Lisa Singh, who’s the UN Resident Coordinator in Mauritius and Seychelles, was talking forward of the UN Meals Techniques Summit +2 which is going down in Italy from 24 to 26 July.
“It is a significantly 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 better momentum for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine war-related provide and commodity shocks, elevating sturdy preoccupations with meals safety as a key to the sustainable financial transformation agenda.
Meals programs 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 the 2 nations to deal with the way in which ahead to speed up the transformative energy of meals programs.
Meals manufacturing should be considered throughout sectors and never in isolation. Water and vitality are direct inputs in any respect levels of the meals worth chain, whereas pure sources, ecosystems, and their companies 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 accessible vitality is consumed by the meals manufacturing worth chain.
Taking holisitic strategy
Addressing water shortage and investing in renewable vitality is crucial to meals safety. Mauritius imports three quarters of its vitality with renewable vitality, accounting for twenty-four per cent of its present vitality 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, know-how, and gear depart it susceptible to worldwide commodity and provide disruptions.
Reworking meals programs can play a key position in nations’ local weather change mitigation and adaptation methods. For example, in step with 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 deal with environment friendly irrigation strategies and climate-smart agriculture.
Clearly for the UN crew, supporting a holistic programs strategy to deal with the interlinkages between meals, local weather, water, vitality, 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 needed to rework meals programs in addition to influencing finances allocations.
We additionally intention at strengthening group resilience, leveraging the ability of partnerships, digital platforms, private-public modalities, and information, with the inclusion of ladies and youth on the centre.
For nations like Mauritius, the place tourism is a major supply of GDP earnings, the impression of local weather change poses a sustainability threat given its uncommon but fragile pure ecosystems.
Lives and livelihoods of communities, significantly in coastal areas, are instantly impacted. Coral bleaching and human air pollution is placing strain 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 kids. It is a sustainable approach of fishing, as solely traces are used in contrast to in industrial fishing. Moreover, many 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 pricey, gasoline is pricey, and there are fewer fish within the lagoon.
The UN, in collaboration with the European Union by means of the Ecofish challenge, is utilizing improvements in know-how to empower artisanal fishers to maneuver out of over-exploited lagoons.
Nurturing ‘good’ agriculture
By bettering the financial resilience of those conventional fisher communities, meals safety can be strengthened by means of better-managed marine sources.
In Rodrigues, which is a part of the archipelago of Mauritius, we’re working with eight girls who’ve fashioned the Rodrigues Turmeric Producers Affiliation to develop and course of turmeric into powder on the market.
Addressing the vitality inputs into agriculture, one of many affiliation members, Marie-Anne, says that with monetary backing from the Small Grants Programme (SGP) of the UN-supported International Surroundings Facility (GEF), she and her friends have been capable of purchase a photo voltaic dryer to switch an electrical one which consumed a number of vitality and price some huge cash.
Her colleague and pal, Perrine, explains how the enterprise permits girls to emancipate themselves. It would additionally allow their grandchildren to proceed this work as a result of turmeric will at all times be there.
There are different modern sustainable meals programs options being piloted by UN businesses in Mauritius. The UN Growth Programme (UNDP), along with the Meals and Agriculture Group (FAO) and UN Ladies underneath the Joint SDG Fund, are selling low-cost biofertilizers made domestically from seaweed.
With solely seven years left to ship on the 2030 Agenda our UN Nation Crew in Mauritius will proceed its efforts to assist the diversification of the economic system, strengthen the round economic system, and put money into human capital to fight provide shocks.
Working in partnership to additional local weather motion and foster resilient pathways is essential 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 degree.
- On this occasional sequence, UN Information is inviting RCs to weblog on points necessary to the UN and the nation the place they serve.
- Study extra in regards to the work of the UN in Mauritius right here.
- Discover out extra in regards to the UN Growth Coordination Workplace right here.