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles

Like the rest of the world, Mauritius has continued to face persistent uncertainties rebuilding the economy since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Although the country had successfully stamped out the widespread community infection from COVID-19 in 2020, the resurgence of local cases resulted in the second national lockdown from 10 March 2021. Government instituted gradual easing until October 1 when the economy was fully reopened. The country was expected to close the year with a GDP growth of 4.4 percent, lower than the 5 percent projected by the IMF. This was not unexpected given the slow recovery of the tourism sector and the pressure imposed on businesses, with 65 percent operating normally as opposed to 78 percent in 2020.

The negative impacts of the pandemic combined with the 2020 oil spill have continued to compound other vulnerabilities faced by the country. In May, Mauritius had 293 reported cases of domestic violence in just 18 days, mostly perpetuated against women – a similar trend registered in 2020.

By virtue of its status as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Mauritius is continually threatened by the impact of climate change which further constrains its ability to withstand other shocks. At the inter-ministerial council meeting of 28 September 2021, the Prime Minister noted Mauritius is in a ‘state of climate emergency’. In 2021, Mauritius ranked 51st in disaster risk- a deterioration, after ranking 53rd in 2020.

Despite these challenges, the Government remained proactive in its response, with the 2021-2022 budget announcing a forward-looking agenda focused on boosting investment, shaping a new economic architecture and restoring confidence. The country is also on course to devise comprehensive economy-wide reforms to address pre-existing structural challenges to bounce back better.

Key among these reforms is the re-orientation of the tourism sector to target high value tourism segments such as silver tourists and digital nomads, and expansion of reach beyond the traditional tourism markets; building integrated business continuity systems in the public sector to build system resilience; and systematically attracting private sector investment in priority areas.

Mauritius has also maintained its commitment to mitigate the impact of climate change, in part by aiming to reduce overall GHG emissions by 40 percent in 2030, and laying emphasis on green energy as a new pillar of the economy. Building on the foundation set in 2020, the Government also continued to invest in making health systems stronger and more resilient. In boosting the health response, the Government is also cognizant of the need to integrate health infrastructure with other productive sectors of the economy to achieve impact at scale.

The support of the UNDP in addressing the above development challenges was anchored in the UN-Socio-Economic Response Plan (SERP) for Mauritius, based on which manifold results have been achieved.

Key Results/Highlights

Following the 2021-2022 budget policy on investing in rebuilding the tourism sector, UNDP’s effort has focussed on supporting the Government to reconsider the national tourism strategy. This engagement, which will conclude in the first Quarter of 2022, focuses on extensive analysis of market and tourism potential; creating market value; devising strategies for diversification away from traditional markets, and market segments; strengthening inter-sectoral linkages; and strengthening the SME ecosystem to capture the market opportunities.

The UNDP Country Office in Mauritius also invested in enhancing public sector efficiency to build agility and resilience of the country in times of crisis. Within the health sector, several key results were registered in the establishment of a comprehensive integrated e-health system which, if successfully implemented, could position Mauritius as a model country in the sub-region. First, ahead of the official opening of borders on 1 October 2021, the online infrastructure for border opening was improved to facilitate travel, reduce congestion at the airport and track passengers for testing and follow-up. Second, the testing of COVID-19 has been decentralized while integrating results with the Central Health Laboratory (CHL). In the wider public sector, emphasis has been on the establishment of a work-from-home protocol in the public service, and strengthening IT-enabled business continuity systems to guarantee health and safety and attain organizational resilience.

Actions on gender equality and women’s empowerment were sustained at Parliament and the Judiciary levels. The Government was supported to ensure that parliamentary processes including legislative frameworks are engendered through capacity development of legislative members and high-level policy makers. With the increased cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the GBV Mobile Application “LESPWAR” for community safety was also upgraded. The UNDP strengthened the country’s capacity to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change through several strategic engagements. The Nationally Determined Contributions were updated with support from the UNDP Climate Promise Initiative, with commitment to reduce Green House Gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. This will entail production of 60 percent of energy needs from green sources, the total phasing out of use of coal and an increase in energy efficiency by 10 percent. The Country Office also supported the Installation of a 14 MW Grid-Scale Battery Energy Storage System to enable high capacity storage of renewable energy in the grid. This will enable a smarter, modern and cleaner electricity network.

The engagement of the UNDP in the recovery and development efforts built on lessons learned from the preceding years, and facilitated scalability and sustainability of results. The Mauritius Country Office continued to provide technical leadership to ensure the effective implementation of the UN Socio-Economic Response Plan (SERP) and was engaged at different levels. First, the UNDP participated in several implementation committees- as co-chair (with the Ministry of Finance) of the Coordination Committee, represented by the Resident Representative; co-chair (with the Ministry of Finance) of the sub-committee on Macro economy, represented by the Senior Economist, and as a member of the Steering Committee co-chaired by the Resident Coordinator and Secretary to Cabinet in the Office of the Prime Minister. Second, UNDP was involved in the mobilization of resources to support the implementation of the three pillars of the SERP – (i) Health System Strengthening, Prevention and Containment, (ii) Promoting Social Protection for Vulnerable groups, and (iii) Socioeconomic Impact Assessment and Early Recovery Planning. Third, UNDP was also involved in surveys and diagnostic studies to inform engagement across the pillars of the plan.

A number of actions have also been taken to support the Government of Mauritius under the Prevention, Response and Early recovery Project (PREP) namely: the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) that has now been rolled out to all regional hospitals and clinics. IT equipment has been purchased and training provided, and the COVID-19 module has now been integrated into the LIMS. The Government has provided an additional USD 290,000 for the PREP, which is also contributing to food security with the implementation of an e-commerce market platform for the agriculture sector. The PREP initiative has adopted a holistic strategy, and various activities such as the Laboratory Information Management System, the E-Health project, the E-Commerce trading platform for agriculture sector, and the Business Continuity Planning, can positively impact the lives of Mauritians. The project also enables the Government to adopt state of art technologies and be resilient during pandemics while, at the same time, promoting accountability, transparency and efficiency. It has also supported the COVAX Vaccination Programme and setting up of the COVID-19 Testing Centre.

Towards Agenda 2030

The UNDP Country Office supported the Rodrigues Regional
Assembly to prepare its first SDG progress report. This is one of the first subnational reports that provides statistics on each of the goals, highlighting areas of investment to address data gaps. The preparation of the report was overseen by the SDG Committee of the Regional Assembly. It will be published in the first quarter 2022 upon approval by the Assembly.

In an effort to support innovative resource mobilization to deliver
on the SDGs, the UNDP also started the preparation of an SDG investor map for Mauritius, to attract private capital to priority sectors with
a high multiplier effect on the achievement of SDGs. Following an extensive consultation held in 2021, the investor map will be concluded in the first quarter of 2022. Drawing on the successes registered
in Mauritius, the investor map will be prepared for the Government
of Seychelles in 2022.

Towards Agenda 2030

The UNDP Country Office supported the Rodrigues Regional Assembly to prepare its first SDG progress report. This is one of the first subnational reports that provides statistics on each of the goals, highlighting areas of investment to address data gaps. The preparation of the report was overseen by the SDG Committee of the Regional Assembly. It will be published in the first quarter 2022 upon approval by the Assembly.

In an effort to support innovative resource mobilization to deliver on the SDGs, the UNDP also started the preparation of an SDG investor map for Mauritius, to attract private capital to priority sectors with a high multiplier effect on the achievement of SDGs. Following an extensive consultation held in 2021, the investor map will be concluded in the first quarter of 2022. Drawing on the successes registered in Mauritius, the investor map will be prepared for the Government of Seychelles in 2022.

Signature Solutions

Signature Solutions are integrated responses to development  challenges against which we align our resources and expertise, to make real impact.

The Country Programme Results

Inclusive development, gender equality and social protection, and public sector efficiency

The Country Programme Results

Inclusive development, gender equality and social protection, and public sector efficiency

The UNDP played an instrumental role in supporting gender-sensitive COVID-19 recovery efforts through several strategic engagements. First, there was emphasis on supporting reforms aimed at structural transformation to re-orient key sectors of the economy including tourism. This resulted in the development of a strategy and action plan for tourism recovery, currently undergoing approval.

Second, structural constraints to private sector engagement in “building back better” were addressed, as evidenced by the preparation of the SDG investor map to attract private capital to priority sectors. In addition, the UNDP programme completed a comprehensive diagnostic study to direct private sector to optimal investments in the circular economy; and a comprehensive follow-up survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the MSMEs, including women headed businesses, and an interactive dashboard that links businesses to regional markets.

Third, UNDP supported efforts in strengthening an enabling environment for the equal participation of women and men in the structural transformation journey. This entailed:

  1. Upgrading a mobile app for survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to ensure rapid response from police force;
  2. Undertaking a feasibility study, and providing a survivor- focused roadmap for the setting up of a model Shelter for survivors of GBV;
  3. Formulating an animated cartoon for mass sensitization on Gender Equality currently used for information, education and campaigns;
  4. Supporting the implementation of an economic empowerment programme for around 36 survivors of GBV leading to the award of a nationally recognized certificate;
  5. Conducting information campaigns for community engagement for enhanced livelihoods for more than 5,000 individuals across the island, including domestic violence survivors;
  6. Enhancing the capacity of Members of the Parliamentary Gender Caucus and 30 Gender Focal Points to mainstream gender. These interventions are paving the way towards gender-sensitive policy-making at the level of the Legislature and of the Executive.

Fourth, the UNDP contributed to advancing digital transformation in the public and private sector to facilitate a more agile way of working. This was achieved through delivery on catalytic investments for 5 key government services including: (i) a Work-from-Home Protocol, (ii) initiating the rollout of an e-Health system, (iii) upgrading of the GBV Rapid Response Mobile App, (iv) a National Emergency Operation Command, formulating the e-parliament project, and (v) a Registrar General Department.

Through partnerships with Government ministries, departments, individual women entrepreneurs and agencies such as UN Women and UNFPA, the Africa Regional Bureau and the AfCFTA Secretariat have yielded development impact through sustained collaboration to conceptualize and implement programmes including on the AfCFTA Women in Trade Protocol and GBV programming and reduction.

In parallel, the Government of Japan supported the implementation of an economic empowerment livelihood programme of 36 GBV survivors.

To facilitate business linkages between Mauritian businesses and counterparts in the SADC region, the UNDP supported the design of a Business Intelligence Platform. Upgrading and scaling-up of the platform is planned for 2022. The Country office also assisted the National Statistics Bureau in the preparation of its e-business strategy, and to enhance its capacity in terms of digital solutions for data generation and management.

Mauritius has experienced two lockdowns since 2020. This has impeded the implementation of some activities. For instance, the Civil Service College was unable to conduct capacity building exercises for 140 public servants, which was part of UNDP’s commitment to support 7-line Ministries to formulate their Business Continuity Plan. A study initiated by UNDP and UNFPA on the extent of GBV, to inform future programming at the national level, could also not be completed.

The UNDP played an instrumental role in supporting gender-sensitive COVID-19 recovery efforts through several strategic engagements. First, there was emphasis on supporting reforms aimed at structural transformation to re-orient key sectors of the economy including tourism. This resulted in the development of a strategy and action plan for tourism recovery, currently undergoing approval. Second, structural constraints to private sector engagement in “building back better” were addressed, as evidenced by the preparation of the SDG investor map to attract private capital to priority sectors. In addition, the UNDP programme completed a comprehensive diagnostic study to direct private sector to optimal investments in the circular economy; and a comprehensive follow-up survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the MSMEs, including women headed businesses, and an interactive dashboard that links businesses to regional markets. Third, UNDP supported efforts in strengthening an enabling environment for the equal participation of women and men in the structural transformation journey. This entailed:
  1. Upgrading a mobile app for survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to ensure rapid response from police force;
  2. Undertaking a feasibility study, and providing a survivor- focused roadmap for the setting up of a model Shelter for survivors of GBV;
  3. Formulating an animated cartoon for mass sensitization on Gender Equality currently used for information, education and campaigns;
  4. Supporting the implementation of an economic empowerment programme for around 36 survivors of GBV leading to the award of a nationally recognized certificate;
  5. Conducting information campaigns for community engagement for enhanced livelihoods for more than 5,000 individuals across the island, including domestic violence survivors;
  6. Enhancing the capacity of Members of the Parliamentary Gender Caucus and 30 Gender Focal Points to mainstream gender. These interventions are paving the way towards gender-sensitive policy-making at the level of the Legislature and of the Executive.

Fourth, the UNDP contributed to advancing digital transformation in the public and private sector to facilitate a more agile way of working. This was achieved through delivery on catalytic investments for 5 key government services including: (i) a Work-from-Home Protocol, (ii) initiating the rollout of an e-Health system, (iii) upgrading of the GBV Rapid Response Mobile App, (iv) a National Emergency Operation Command, formulating the e-parliament project, and (v) a Registrar General Department.

Through partnerships with Government ministries, departments, individual women entrepreneurs and agencies such as UN Women and UNFPA, the Africa Regional Bureau and the AfCFTA Secretariat have yielded development impact through sustained collaboration to conceptualize and implement programmes including on the AfCFTA Women in Trade Protocol and GBV programming and reduction.

In parallel, the Government of Japan supported the implementation of an economic empowerment livelihood programme of 36 GBV survivors.

To facilitate business linkages between Mauritian businesses and counterparts in the SADC region, the UNDP supported the design of a Business Intelligence Platform. Upgrading and scaling-up of the platform is planned for 2022. The Country office also assisted the National Statistics Bureau in the preparation of its e-business strategy, and to enhance its capacity in terms of digital solutions for data generation and management.

Mauritius has experienced two lockdowns since 2020. This has impeded the implementation of some activities. For instance, the Civil Service College was unable to conduct capacity building exercises for 140 public servants, which was part of UNDP’s commitment to support 7-line Ministries to formulate their Business Continuity Plan. A study initiated by UNDP and UNFPA on the extent of GBV, to inform future programming at the national level, could also not be completed.

Improving public services and other government functions through digitalization​​

Improving public services and other government functions through digitalization​​

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UNDP Country Office in Mauritius has collaborated with the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development and Digital Initiatives Group at the International Training and Education Center for Health, based within the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health.

This collaboration resulted in the development and implementation of a comprehensive public Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). Improving public services and other government functions though digitalization for the Ministry of Health and Wellness using the Open ELIS Global platform. The platform was initially customised to capture and manage data on all COVID-19 tests carried out in the country for the efficient management of local cases.

In 2021, the UNDP supported the upgrading of the Laboratory Management Information Management System (LIMS) into a comprehensive clinical and public health LIMS using digital technologies. Through the implementation of the LIMS, the Central Laboratory has been able to increase the number of COVID tests from 100 per day to 3,000 per day.

The UNDP also supported the operationalization of an All-in-One digital platform at the international airport to ensure a reduction in the use of paper and the filtering of various categories of incoming passengers. The All-in-One digital platform speeds up the verification process by Health Inspectors at the airport. This eases the queuing and facilitates contact tracing through the Power BI Dashboard, not only for COVID-19 but also for other monitored diseases.

The UNDP also assisted in the preparation of Business Continuity Planning (BCP) for 5 key services and is funding the implementation of 3 of these critical services namely: (i) the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) for the Ministry of Public Service, (ii) the Parliamentary EDMS for the National Assembly as part of the Digital Parliament and (iii) the Process automation of the Registrar General’s Department.

With the approval of the Work-from-Home protocol through the support of the UNDP, the Government is gearing towards becoming more resilient in future lockdown situations. This has allowed the Ministry of Public Service to expand the initiative to other Ministries through training and awareness raising exercises. Several key ministries are currently being trained on the protocol.

Following the survey on businesses in collaboration with the Statistics Mauritius and Business Mauritius in 2020, the UNDP provided support to Small and Medium Size Enterprises in terms of Capacity Building on ICT and satisfied their need to better understand and use online marketing tools in a pandemic situation. This project is currently being carried out with the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC).

 

Improving public services and other government functions through digitalization

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UNDP Country Office in Mauritius has collaborated with the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development and Digital Initiatives Group at the International Training and Education Center for Health, based within the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health.

This collaboration resulted in the development and implementation of a comprehensive public Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). Improving public services and other government functions though digitalization (LIMS) for the Ministry of Health and Wellness using the Open ELIS Global platform. The platform was initially customised to capture and manage data on all COVID-19 tests carried out in the country for the efficient management of local cases.

In 2021, the UNDP supported the upgrading of the Laboratory Management Information Management System (LIMS) into a comprehensive clinical and public health LIMS using digital technologies. Through the implementation of the LIMS, the Central Laboratory has been able to increase the number of COVID tests from 100 per day to 3,000 per day.

The UNDP also supported the operationalization of an All-in-One digital platform at the international airport to ensure a reduction in the use of paper and the filtering of various categories of incoming passengers. The All-in-One digital platform speeds up the verification process by Health Inspectors at the airport. This eases the queuing and facilitates contact tracing through the Power BI Dashboard, not only for COVID-19 but also for other monitored diseases.

The UNDP also assisted in the preparation of Business Continuity Planning (BCP) for 5 key services and is funding the implementation of 3 of these critical services namely: (i) the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) for the Ministry of Public Service, (ii) the Parliamentary EDMS for the National Assembly as part of the Digital Parliament and (iii) the Process automation of the Registrar General’s Department.

With the approval of the Work-from-Home protocol through the support of the UNDP, the Government is gearing towards becoming more resilient in future lockdown situations. This has allowed the Ministry of Public Service to expand the initiative to other Ministries through training and awareness raising exercises. Several key ministries are currently being trained on the protocol.

Following the survey on businesses in collaboration with the Statistics Mauritius and Business Mauritius in 2020, the UNDP provided support to Small and Medium Size Enterprises in terms of Capacity Building on ICT and satisfied their need to better understand and use online marketing tools in a pandemic situation. This project is currently being carried out with the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC).

Climate action, sustainable management of natural resources and integration of ecosystem services approaches

Climate action, sustainable management of natural resources and integration of ecosystem services approaches

Parallel support was provided to capacitate the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA) and the Utility Regulatory Authority (URA) to provide increased advisory and regulatory assistance to the Government in matters related to energy. Moreover, the Country Office also contributed to the empowerment of women and youth on Renewable Energy (RE) by supporting awareness and specialised training in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation. Through these efforts, further resources were mobilised from the Australian Government to support additional capacity building targeting unemployed women.

Under the Climate Promise Initiative, the UNDP also played a critical role in supporting the Government to ambitiously ramp up the climate ambitions through the updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Inclusive and multi-sectoral consultations were facilitated and technical assistance was provided in refining the adaptation and mitigation targets in Mauritius. Furthermore, resources for Climate Change Mitigation were mobilised through the Country Office for the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) project (USD 1.2M) and the Low Carbon Economy project (USD 5.6M).

In terms of climate resilience, a first set of Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) maps has been made available online to all government stakeholders under the “Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone of the Republic of Mauritius” project. The project also supported 5 NGOs, namely Eco-Sud, Marine Megafauna Conservation Organisation, Caritas Ile Maurice, Reef Conservation and the Trou d’Eau Douce Fishermen Cooperative Society, to train community members on sustainable livelihoods in the aftermath of the 2020 MV Wakashio oil spill. Key progress was also achieved under the “Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to meet a Changing Climate Future” project where enforcement equipment has been procured and agreements were reached with NGOs to undertake community-driven coral restoration activities. The EU-funded “Supporting the Economic Empowerment of Artisanal Fishing Community of the Republic of Mauritius” (E€OFISH) project, established key contact with fishing communities in view of sustainably transforming the sector and empowering artisanal fishers around the island.

Parallel support was provided to capacitate the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA) and the Utility Regulatory Authority (URA) to provide increased advisory and regulatory assistance to the Government in matters related to energy. Moreover, the Country Office also contributed to the empowerment of women and youth on renewable energy (RE)  by supporting awareness and specialised training in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation. Through these efforts, further resources were mobilised from the Australian Government to support additional capacity building targeting unemployed women.

Under the Climate Promise Initiative, the UNDP also played a critical role in supporting the Government to ambitiously ramp up the climate ambitions through the updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Inclusive and multi-sectoral consultations were facilitated and technical assistance was provided in refining the adaptation and mitigation targets in Mauritius. Furthermore, resources for Climate Change Mitigation were mobilised through the Country Office for the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) project (USD 1.2M) and the Low Carbon Economy project (USD 5.6M).

In terms of climate resilience, a first set of Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) maps has been made available online to all government stakeholders under the “Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone of the Republic of Mauritius” project. The project also supported 5 NGOs, namely Eco-Sud, Marine Megafauna Conservation Organisation, Caritas Ile Maurice, Reef Conservation and the Trou d’Eau Douce Fishermen Cooperative Society, to train community members on sustainable livelihoods in the aftermath of the 2020 MV Wakashio oil spill.

Key progress was also achieved under the “Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to meet a Changing Climate Future” project where enforcement equipment has been procured and agreements were reached with NGOs to undertake community-driven coral restoration activities. The EU-funded “Supporting the Economic Empowerment of Artisanal Fishing Community of the Republic of Mauritius” (E€OFISH) project, established key contact with fishing communities in view of sustainably transforming the sector and empowering artisanal fishers around the island.

Implementation of Disaster and Climate Risk Management Measures

Implementation of Disaster and Climate Risk Management Measures

Review of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP)

Following the UNDP Level 1 Crisis declaration for Mauritius, the Mauritius Country Office worked to support UN coordination efforts and needs assessments; initiate early recovery frameworks and immediate programmatic response interventions, and leverage additional resources for recovery initiatives. The UNDP recruited the services of an international oil spill specialist to review the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan and to ensure that the roles and responsibilities of all relevant stakeholders were properly defined, and their response capacities enhanced.

Humanitarian Emergency Assistance to overcome the Oil Spill Crisis in Mauritius

Following the MV Wakashio oil spill, communities involved in ocean- based activities on the south-eastern coast of Mauritius could no longer earn a living from the lagoon. In the aftermath, the UNDP held consultations with several stakeholders and NGOs of the region. The aim was to develop alternative livelihoods programmes for the impacted communities, in areas such as aquaponics and sustainable farming, organic crop and egg production and the conservation of threatened marine megafauna species.

Accelerator Lab​
The UNDP Accelerator Lab for Mauritius and Seychelles, launched on 21 April 2021, aims to test new development approaches, while leveraging grassroots innovations and emerging trends across Mauritius, Rodrigues, and Seychelles. In 2021, the Accelerator Lab explored knowledge gaps pertaining to financial literacy; led several collective intelligence on the future of tourism; and tested different hypotheses about Mauritius’ potential to cope with today’s development challenges. The Accelerator Lab also recruited several UN Community Volunteers to contribute to build a GRassroot Innovation Database (GRID) covering the three islands, and help to test new approaches to cope with modern development challenges.
UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme
In 2021, the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme showcased projects which addressed issues such as gender equality; plastic management; food security; youth re-skilling, and social entrepreneurship. It supported the needs of vulnerable communities, promoted peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges, and connected grantees with other development practitioners, including the Government, the Private Sector and NGOs. High level Grantmaker and activities were maintained, channelling call for applications and awards towards grantees, partners and CSOs and proactively supporting them to apply as and when needed. Resources of more than USD 1,500 000 were successfully allocated to several projects, aimed at assisting coastal communities impacted by COVID-19 and the MV Wakashio Oil Spill and supporting grantees in building resilience against climate change and disaster risk reduction during flash floods, amongst others.

Partnerships​

Several partnerships were established and strengthened in 2021. Key partners included Government of Mauritius ministries, departments and agencies including: the Office of Prime Minister; the Ministries of Finance, Economic Planning and Development; Health and Wellness; Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms; the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change; Gender Equality and Family Welfare; the National Assembly Business Mauritius, and Statistics Mauritius, among others.

List of partners:

  1. Government of Mauritius
  2. Rodrigues Regional Assembly
  3. European Union (EU)
  4. Government of Japan
  5. Australian Government
  6. British High Commission
  7. AfCFTA Secretariat
  8. Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  9. GEF Small Grants Programme
  10. Clinton Foundation
  11. The German Cooperation
  12. Qatar Fund for Development
  1. United Nations
  2. UN Women
  3. UNFPA
  4. UNFCCC
  5. World Health Organisation
  6. African Development Bank (AfDB)
  7. Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)
  8. Business Mauritius
  9. Statistics Mauritius
  10. Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI)
  11. Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC)
  1. Food and Agriculture Research and Expansion Institute (FAREI)
  2. Outer Islands Development Corporation (OIDC)
  3. Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies
  4. Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA)
  5. Central Electricity Board (CEB)
  6. Mauritius Institute for Training and Development (MITD)
  7. Utility Regulatory Authority (URA)
  8. Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB)
  9. National Women’s Council
  1. Eco-Sud
  2.  Marine Megafauna Conservation Organisation (MMCO)
  3. Caritas Ile Maurice
  4. Reef Conservation
  5. Trou d’Eau Douce Fisherman Cooperative Society
  6. SHOALS Rodrigues
  7. Oceanyka
  8. Ter-Mer Rodriguez
  9. University of Washington
  10. University of Surrey
  11. University of Portsmouth

List of partners:

  1. Government of Mauritius
  2. Rodrigues Regional Assembly
  3. European Union (EU)
  4. Government of Japan
  5. Australian Government
  6. British High Commission
  7. AfCFTA Secretariat
  8. Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  9. GEF Small Grants Programme
  10. Clinton Foundation
  11. The German Cooperation
  12. Qatar Fund for Development
  13. United Nations
  14. UN Women
  15. UNFPA
  16. UNFCCC
  17. World Health Organisation
  18. African Development Bank (AfDB)
  19. Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)
  20. Business Mauritius
  21. Statistics Mauritius
  22. Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI)
  23. Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC)
  24. Food and Agriculture Research and Expansion Institute (FAREI)
  25. Outer Islands Development Corporation (OIDC)
  26. Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies
  27. Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA)
  28. Central Electricity Board (CEB)
  29. Mauritius Institute for Training and Development (MITD)
  30. Utility Regulatory Authority (URA)
  31. Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB)
  32. National Women’s Council
  33. Eco-Sud
  34.  Marine Megafauna Conservation Organisation (MMCO)
  35. Caritas Ile Maurice
  36. Reef Conservation
  37. Trou d’Eau Douce Fisherman Cooperative Society
  38. SHOALS Rodrigues
  39. Oceanyka
  40. Ter-Mer Rodriguez
  41. University of Washington
  42. University of Surrey
  43. University of Portsmouth

Programme Delivery and Resource Mobilization

For the Mainstreaming Sustainable Land Management project, which started implementation in 2021, USD 1.6 M was received from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the project period of 4 years. The GEF-funded regional ISLANDS project on Chemicals and Waste was endorsed for implementation. Mauritius will receive USD 4M for implementation of this project over the next 5 years. 

The in-kind contribution to the Mainstreaming Biodiversity project has been tracked since 2016. 17 stakeholders have committed around USD 17M up to December 2021, and about USD 18M have been additionally mobilized. The UNDP has contributed about USD 326,000 as cash to the project mostly to activities carried out in Rodrigues. 

The Coral Restoration project benefitted from Government assistance of around USD 1.4M for the setting-up of land-based coral nurseries and a sea-water pumping system. This will enable large scale restoration of corals through the propagation of thermal resistant corals at the Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI) and sexual reproduction of corals at Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC). 

The UNDP Country Office contributed USD 66,000 to the review of the NOSCP which included a simulation exercise and a validation workshop. While the communities from the MV Wakashio affected regions were supported from the UNDP (USD 130,000), further assistance was also provided from the African Development Bank through a grant of USD 500,000 to enable the restoration of the livelihoods of these communities via sustainable and alternative livelihoods programme.

Under the Climate Promise initiative, the UNDP facilitated by providing USD 250,000 for the update of the NDC document (under the 2015 Paris Agreement) and for awareness workshops. 

Operations

The UNDP Country Office for Mauritius continues to provide a range of administrative, operational and project services to the Government. These include the design, delivery and review of activities and initiatives. These services have greatly improved the organizational efficiency and agility of various government departments. One of the main partners was the Ministry of Health and Wellness, where a number of initiatives illustrate that UNDP’s procurement systems have contributed to save time and money. These include the delivery of various technical and administrative services that have furthered national priorities in support of Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) and E-Health. Internally, the Country Office continued to pursue efficiency and acceleration of program delivery through the use of global and regional Long-term agreements (LTAs) to procure emergency COVID-19 related supplies such as ventilators, and sensitive services such as HACT financial audits and spot checks. The use of the local LTAs shortened procurement timelines and enabled the UNDP to meet the various deadlines for projects. The Mauritius Country Office collaborated with technical units such as the Digital Office and the Regional Bureau of Africa (RBA) in reviewing solicitations documents and being in the evaluation for high value and complex services/goods. The COVID-19 pandemic and the immediate need to move to teleworking also made the office adjust quicker and experiment with new ways of working.

Implementation of the United Nations Strategic Development Corporation Framework (UNSDCF)

The UNDP Country Office engaged in several programming initiatives within the UN system as part of efforts to implement the United Nations Strategic Development Corporation Framework (UNSDCF). With the leadership provided by the RCO, a UN joint project on SDGs was developed, in collaboration with UNFPA, ILO, UNEP and ECA, with expectation of funding in 2022. Effective engagement in this partnership was enhanced by a participation in the Programme Management team where UNDP plays a key role as an integrator within the UN system.

Communications

The Communications Unit contributed to increased corporate visibility through 17 blogs, 25 news releases, 3 videos and a series of 14 short video messages produced in the context of COP-26. To improve social media visibility, the Country Office created a LinkedIn page. The UNDP Mauritius Instagram page was also reactivated to connect to a wider audience.  The Communications Unit assisted the ECOFISH project team in the organization of an awareness raising campaign targeting artisanal fishers across Mauritius and aimed at increasing the visibility of the project among the community.  The Country Office also linked UNDP’s initiatives to Mauritius national priorities like the NDC review in line with COP-26. Through the Climate Promise initiative, the Communications Unit facilitated a series of technical working sessions in collaboration with various ministries to disseminate the NDCs among the community. Under the same project, 6 videos were produced, the NDC documents were translated in Mauritian Creole, and the Mission 1.5 game was launched in Mauritius.  The Communications Unit also assisted the Accelerator Lab team in organizing its virtual launch with the participation of key local and foreign stakeholders. Pre-launch communication materials were designed to inform the public of the upcoming launch.  The unit also facilitated various publications, including the second edition of the Gendered Voices Newsletter, the UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles Annual Reports for 2020, and 6 technical and strategic research papers.

UNDP Staff 2021 ​

Front Row (sitting), from left to right: Sameer Khudaroo, Head of Finance; Stéphane Bellerose, Communication Specialist; Renooka Beejan, Head of Socio-Economic Development Unit; Manisha Teelokee, Project Assistant; Sharon Sunassee, Communication Assistant; Medaavi Gopaul, UN Volunteer; Rachna Ramsurn, Project Manager, CRRP; Melany Poorun-Sooprayen, Head of Exploration, Accelerator Lab; Ayooshee Dookhee, Head of Solutions Mapping, Accelerator Lab; Grishta Beegun, Finance Assistant; Shabbir Esmael, UN Volunteer; Marille Benoit, Programme Assistant, Seychelles; Congyi Dai, UN Volunteer; Sevika Varaden, Finance and Procurement Assistant, CRRP; Jean-Yan Norbert, Communication Assistant; Irvan Chengadu, UN Volunteer.

Middle Row, from left to right: Farzina Lowtun-Boolakee, Gender Monitoring and Evaluation Officer; Tony Muhumuza, Senior Economist; Angelique Lache, Receptionist; Amanda Serumaga, UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles; Oksana Vovk, Programme and Operations Specialist, Seychelles; Rudhi Kinnoo, Administrative Clerk; Sameer Kaudeer, IAS Project Officer; Anirood Meeheelaul, Project Manager, JSB; Seewajee Pandoo, Project Manager, IAS; Erwyn Veerapen, IT Support Assistant; Shakil Beedassy, GCF Coordinator; Sajiid Mooniaruck, Projetc Manager, GCF; Avinash Meetoo, Head of Experimentation, Accelerator Lab; Veronique Nibourette, Project Manager, JMA; Parmananda Ragen; Project Manager, Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Kavish Soorjee, Driver; Kamini Beedasee, Project Assistant, IAS; Fatuma Musa, International Operations Manager.

Top Row, from left to right: Wendie Lambin, Project Assistant, E€OFISH; Sumayya Mauthoor, Project Officer; Martine Chung How, Human Resource Assistant; Ayesha Aumeeruddy, Project Assistant, CRRP; Raksha Ramloll, Project Assistant, E€OFISH; Vichittra Purdassee, Project Manager, GCF; Patricia Li Yuk Fung, Finance Assistant; Anishta Heeramun, Project Manager, PPG; Deepa Seeburn, Procurement Assistant; Chandrima Imrit, Programme Assistant, UNDP-GEF-SGP; Nishi Sewsurn, Executive Associate.

1. Poverty and inequality

Solution 1 involves tackling inequality of opportunities by investing in the enhanced capabilities people need to move above the poverty line and keep moving forward. Working with partners across the UN system and beyond, the UNDP is leveraging its strengths and expertise to assist the Government of Mauritius to keep the marginalized and vulnerable section of the population out of poverty. In this context the UNDP Country Office in Mauritius has designed tailor-made activities to initiate a vibrant private sector which will create decent jobs and livelihoods.

2. Governance

Solution 2 is helping countries address emerging complexities by “future-proofing” governance systems through anticipatory approaches and better management of risk. Effective governance is an essential foundation of the three directions of change. It helps to manage the risks and impacts of structural transformations. It helps to guarantee the empowerment and inclusion that ensure that no one is left behind. It contributes to resilience, helping to prevent reversals of development gains and relapse into conflict or crisis.

3. Resilience

Through solution 3, the UNDP supports countries and communities in building resilience to diverse shocks and crises, including conflict, climate change, disasters, and epidemics. The UNDP’s leadership in the implementation of the UN COVID-19 Recovery plan was aimed at building system resilience. This involved strategic investments to strengthen the health system; establish business continuity systems in the public sector; and support a strategic re-orientation of the tourism sector.

4. Environment

Solution 4 puts nature and the environment at the heart of national economies and planning; helping governments protect, manage and value their natural assets. Investments to restore coral reef, reduce the impact of invasive alien species and protect the biodiversity in coastal zones, have been central to the Country Office programme, and are expected to contribute to the sustainability of the ecosystem.

5. Energy

Solution 5 focuses on increasing energy access for those furthest behind and accelerating the transition to renewable energy. The support to the installation of a 14 MW Grid-Scale Battery Energy Storage System, to enable high-capacity storage of renewable energy in the grid and enhance the clean electricity network, delivers on Solution 5 on energy.

6. Gender equality

Solution 6 aims at confronting the structural obstacles to gender equality and strengthening women’s economic empowerment and leadership. The sustained engagement of the UNDP Country Office in gender mainstreaming in the public and private sector, including strengthening of capacities for women’s participation in the AfCFTA, contributes to Signature Solution 6.

COVID Response and Economic Recovery

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the MV Wakashio oil spill, the UNDP Country Office shifted resources and programme priorities to focus on supporting Mauritius to prepare, respond and implement activities to mitigate public health and the socioeconomic crisis. By establishing partnerships with several Ministries, NGOs, private sector entities and international development partners, the Country Office was able to support policy dialogues to develop a forward-looking recovery agenda, through the PREP initiative and Joint Programme. The UNDP also contributed to the development of the UN Socio- Economic Response Plan and a diagnostic study on the informal sector in Mauritius which outlined post-COVID recovery strategy. The UNDP in Mauritius also contributed a total of USD 2 million for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.

COVID Response and Economic Recovery

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the MV Wakashio oil spill, the UNDP Country Office shifted resources and programme priorities to focus on supporting Mauritius to prepare, respond and implement activities to mitigate public health and the socioeconomic crisis. By establishing partnerships with several Ministries, NGOs, private sector entities and international development partners, the Country Office was able to support policy dialogues to develop a forward-looking recovery agenda, through the PREP initiative and Joint Programme. The UNDP also contributed to the development of the UN Socio- Economic Response Plan and a diagnostic study on the informal sector in Mauritius which outlined post-COVID recovery strategy. The UNDP in Mauritius also contributed a total of USD 2 million for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.

Inclusive Development

As part of efforts to empower women to participate effectively in the regional value chains, the UNDP partnered with the Ministry of Industry, SMEs and cooperatives to establish a consultative platform involving Mauritian women entrepreneurs to inform the AfCFTA protocol of Women in Trade. The Mauritius Country Office led national consultations, addressing several issues pertaining to constraints on women participation in trade with mainland Africa, opportunities for collaboration and trade, and strategic investments required to empower them to participate. 

Inclusive Development

As part of efforts to empower women to participate effectively in the regional value chains, the UNDP partnered with the Ministry of Industry, SMEs and cooperatives to establish a consultative platform involving Mauritian women entrepreneurs to inform the AfCFTA protocol of Women in Trade. The Mauritius Country Office led national consultations, addressing several issues pertaining to constraints on women participation in trade with mainland Africa, opportunities for collaboration and trade, and strategic investments required to empower them to participate. 

Empowering MSMEs for Tourism Recovery

As part of efforts to empower Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the tourism sector of the Republic of Mauritius, the UNDP Mauritius Accelerator Lab held two collective intelligence exercises with the collaboration of the Ministry of Tourism. These events gathered various stakeholders, including micro-enterprises, to consider solutions for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery for tourism. The multi-stakeholder engagement culminated in an ongoing project with the Ministry of Tourism to devise a roadmap that will enable to explore, test and experiment grassroots solutions in the tourism sector. 

Empowering MSMEs for Tourism Recovery

As part of efforts to empower Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the tourism sector of the Republic of Mauritius, the UNDP Mauritius Accelerator Lab held two collective intelligence exercises with the collaboration of the Ministry of Tourism. These events gathered various stakeholders, including micro-enterprises, to consider solutions for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery for tourism. The multi-stakeholder engagement culminated in an ongoing project with the Ministry of Tourism to devise a roadmap that will enable to explore, test and experiment grassroots solutions in the tourism sector. 

Gender Equality and Social Protection

The UNDP Country Office engaged in a strategic partnership with the Government of Mauritius and key institutions to ensure that gender mainstreaming measures were taken onboard at the highest level of accountability. Through the technical expertise of the UNDP, members of the Parliamentary Gender Caucus were provided with capacity building and rapid checklists to engender legislation and policies. By providing technical advice to the High-Level Committee on the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence, the Country Office also contributed to the adoption and present implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan to Eliminate GBV (2019-2024). A gender equality cartoon was also launched to educate different cohorts of the population on the changing social norms.

Gender Equality and Social Protection

The UNDP Country Office engaged in a strategic partnership with the Government of Mauritius and key institutions to ensure that gender mainstreaming measures were taken onboard at the highest level of accountability. Through the technical expertise of the UNDP, members of the Parliamentary Gender Caucus were provided with capacity building and rapid checklists to engender legislation and policies. By providing technical advice to the High-Level Committee on the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence, the Country Office also contributed to the adoption and present implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan to Eliminate GBV (2019-2024). A gender equality cartoon was also launched to educate different cohorts of the population on the changing social norms.

“LESPWAR” - Addressing Gender-Based Violence via mobile technology

The mobile application application “LESPWAR” was developed for survivors of Gender Based Violence and launched on 25 November 2020, with the support of UNDP Mauritius. The application allows users to report GBV cases, access information on GBV and receive referral support for psychological counselling and other services. As of December 2021, more than 2,000 downloads of the application had been registered from different target groups, with around 645 interventions for survivor support and follow-ups. There are now dedicated Family Protection Officers who follow up with survivors and the Police Response Team on the ground for a more targeted service.

“LESPWAR” - Addressing Gender-Based Violence via mobile technology

The mobile application application “LESPWAR” was developed for survivors of Gender Based Violence and launched on 25 November 2020, with the support of UNDP Mauritius. The application allows users to report GBV cases, access information on GBV and receive referral support for psychological counselling and other services. As of December 2021, more than 2,000 downloads of the application had been registered from different target groups, with around 645 interventions for survivor support and follow-ups. There are now dedicated Family Protection Officers who follow up with survivors and the Police Response Team on the ground for a more targeted service.

Gendered Voices Newsletter

The UNDP also collaborated with different stakeholders to publish two volumes of the Gendered Voices Newsletter, which is a platform to document women’s experiences and stories in Mauritius. Volume I draws on women’s experiences during the lockdown period and in the wake of the ‘new normal’ to highlight the gendered implications of COVID-19 in Mauritius. Volume II highlights the important role that women play in promoting sustainable development and environmental protection in the Republic of Mauritius.

Gendered Voices Newsletter

The UNDP also collaborated with different stakeholders to publish two volumes of the Gendered Voices Newsletter, which is a platform to document women’s experiences and stories in Mauritius. Volume I draws on women’s experiences during the lockdown period and in the wake of the ‘new normal’ to highlight the gendered implications of COVID-19 in Mauritius. Volume II highlights the important role that women play in promoting sustainable development and environmental protection in the Republic of Mauritius.

Solutions adopted to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy

The GCF project on “Transformation to a Low Carbon Economy” provided technical and financial support to the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA) in developing (i) the national grid code for Renewable Energy (RE), (ii) standards to regulate the importation and manufacture of RET goods in Mauritius and (iii) regulations and standards for accreditation of operators. These codes, guidelines, regulations and standards will form the basis of an enabling and safe environment for investment in RE technologies and projects in the country. Through the GCF project, a total of 106 MW solar PV have been installed for intermittent renewable energy; Automatic Generation Control (AGC) has been installed at 2 generating power stations and 14 MW of Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) have been installed on 4 sites of the island.

Solutions adopted to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy

The GCF project on “Transformation to a Low Carbon Economy” provided technical and financial support to the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA) in developing (i) the national grid code for Renewable Energy (RE), (ii) standards to regulate the importation and manufacture of RET goods in Mauritius and (iii) regulations and standards for accreditation of operators. These codes, guidelines, regulations and standards will form the basis of an enabling and safe environment for investment in RE technologies and projects in the country. Through the GCF project, a total of 106 MW solar PV have been installed for intermittent renewable energy; Automatic Generation Control (AGC) has been installed at 2 generating power stations and 14 MW of Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) have been installed on 4 sites of the island.

Women’s empowerment in the field of Renewable Energy

The UNDP is supporting MARENA, together with the British High Commission, in the training of young professionals and graduates, particularly women in the field of renewable energy. The UNDP also supported 22 awareness sessions on RE throughout the country between 2019-2021, aiming to better inform women entrepreneurs on the possibilities of setting up a business venture in the RE sector or incorporating a source of RE in their household or in their small business. A cost-sharing agreement has also been signed with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government in December 2021, for the delivery of technical training targeting 40 women.

Women’s empowerment in the field of Renewable Energy

The UNDP is supporting MARENA, together with the British High Commission, in the training of young professionals and graduates, particularly women in the field of renewable energy. The UNDP also supported 22 awareness sessions on RE throughout the country between 2019-2021, aiming to better inform women entrepreneurs on the possibilities of setting up a business venture in the RE sector or incorporating a source of RE in their household or in their small business. A cost-sharing agreement has also been signed with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government in December 2021, for the delivery of technical training targeting 40 women.

Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone in the Republic of Mauritius

The GEF-UNDP funded ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone in the Republic of Mauritius’ Project is in its final year of implementation. So far, the project successfully installed an online server at the Department of Continental Shelf, Maritime Zone Administration and Exploration. The first set of Environmental Sensitive Areas maps has already been uploaded and is available to all government stakeholders. A Geographical Information System unit has also been set up at the South East Marine Protected Area in Rodrigues, to enhance the mapping and analysis skills of the authorities. Management and operational plans have been developed to assist biodiversity conservation and management of protected areas and Ramsar sites. The project ensured that a participatory approach was used, by partnering with 4 NGOs to implement four sustainable alternative livelihood projects to the benefit of communities impacted by the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). 

Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone in the Republic of Mauritius

The GEF-UNDP funded ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone in the Republic of Mauritius’ Project is in its final year of implementation. So far, the project successfully installed an online server at the Department of Continental Shelf, Maritime Zone Administration and Exploration. The first set of Environmental Sensitive Areas maps has already been uploaded and is available to all government stakeholders. A Geographical Information System unit has also been set up at the South East Marine Protected Area in Rodrigues, to enhance the mapping and analysis skills of the authorities. Management and operational plans have been developed to assist biodiversity conservation and management of protected areas and Ramsar sites. The project ensured that a participatory approach was used, by partnering with 4 NGOs to implement four sustainable alternative livelihood projects to the benefit of communities impacted by the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). 

Supporting the Economic Empowerment of the Artisanal Fishing Community of the Republic of Mauritius

The “Supporting the economic empowerment of the artisanal fishing community of the Republic of Mauritius” (E€OFISH) project forms part of a wider regional E€OFISH Programme financed by the European Union. It is implemented using a participatory approach which includes consultations and focus group discussions with the fisher community about their concerns during project implementation. A gender and youth action plan are being developed to strengthen women and youth participation in the implementation phase. The project has embarked on the procurement of single buoy Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) to be deployed in the open sea, aiming to enable artisanal fishers to shift from fishing in the lagoon to deeper off-lagoon waters. Doing so will reduce exacerbated pressure occurring on the overexploited marine resources in shallow waters and improve the ecosystem.

Supporting the Economic Empowerment of the Artisanal Fishing Community of the Republic of Mauritius

The “Supporting the economic empowerment of the artisanal fishing community of the Republic of Mauritius” (E€OFISH) project forms part of a wider regional E€OFISH Programme financed by the European Union. It is implemented using a participatory approach which includes consultations and focus group discussions with the fisher community about their concerns during project implementation. A gender and youth action plan are being developed to strengthen women and youth participation in the implementation phase. The project has embarked on the procurement of single buoy Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) to be deployed in the open sea, aiming to enable artisanal fishers to shift from fishing in the lagoon to deeper off-lagoon waters. Doing so will reduce exacerbated pressure occurring on the overexploited marine resources in shallow waters and improve the ecosystem.

Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Prevention, Control and Management project

The GEF-UNDP ‘Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Prevention, Control and Management project’ aims to minimize and eventually nullify the negative impacts of invasive alien species on the biodiversity, health, agriculture and economy of the Republic of Mauritius. Since the recruitment of the project team in February 2021, several project activities have been initiated, through partnerships with relevant institutions. The project has launched the procurement of equipment for front-liners regarding the control of IAS and a service provider has been hired for the update and review of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan 2010 -2019. A gender-sensitive institutional framework is also being developed.

Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Prevention, Control and Management project

The GEF-UNDP ‘Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Prevention, Control and Management project’ aims to minimize and eventually nullify the negative impacts of invasive alien species on the biodiversity, health, agriculture and economy of the Republic of Mauritius. Since the recruitment of the project team in February 2021, several project activities have been initiated, through partnerships with relevant institutions. The project has launched the procurement of equipment for front-liners regarding the control of IAS and a service provider has been hired for the update and review of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan 2010 -2019. A gender-sensitive institutional framework is also being developed.

Coral Reef Restoration

Under the UNDP-Adaptation Fund ‘Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to meet a Changing Climate Future’ project, marine and oceanographic equipment were procured to conduct pattern analysis, surveys and coral reef monitoring in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Seychelles. were recruited for technical assistance, capacity-building and guidance on the assessment of genetic connectivity of coral species. The project also partnered with 2 NGOs to carry out coral restoration related activities, including awareness campaigns, training of local community, and setting up and maintenance of ocean nurseries

Coral Reef Restoration

Under the UNDP-Adaptation Fund ‘Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to meet a Changing Climate Future’ project, marine and oceanographic equipment were procured to conduct pattern analysis, surveys and coral reef monitoring in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Seychelles. were recruited for technical assistance, capacity-building and guidance on the assessment of genetic connectivity of coral species. The project also partnered with 2 NGOs to carry out coral restoration related activities, including awareness campaigns, training of local community, and setting up and maintenance of ocean nurseries

Partnerships

Under the PREP initiative, the UNDP entered into strategic partnerships with 13 ministries and institutions to support government containment and social protection strategy and provide guidance on how to address future shocks. These institutions include the (i) Ministry of Health and Wellness, (ii) the Central Health Laboratory, (iii) the Ministry of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms, (iv) the National Assembly, (v) Statistics Mauritius, (vi) the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security, and (vii) the Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute, among others. The project has also started work on the development of an SDG Investor Map for Mauritius in line with its earlier engagements and dialogue with the private sector to facilitate recovery.

The ECOFISH project is financed by the European Union with co-financing from the Government of Mauritius through the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping. The project team worked in collaboration with stakeholders for submission of relevant proposals submitted to the UNDP Ocean Innovation Challenge.

Stakeholders engaged included:
1. The University of Surrey for the detection of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Mauritius by using multi-source satellite data
2. The University of Portsmouth for increased benefits from fishing access agreements and improve accountability of the environmental costs of fishing in the Western Indian Ocean region

The project is also collaborating with the Mauritius FAO National Correspondent’s office, which is implementing another project in the marine environment for the benefit of the local artisanal community.

South-South cooperation between the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Seychelles enabled knowledge exchange between coral restoration specialists in both countries.

For the GCF project, the main partnerships are with the following government agencies: the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development; the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities; the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency; the Mauritius Institute for Training and Development; the National Women Council; Social Welfare Centres; the National Empowerment Fund; the Utility Regulatory Authority (URA) and the Central Electricity Board (CEB), and the Outer Islands Development Corporation (OIDC). Other donors such as the DBSA and the Clinton Foundation also participated in the project for specific deliverables.

Programme Delivery and Resource Mobilization

The UNDP Mauritius Country Office leveraged existing partnerships to mobilise resources that enabled the implementation of recovery programmes. A total of USD 4.4 million was mobilised for COVID-19 response. This included USD 1.2 million from the Government of Japan (JSB 2), USD 550,000 from UNDP TRAC 2 Resources, and USD 2.2 million from the UNDP COVID 2.0. About USD 40,000 mobilised from the Australian High Commission has empowered women in the renewable energy sector. USD 1.5 million was mobilised from the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping to set up a land-based coral nursery. 

The resource mobilization strategy was to utilise these resources to catalyse cost sharing financing from the Government to implement strategic investments at scale. Having demonstrated successes in the health sector with USD 905,000 mobilised from the Government of Japan (JSB 1), the Government of Mauritius provided a further USD 1.6 million for the implementation of the LIMS, including airport use, surveillance, the Outbreak Management System, an Autoclave, and the digital Health Law.

The Government also made a commitment to mobilise an additional USD 1.5 million to implement an E health project for Mauritius. A catalytic investment of USD 100,000 in the preparation of the e-business plan for Statistics Mauritius is also envisaged to mobilise an additional USD 500,000 to implement the plan. These efforts ha been facilitated by the strong collaboration of UNDP with the Government and other development partners and agile implementation arrangements that have enabled the achievement of timely development