Port-Louis, Mauritius - Mauritian Environment and Sustainable Development Minister, Deva Virahsawmy, Thursday launched a Climate Change Information, Education and Communication Strategy and Action Plan, which aims to enhance awareness and understanding necessary to create a climate conscious culture for achieving a sustainable future in the island.
The action plan is a framework devised to inform, educate, empower and engage all citizens in combating climate change.
Its objectives are to increase public access to information on climate change, raise public awareness and education on climate change and public participation and engagement in addressing and responding to climate change.
Quoting from the latest World Risk report, Virahsawmy said Mauritius ranks among the top 15 countries with the highest disaster risk and is ranked seventh on the list of countries most exposed to natural hazards.
'The island is already experiencing the impacts of climate change through accelerated sea level rise, accentuated beach erosion and increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events,' he said, adding that the challenges ahead are huge.
'It is critical to raise awareness and understand climate change issues to build resilience in the community, businesses and society,' he added.
The ministry aims to sensitise 400,000 people by 2016 and 1 million by the year 2020 through the action plan
A toolkit containing 111 actions for youth on climate change and a training manual for youth on climate change have also been launched.
The toolkit aims to inspire, inform and involve the youth in taking action to combat climate change.
It is destined to trigger actions at individual, family, school and community levels whereby people can adopt mitigation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as adaptation measures to respond to impacts of climate change.
The minister announced that a Climate Change Bill will be sent to the National Assembly later this year.