POLICY AND MANAGEMENT UNIT
The policy and management unit is responsible for the drafting of policies and legislative framework, preparation of budget and strategic planning.
The policies to which Mauritius abides to are:
§ The Convention of Biological Diversity
o Nagoya Protocol
o Kyoto Protocol
o Cartagena Protocol
§ The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
§ The Convention on Migratory Species of wild animals
o The African Eurasian Water Bird Agreement
§ The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
The Convention of Biological Diversity(1992) National focal point since 2012
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entered into force in December 1993. The CBD is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. Mauritius was among the first countries to ratify this Convention in 1992.
The Nagoya Protocol significantly advances the objective of the Convention on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources by providing greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources. Specific obligations to support compliance with domestic legislation or regulatory requirements of the Party providing genetic resources and contractual obligations reflected in mutually agreed terms are a significant innovation of the Nagoya Protocol. These compliance provisions as well as provisions establishing more predictable conditions for access to genetic resources will contribute to ensuring the sharing of benefits when genetic resources leave a Party providing genetic resources. Also, the Protocol’s provisions on access to traditional knowledge held by indigenous and local communities when it is associated with genetic resources will strengthen the ability of these communities to benefit from the use of their knowledge, innovations and practices.
By promoting the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, and by strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use, the Protocol will create incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being. Mauritius has ratified the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity on 17 December 2012.
· Kyoto Protocol (https://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php)
The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty, which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (http://newsroom.unfccc.int) that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, based on the premise that global warming exists and man-made CO2 emissions have caused it. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. There are currently 192 Parties (http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/status_of_ratification/items/2613.php) to the Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol implemented the objective of the UNFCCC to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to 'a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system' The Protocol is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities: it puts the obligation to reduce current emissions on developed countries on the basis that they are historically responsible for the current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Mauritius acceded to the Kyoto Protocol on 9 May 2001.
· Cartagena Protocol (http://bch.cbd.int/protocol/)
Biosafety is one of the issues addressed by the Convention. This concept refers to the need to protect human health and the environment from the possible adverse effects of the products of modern biotechnology.
At the same time, modern biotechnology is recognized as having a great potential for the promotion of human well-being, particularly in meeting critical needs for food, agriculture and health care. The Convention clearly recognizes these twin aspects of modern biotechnology. On the one hand, it provides for the access to and transfer of technologies, including biotechnology, that is relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
At its second meeting, held in November 1995, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention established an Open-ended Ad Hoc Working Group on Biosafety to develop a draft protocol on biosafety, focusing specifically on transboundary movement of any living modified organism resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. After several years of negotiations, the Protocol, known as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity, was finalized and adopted in Montreal on 29 January 2000 at an extraordinary meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
The objective of this Protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, and specifically focusing on transboundary movements.
Mauritius has ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on 11 April 2002. The protocol came into force on 11 September 2003.
§ The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), (1973); - https://www.cites.org
The Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international treaty whose terms and conditions have been agreed to by 178 member nations. It was negotiated and signed in 1973 and went into force in 1975. Mauritius ratified the Convention 27 July 1975.
The Convention was signed in Washington D.C., US, on 3 March 1973, and entered into force on 1 July 1975. There are currently 175 parties to the Convention.
CITES parties regulate wildlife trade through controls and regulations on species listed in three appendices.
Appendix I list species endangered due to international trade, permitting such trade only in exceptional circumstances. (https://www.cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/app/2015/E-Appendices-2015-02-05.pdf)
Appendix II species are those that may become endangered if their trade is not regulated, thus requiring controls aimed at preventing unsustainable use, maintaining ecosystems and preventing species from entering Appendix I. (https://www.cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/app/2015/E-Appendices-2015-02-05.pdf)
Appendix III species are those subject to domestic regulation by a party requesting the cooperation of other parties to control international trade in that species. In order to list a species in Appendix I or II, a party must submit a proposal for approval by the Conference of the Parties (CoP), supported by scientific and technical data on population and trade trends. The proposal must be adopted by a two-thirds majority of parties present and voting. As the trade impact on a species increases or decreases, the CoP decides whether or not it should be transferred or removed from the Appendices. (https://www.cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/app/2015/E-Appendices-2015-02-05.pdf)
§ The Convention on Migratory Species of wild animals (1994) since 1st June 2004 - www.cms.int
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known on the CMS or Bonn Convention) aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. It is an inter-governmental treaty concluded with the conservation of wildlife and habitants on a global scale. It came into force since 1st October 1983.
By 1st April 2013, 119 countries from Africa, Central and South America, Asia and Europe and Oceania are members of the convention. Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed in Appendix I of the convention and that would benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II. CMS acts as a framework Convention and have agreements and Memorandum of understanding (MOU). Mauritius has signed one Memorandum of understanding on Conservation of Marine Turtles of the Indian Ocean and South East Asia (on 13 September 2002) and small cetaceans.
National Parks and Conservation has recommended the ratification of CMS and Mauritius was welcomed as the 86th Party to the CMS with effect from 1st June 2008.
§ The African Eurasian Water Bird Agreement (1999) since 1st January 2001 - www.unep-aewa.org
The African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) is an international agreement aiming at the conservation of migratory waterbirds over the whole of their range and came into force in 1983.
The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), the largest of its kind developed so far under CMS. It was concluded on 16 June 1995 in Hague, the Netherlands and entered into force on 1 November 1999. Since then the Agreement is an independent international treaty.
The AEWA covers 255 species (http://aewa.eaudeweb.ro/en/species) of birds ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle, including many species of divers, grebes, pelicans, cormorants, herons, storks, rails, ibises, spoonbills, flamingos, ducks, swans, geese, cranes, waders, gulls, terns and even the South African penguin. Furthermore, the agreement covers 119 countries (http://www.unep-aewa.org/en/legalinstrument/aewa) and the European Community (EC) from Europe, parts of Asia and Canada, the Middle East and Africa. Of the 119 Range States and the EC, currently 71 countries (http://www.unep-aewa.org/en/legalinstrument/aewa) have become a Contracting Party to AEWA.
The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975, and it is the only global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem (Wetlands).
Mauritius became a party to the Ramsar Convention on 30 September 2001 and the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) designated as the National Focal Point is mandated to ensure the conservation and wise use of wetlands resources in Mauritius.
As a prerequisite to Ramsar Convention, the Government has set up a National Ramsar Committee comprising members from all relevant institutions involved with wetlands to assist the Ministry in implementing the provisions contained in the Ramsar Convention and to advise the Ministry on Wetland development issues. World Wetlands Day is celebrated each with great enthusiasm and dedication to raise awareness on wetland conservation and wise use among the local people, most particularly school community.
The Convention's mission is "the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world".
As to date, three Ramsar Sites of International Importance have been proclaimed in Mauritius. The Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary (RTREBS) is the very first Ramsar Site of International Importance designated in Mauritius on the 30th of September 2001. Blue Bay Marine Park and Pointe D’Esny wetlands have been nominated as the second and third Ramsar Sites of International Importance.