Mauritius: The Declaration of the Ministers and High representatives of the Island States of Africa and the Indian Ocean for the development of the Circular Economy was adopted yesterday during the closing ceremony of the Ministerial Conference of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port-Louis. The Declaration will be validated at the next meeting of the IOC.
The Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Kavydass Ramano, the Secretary General of the IOC, Vêlayoudom Marimoutou, Ministers and Heads of the Island States of Africa and the Indian Ocean were present.
The Ministerial Conference, held from 18 to 21 September 2023, had as objective to encourage Governments to take concrete actions at local and regional levels for the promotion of the circular economy and reduction of marine pollution caused by plastics.
The Declaration focuses mainly on the implementation of a regional action plan for the prevention, reduction and control of marine and plastic pollution; promotion of circular value chains through recovery of pneumatic, electrical, electronic and plastic wastes; education and awareness of circular economy; and mobilising funding and partnerships for the promotion of sustainable blue economy.
In his address, Minister Ramano highlighted that the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration will speed up efforts and the collective commitment of the Island States of Africa and the Indian Ocean to work towards a common vision and regional cooperation for the promotion of a circular economy.
“The transition to a circular and resilient economy is no longer a choice, but a necessity, given our vulnerability as a Small Island Developing State”, he stated.
The Conference, he observed, comes at an opportune time as Mauritius endorses its circular economy roadmap. A legislative framework, he added, has also been developed to bring circularity to the solid waste sector. Despite several major challenges, the Minister expressed hope that Mauritius will be able to achieve its set objectives with the support of the regional partnership through the IOC.
He further urged the need for the IOC to support the mobilisation of funding from relevant bodies and cooperation agreements with other regional and international organisations to strengthen collaboration between Member countries to implement regional projects and framework laws.
Minister Ramano added that the Conference provided an opportunity for Member States to exchange their knowledge and present their positions regarding the circular economy, thus enabling stronger partnerships