Feedback on MID reports

To the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.

We are delighted to provide feedback on the reports of the Working Groups for the MID policy development and indeed privileged to be part of the one on energy. Overall, we are happy with much of the work done so far and the comments below focus on exceptions to this. We also attempt to address some of the important issues we feel are missing from the reports and try to synthesise conflicting recommendations. After suggesting improvements to the MID process, we will turn to the security of the economy, nutrition, electricity and transport and then land use conflicts and nutrient recycling. Finally, we comment on individual recommendations that we consider notable. Continue reading

Advertisements

The politics of renewable energy

Dr Pradeep Mahesh Kumar Soonarane, Deputy Director Technical Services at the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities, made an emphatic statement last week at the launch of the National Energy Research Group, insisting it was recorded in the minutes for posterity:

Mauritius will never have 100% renewable energy

We immediately challenged him, referring to our own scenario for energy self sufficiency. He replied that the future would prove him right.

Dr Soonarane cannot be correct because when fossil fuels are exhausted renewable energies will be the only ones left (along with nuclear for a while). Moreover his statement is not technically accurate as we have demonstrated. We are therefore led to conclude that his statement is a political one and that the government is, for some reason, committed to fossil fuels. Whether this is connected to “commissions” received for signing contracts for fuel supplies, we can only speculate…

Not So Subtle Corruption In Mauritius

Here is the cable from the US Embassy in Mauritius dated 6th June 2008 as reported by Wikileaks:

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Recent allegations and press reports on corruption scandals in Mauritius highlight an often overlooked issue by those new to or unfamiliar with the island. Upon first impression, Mauritius may look relatively clean, but with some digging – one may find questionable dealings under the surface. Despite the founding of Mauritius’ Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in 2002, the country still suffers from a pervasive and ingrained problem. END SUMMARY. Continue reading

Is the MID process the right way forward?

By Karim Jaufeerally

The Green Paper: Towards a National Policy for a Sustainable Mauritius has been published by Government after a year of public consultation. It makes interesting reading and begins well for the first point of the executive summary (P xii) states:

Never before has it been as necessary and as urgent for Mauritius to review the directions in which the country is moving. Profound and far-reaching changes are sweeping across the globe, some of them forerunners of future shocks that will dramatically impact on the quality of life…Resource depletion, climate change, overpopulation, diminishing conventional energy source, deforestation, pollution on land and sea, rising poverty world-wide, and political instability, are only some of the factors that we now need to confront, and hopefully can overcome.”

Continue reading