CHAPTER 7 : MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION OPTIONS

INTRODUCTION

Various mitigation and adaptation options have been identified within the Mauritian environment to reduce GHG emissions and to cope with climate changes. Some of these have already been implemented partially or totally according to the existing natural, social and economic context while others might be more difficult to address because of constraints. The non-exhaustive list of options and the contraints foreseen are given on a sectoral basis.
 
 

ENERGY AND INDUSTRY
 
Option
Constraints or Challenges
Keep better statistics to allow easier and better data-gathering for periodic GHG inventories  Before doing initial survey, the statistics division and government was not aware that some information might be crucial and much of the information was grouped and needed to be split. As experience increases, knowledge will improve about what data may be useful to make energy projections and mitigation analyses. Statistics should be kept on import of vehicles, small motors, engines, household generators, industrial equipment, increase in use of certain appliances such as air conditioners and fans, etc. 
Rodrigues and Outer atolls- assessment of energy requirements and best renewable energy options For any systems that do get installed, on-site training of personnel to repair and maintain the systems will be crucial. Also, if wind energy is chosen on Rodrigues, the towers must be able to come down if a cyclone is predicted. Systems installed should be viable for commercial income-producing activities on a small-scale, as well as for household needs.
Electric company user fees should reflect the real cost of producing and distributing power Customers will complain about price increases; the poor will be disadvantaged by higher bills.
Decrease dependency on fossil fuels while increasing use of renewable energy alternatives
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Mauritius has significant potential to utilize many alternatives for generation of electricity; and with capital investment could provide almost all of the islandsí energy needs from a combination of biofuels (from sugar cane), photovoltaics (solar), wind power, ocean wave power, and ocean thermal energy conversion. Most of these would require tremendous initial capital investment, with benefits accruing in the long-term, both environmentally and economically. Decisions must be made at a high-level about what technologies to pursue.
Lower energy consumption through demand-side management energy efficiency and conservation programs and incentives
 
 
 

 

This would entail a variety of policies and measures including voluntary programs, tax refunds, consumer education, energy audits of businesses and industry, and perhaps initiation of a "green labelling" program for household appliances and office equipment. It has been successfully done in other countries and would probably work in Mauritius, if loopholes are closed (i.e. duty free shops must also comply).
Ban imports of high power consuming appliances; or give favoured import status to low-energy appliances The economic costs and impacts of these types of policies for local businesses must be evaluated first.
The economic costs and impacts of these types of policies for local businesses must be evaluated first Loss in revenue to government
Conduct a "turn off the lights" energy-awareness campaign for the holiday and tourism sector. Materials would need to be printed in a multitude of foreign languages to be effective, or at the very minimum two or three.
A strategy is being devised to sensitize stakeholders on the need to adopt more efficient and cleaner production systems. Stakeholders have reacted positively to the strategy. An energy awareness campaign is being worked out at the level of the Ministry of Industry. 

 
 

TRANSPORT
 
Option
Constraints or Challenges
Go forward on building a rapid public transport system, as projected, utilizing electric-powered vehicles Funding will be crucial to do engineering, obtain equipment, and to purchase right of ways and land for construction
Ban visible emissions of fumes by initiating a "Clean Air Act"  If fines or penalties are to be charged, there must be an adequate number of meters to quantitatively measure emissions or else the legal challenges will swamp the court system
Encourage "carpooling" to government offices and large factories Certain incentives can be offered, such as a special sticker which entitles the carpool driver to special parking privileges or the use of a fast traffic lane
Enforce maximum speed limits A best effort is being made, with speeding fines and penalties, but public education could also tie reducing speed to decreased GHG emissions
Gradual introduction of unleaded gasoline

 

There will have to be a phase-in period of several years as gas pumps and car gas tanks will need to be converted. Also to be taken in consideration the lost difference and supply between leaded and unleaded fuel.
Public education program to "Ride the Bus" "Coccooning" of people in private cars is a result of raise in standard of living and incomes. Private cars allow freedom to move around at will.
Encourage import of fuel efficient cars and vehicles; discourage the import of inefficient vehicles A combination of public education and market-based incentives like lower customs fees and import duties could accomplish this
Research possibilities for economical fuel switching The most promising option is possible local production of ethanol from sugar cane by-products; LPG technology is in its infancy but is a long-term future possibility. Private electric cars at this point are not a realistic option.

 
 

COASTAL ZONE
 
Option
Constraints or Challenges
Continue meetings of the working committee on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) to oversee the development of ICZM Plan for the South (funded by the Indian Ocean Commission) that includes CC and SLR concerns and adaptation strategies; this can then be used for a model to expand into all-island ICZM Plan Any ICZM Plan must be incorporated into National Economic Development Plans; a Lead Ministry or Agency and key person should be named to coordinate efforts; they should be invested with the authority to make decisions; all stakeholders need to be represented including several levels of government, business and industry, port managers, recreational and tourist private sector, environmental NGOs, fishermen and users of resources in the coastal zone; they must participate and have input into the drafting of the plan and be allowed to comment significantly at every phase; plan must have a strong outreach and public-awareness component to ensure voluntary compliance.
Legislative and policy review of all laws pertaining to management of the coastal zone for coping with sea-level rise and non-living marine resources This may have to be done by an outside consultant who can be completely impartial; this should also evaluate overlapping jurisdictions and responsibilities; any new laws drafted will need to be reviewed internally by attorneys for their appropriateness.
Fund regular periodic aerial photography of coastline, or aerial video vulnerability assessments, perhaps every 3 to 5 years This is expensive, and outside donor agencies are not keen to fund it. Rodrigues and the Outer Atolls should be included in this
Establish mechanism to do systematic surveys of existing beaches, mangrove strands and coral reefs island-wide to create baseline maps  Healthy coral reefs are the best coastal protection Mauritius has, assuming the degradation is averted. Mangroves protect the shorelines. Monitoring is now being done on an ad hoc basis. It will require outside funding to do a thorough job. The government must be committed to regular monitoring, perhaps utilizing assistance from the recreation dive industry. Ideally, the maps will be incorporated on GIS computer software, to simplify analyses.
Computerize all valid historical maps and air photos and lay them over verified and ground truthed geological maps  This technique can give a quantitative estimate of coastal erosion over time, but is only as good as the quality of the maps used. It is still a very useful technique and someone should be trained in the methodology.
Investigate costs of beach replenishment using offshore sand This is expensive and must be done continually, once begun. It may offer a solution for some hotels and resorts, however.
Research the costs and advantages of various types of hard protection for coasts including sloping sea -walls, revetments, offshore breakwaters, etc. The gabions and poorly designed sea walls which have been built thus far are straight-up, or leveled stair-like and causing increased beach erosion in the places not protected by them. The design needs to be considered as a system, in terms of sand transport, change in current patterns and dissipation of wave energy action. 
Establish regular beach monitoring program to evaluate erosion on a regular basis

 

Although initial baseline surveys need to be done by trained surveyors, the government could not afford to continually monitor. Possibly, local communities or University students could be trained to monitor beaches using low-tech methodologies.
Establish a coral reef monitoring program to evaluate degradation on a regular basis This is also being done on an ad hoc basis. Possibly, this could be done by marine science students at the University or resort dive operators with proper training in transecting methods.
Establish marine parks and wet lands preserves to insure migration pathways for species as temperatures increase Apart from possible land tenure issues; this could easily be done.
Request outside donor agency to supply SEAFRAME electronic tide gauge

 

This is best done if a regional network is established so that comparable levels of data are gathered around the Indian Ocean. Data may need to be analyzed out-of-country and transmitted to Met Services.

 
 

AGRICULTURE
 
Option
Constraints or Challenges
Further research and experimentation with salt / drought tolerant and wind-resistant varieties of sugar cane This may be done on a regional basis or in affiliation with other sugar-producing tropical islands such as Fiji, Cuba, Hawaii and Australia. It will require funding and a long time-scale to evaluate results, to experiment with culturing and testing under a variety of conditions.
Diversification of agricultural products for export and home consumption Diversification has been recommended for a decade and is being done, but sugar is the most lucrative and the most hardy during cyclone conditions; there is potential to expand the cut flower industry and tropical fruit export but constraints include competition and need for air transport to markets.
Study the length of growing seasons and optimal time to harvest (sugar cane) This could be undertaken by the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute, but will require adequate funding.

 

FISHERIES
 
Option
Constraints or Challenges
Data gathering for assessment of stock, sustainable yield and depletion This is being done to some degree, both locally and regionally; a longer time series of data and better data will be needed to prepare for CC, including: habitats, hatching, migration in relation to sea temperatures.
Ban gill nets entirely, and other destructive fishing practices, as part of a ICZM Plan Mesh size is being controlled; enforcement is difficult.
Participate in regional and international research on optimal temperature ranges for pelagic fish  Certain species of tuna have been shown to seek the ocean depth that is their optimal temperature; this has implications for investments in types of equipment and the technologies chosen to upgrade the commercial fishing industry.
Increase sea-food production from Aquaculture This too may be proven to be vulnerable to sea temperature changes.
Collect data on ocean circulation changes as they relate to temperature & SLR Much of this data is remotely sensed via satellite and very expensive to acquire.

 
 

FORESTRY
 
Option
Constraints or Challenges
Preserve and conserve remaining forests Forests are protected by law; private land-owners are given government assistance; much of what could be done is already being done.
Initiate aggressive tree-planting programs in urban areas and on private land The expense is one constraint; also research into what species would increase biomass quickly is a consideration; government could perhaps give financial incentives to people who plant trees on private land.
Ban cutting of mangroves and protect mangrove forests as part of an ICZM There are very few mangrove areas left in Mauritius to protect.

 
 

WASTE MANAGEMENT
 
Option
Constraints or Challenges
Initiate education on recycling and composting and programs to reduce waste  Government must support this; private entrepreneurs will need to generate business utilizing and re-manufacturing recycled products, preferably on-island, since shipping off-island is not cost-effective; there needs to be a large public awareness and school outreach program and drop-off centers for recyclables need to be easily accessible to the general public.
Investigate the possibility of a gas-to energy power plant Capital intensive; would require outside funding and technical expertise to implement. There may not be sufficient population or garbage generated to make this an effective mitigation option.
Study the effect of sewage outfalls on the coral reefs, as part of an ICZM Plan Longer pipes may need to be constructed or other options for dealing with sewage considered if they are destroying the coral reefs, which are the best coastal protection for SLR.

 
 

WATER RESOURCES
 
Option
Constraints or Challenges
Do measurement, mapping and computer modelling of the ground water lenses for atolls The models have already been created (within the framework of the USCSP) and do exist, but someone locally has to be trained to understand them and run them.
Encourage the use of "gray water" for secondary household uses, through a massive public education campaign This has been done successfully in many countries and is a fairly easy to implement.
Mass Construction of household back-up rain-catchment tanks  Water quality would need to be tested periodically; these would be useful during drought conditions
Put limitations on the use of water for crop irrigation This policy could be very detrimental to large- and small-scale sugar cane growers and is not likely to be readily accepted
Efficient water resources management Training and capacity building