Lisa Singh, who’s the UN Resident Coordinator in Mauritius and Seychelles, was talking forward of the UN Meals Programs Summit +2 which is going down in Italy from 24 to 26 July.
“This can be a notably compelling time to be the Resident Coordinator for a small island state like Mauritius. Since my arrival right here in 2022, I’ve skilled examples of utmost climate situations similar to flooding and cyclones on the one hand and water shortages on the opposite.
This seen impact of local weather change mixed with our geographical remoteness, small scale of economies, and excessive import prices have grave penalties for our island’s meals safety. It has gained larger momentum for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine war-related provide and commodity shocks, elevating robust preoccupations with meals safety as a key to the sustainable financial transformation agenda.
Meals techniques have emerged not solely as an agricultural problem however as a game-changer to catalyse outcomes throughout a number of SDGs. The upcoming occasion in Italy gives a chance for Mauritius to concentrate on the best way ahead to speed up the transformative energy of meals techniques.
Meals manufacturing should be seen throughout sectors and never in isolation. Water and power are direct inputs in any respect levels of the meals worth chain, whereas pure sources, ecosystems, and their providers underpin the safety of those inputs. Agriculture accounts for 30 per cent of water use in Mauritius alone. Globally, one third of the world’s out there power is consumed by the meals manufacturing worth chain.
Taking holisitic method
Addressing water shortage and investing in renewable power is crucial to meals safety. Mauritius imports three quarters of its power with renewable power, accounting for twenty-four per cent of its present power combine. It imports over 77 per cent of its meals necessities with households underneath pressure as meals costs on staple items similar to bread, black lentils, powdered milk, and cooking oil proceed to rise. Our reliance on imports similar to seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, expertise, and tools depart it weak to worldwide commodity and provide disruptions.
Reworking meals techniques can play a key position in nations’ local weather change mitigation and adaptation methods. For example, according to its nationally decided contributions, Mauritius has re-affirmed its commitments to scale back greenhouse fuel emissions from the agricultural sector. The nation has additionally recognized agriculture as a precedence sector for local weather change adaptation with a lot concentrate on environment friendly irrigation strategies and climate-smart agriculture.
Clearly for the UN crew, supporting a holistic techniques method to handle the interlinkages between meals, local weather, water, power, and gender is crucial.
Energy of partnerships
We’re taking a twin focus. There may be the institutional engagement to tell the methods, insurance policies, and budgets vital to remodel meals techniques in addition to influencing funds allocations.
We additionally intention at strengthening group resilience, leveraging the facility of partnerships, digital platforms, private-public modalities, and knowledge, with the inclusion of girls and youth on the centre.
For nations like Mauritius, the place tourism is a big supply of GDP earnings, the influence of local weather change poses a sustainability danger given its uncommon but fragile pure ecosystems.
Lives and livelihoods of communities, notably in coastal areas, are straight impacted. Coral bleaching and human air pollution is placing stress on the lagoon ecosystem affecting our artisanal fishers like Nazma and her household.
She has been an artisanal fisher for over 30 years alongside together with her husband and several other of her youngsters. This can be a sustainable means of fishing, as solely strains are used in contrast to in business fishing. Moreover, a lot of the fish caught by them are for consumption in Mauritius versus export.
Nazma says that she loves every part about fishing. It’s a ardour that has grow to be her job. However, she emphasizes that life is dear, gas is dear, and there are fewer fish within the lagoon.
The UN, in collaboration with the European Union by way of the Ecofish venture, is utilizing improvements in expertise to empower artisanal fishers to maneuver out of over-exploited lagoons.
Nurturing ‘sensible’ agriculture
By bettering the financial resilience of those conventional fisher communities, meals safety will likely be strengthened by way of better-managed marine sources.
In Rodrigues, which is a part of the archipelago of Mauritius, we’re working with assist from the Small Grants Programme (SGP) of the UN-supported World Surroundings Facility (GEF) with eight girls who’ve shaped the Rodrigues Turmeric Producers Affiliation to develop and course of turmeric into powder for business use.
One of many affiliation members, Perrine, explains how the enterprise permits girls to emancipate themselves. It can additionally allow their grandchildren to proceed this work as a result of turmeric will at all times be there.
There are different revolutionary sustainable meals techniques options being piloted by UN businesses in Mauritius. The UN Improvement Programme (UNDP), along with the Meals and Agriculture Group (FAO) and UN Ladies underneath the Joint SDG Fund, are selling low-cost biofertilizers made regionally from seaweed.
Initiatives to nurture sensible agriculture are being supported by FAO, UNDP, the UN Convention on Commerce and Improvement (UNCTAD), and the UN Inhabitants Fund (UNFPA).
With solely seven years left to ship on the 2030 Agenda our UN Nation Workforce in Mauritius will proceed its efforts to assist the diversification of the financial system, strengthen the round financial system, and put money into human capital to fight provide shocks.
Working in partnership to additional local weather motion and foster resilient pathways is vital to defending the way forward for Mauritius for our folks, planet, prosperity, and peace.”
UN Resident Coordinator
- The UN Resident Coordinator, generally referred to as the RC, is the highest-ranking consultant of the UN improvement system on the nation stage.
- On this occasional sequence, UN Information is inviting RCs to weblog on points necessary to the UN and the nation the place they serve.
- Be taught extra in regards to the work of the UN in Mauritius right here.
- Discover out extra in regards to the UN Improvement Coordination Workplace right here.