A consultative workshop on the development of a legislative framework for integrated waste management opened this morning at the Caudan Arts Center in Port-Louis.
The Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr. Kavydass Ramano; the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for Mauritius and the Seychelles, Ms. Amanda Serumaga; the Director of the Solid Waste Management Division, Mr. Bhaguthsing Beerachee; and other personalities were present at the ceremony.
The two-day workshop is organized by the Solid Waste Management Division of the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change in collaboration with UNDP. The workshop brings together more than 60 organizations with the aim of obtaining maximum input from all stakeholders at all stages of the drafting of the legislative framework before holding a validation workshop by the end of March 2022 to finalize the next law.
In his address at the ceremony, the Minister highlighted that the legislative framework was being developed to move from a linear approach to a circular economy as envisaged by the government, as the solid waste landscape called for a major change. He indicated that this change must be translated into an appropriate legislative framework to ensure the effective implementation of the various projects focused on the recovery and recycling of resources.
In addition, Mr. Ramano pointed out that an integrated waste management law, which would bring together all the legal provisions related to solid and hazardous waste once developed, would work in a sustainable way in the long term to fully solve several problems. These include: collecting and sorting waste in accordance with the new solid waste management strategy and action plan; waste prevention and reduction, reuse and recycling by closing the loop; treatment and disposal; licensing of waste management facilities; technical skills of operators; and illegal dumps and rubbish.
“This comprehensive legislation,” he stressed, “should include, among other things, provisions ensuring that: waste management strategies and plans are regularly developed, implemented and monitored through adequate institutional structures ; governance strategies to provide a well-functioning system that allows stakeholders to contribute as users, providers, and enablers are developed; private sector involvement in waste management; and an effective and efficient information system and reporting requirements to ensure informed decision-making is in place.
For her part, Ms. Serumaga commended the government for taking the initiative to initiate this important update of the legislative framework for solid waste management in Mauritius and underlined that a legal framework for the sound management of waste was fundamental to creating the right conditions for effective waste management. managing all waste streams and creating market-based opportunities, in addition to changing behaviors and supporting sustainable industry practices.
“UNDP’s mandate,” the Representative emphasized, “includes support for the development of solutions at national and subnational levels for the sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemical and hazardous wastes.” She added that UNDP had supported the Solid Waste Management Division in several of its initiatives to improve the waste management system on the island and to fulfill its specific obligations under international conventions such as the Stockholm and Minamata.
In addition, Ms. Serumaga indicated that the UNDP and Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project, “Implementing Low and Non-Chemical Sustainable Development in SIDS”, known as the ISLANDS, was approved by the GEF in December 2021 and implementation was due to start in the coming months where funding of $4.5 million would be allocated to support activities in Mauritius aimed at protecting human health and the environment from the harmful effects of chemicals and hazardous waste. She pointed out that fifteen activities were planned under the ISLANDS project with regard to the Solid Waste Management Division.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Republic of Mauritius.
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