Summary

To enhance the design and delivery capacity of relevant institutions to mainstream climate change adaptation and sustainable development across programmes, the Government of Mauritius has set up an ambitious programme which does not only implement soft and hard beach protection measures and an early warning system in the highly threatened coastal zone, but also puts a strong emphasis on the strengthening of local engineering capacities. The partnership with a leading Indian University on Coastal engineering has allowed the University of Mauritius to set up its own MsC course, allowing local engineers to develop adequate technical solutions for each of the unique coastal sites.

Challenge

The Republic of Mauritius' (ROM) stunning coastlines, with its white sand, transparent water and coral reefs, have allowed the small island to develop a vibrant tourism industry that accounts for a substantive part of its economy and formal employment. In spite of its remarkable economic transformation over the past 50 years, as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), the country (including Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agalega , and various small islets) is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, especially in the coastal zone, where a convergence of accelerating sea level rise and increasing frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones (with more intense rainfall events, stronger winds and higher waves due to the degradation of coral reefs) has a high risk to result in considerable economic loss, humanitarian stresses, and environmental degradation. The visible and measurable effects of climate change in the coastal zone of ROM have become more apparent over the last ten years, reflecting increases in the rate of negative changes and an increase in the number of vulnerable sites. Sea level rise (measured in Port Louis) has averaged 3.8 mm/year over the last five years, compared to an average of 2.1 mm/year over the last 22 years. Local families are highly dependent on coastal livelihoods, such as employment in the hotel sector and fishery, but, due to the extremely high percentage of private land holding, cannot move to alternative sites. They remain the first ones to be exposed to adverse climate conditions and to suffer from long term impact of climate change. There is a lack of technical capacity in ROM to convert climate variability risk management into practical technical interventions appropriate for each vulnerable site. Each coastal site is unique in terms of driving factors, rate of change, and range of technical options. High level coastal engineering skills for proper assessment of each site and to design appropriate cost-effective interventions are crucially needed.

Solution

To protect the highly exposed communities living in the coastal areas from these adverse effects, the Government of Mauritius, with the technical support of UNDP, is carrying out an adaptation programme, which includes the implementation of soft and hard beach protection measures, the establishment of an Early Warning System for Storm and Tidal Surge, construction of a refuge centre to provide a safe haven for the coastal communities in cases of storm surges, other natural calamities and the improvement of the institutional framework for coastal management and training. A major focus is also placed on the development of engineering capacities that are adapted to the challenging context. In view of the lack of adequate capacities to address the new phenomena and unique conditions at each coastal site, a strong emphasis was put on the training and capacity building of local engineers, which also allowed to ensure sustainability of the project. As at 2017, 500 officials from the Government/Private Sector had been trained in the field of Coastal Engineering and Climate Change Economics.

In charge of carrying out this component, the University of Mauritius has established a partnership with the Department of Ocean Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), a leading multi-disciplinary facility specialized in research and teaching programmes in the protection, conservation and management of marine ecosystems. Short Courses on "Coastal Engineering" were imparted to approximately 50 local engineers from the public/private sector and university students. The University of Mauritius and IITM are therefore planning for a long-term collaboration in the design and implementation of other short courses on coastal engineering and joint supervision of PhD students. A follow up course on "Coastal Adaptation Structures (soft measures) -A case study of Mon Choisy" was taught by three professors from IITM in August 2014 and two postgraduate courses "MSc Coastal Engineering" and MSc "Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction" have been mounted in collaboration with the University of Mauritius. The capacity development component is part of an overall larger program of coastal engineering courses. It has also allowed to produce three “Handbooks on Coastal Adaptation” packaged as training modules for coastal communities, relevant Government agencies, and private sector stakeholders.

Supported by: UNDP and Adaptation Fund

Implemented by: Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Environment and Sustainable Development

Contact person(s): Mr Satyajeet Ramchurn Environment Programme Analyst UNDP Mauritius at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr M N Khedah Project Manager Climate Change Adaptation in the Coastal Zones of Mauritius project at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 16:46

Summary

Namibia's National Planning Commission is charged with Macro Economic Planning of the country, but has limited practical exposure to advanced macroeconomic tools to estimate poverty levels at national, regional and constituency levels. Substantive exchanges with the Stellenbosch University’s Social Policy Centre and the Southern Africa Social Policy Research Insight allowed to further build the Macro economic research and analysis capacity of the Commission’s secretariat. Trainings focused on the practicable application of appropriate techniques for analysing and communicating socio-economic issues. Overall, department has gained hands-on experience in the production of empirically sound and policy relevant socio-economic research, based on the country’s data and is applying these tools for thorough analysis on topics such as Gender Pay Gaps, Enrolments in Early Childhood Development, Youth Unemployment and National Human Development. 

Challenge

In spite of Namibia’s steady progress in improving its socio-economic development over the past years and its classification as an upper middle-income country, the country is still facing wide level of inequalities. Poverty incidence varies greatly between the regions and between rural and urban areas of Namibia. Although no analyses have been undertaken to ascertain regional differences, it is plausible to assume wide variations in the incidence of poverty within the regions. Namibia’s National Planning Commission (NPC), operating within the office of the President, is in charge of planning, prioritizing and directing national development that includes economic planning through effective coordination, monitoring and evaluation. It spearheads the identification of socio-economic development priorities, formulates short-term, medium-term and long-term national development plans, and develops monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. While it was plausible to assume wide variations in the incidence of poverty within the regions, the commission had not undertaken any analysis that could provide detailed data on these regional differences and its staff was lacking the tools to estimate poverty levels at regional and constitutional level.

Solution

This was carried out in collaboration with the Stellenbosch University’s Social Policy Centre and the Southern Africa Social Policy Research Insight, and in line with the 2014-2018 Partnership Agreement between the Government of Republic of Namibia and the United Nations. The National Planning Commission (NPC) strengthened the capacities of its national development planners to conduct analysis of the Namibia Index of multiple deprivation and poverty mapping. In 2014/2015 a delegation of the Stellenbosch University and the Southern Africa Social Policy Research Insight, conducted a specialized training of 14 national development advisers from the NPC on the Development of Indexes of Multiple Deprivation. This allowed technical staff at the National Planning Commission of Namibia (NPC) to conduct studies that estimated poverty levels within the regions, specifically at constituency levels, and develop trends analysis based on the 2001 and 2011 Census as well as the 2003/2004 and 2009/2010 Namibia Households Income and Expenditure Data (NHIES). The officials now have skills on how to present the data analysed on maps using StatPlanet. Further, they will also be able to investigate aspects of non-money metric poverty as a prelude to the money-metric work that lies ahead in the country. This will allow them to advise policy makers both at national and regional government levels on how to institutionalize resources allocation that is informed by baseline tools on poverty within different areas. With subsequent training using Stata, NPC Secretariat is now able to provide policy guidance on developmental planning and priority settings to Government using analytical work. The National Planning Commission is still using the tools and methods for analysis and to date, three policy briefs have been produced on the following topics: i) Inside the Gender Pay Gap: What Explains Disparities in Gender Pay In Namibia? ii) Increasing Enrolments in Early Childhood Development (ECD): How Far Have We Come? iii) Namibia’s Untapped Resource: Analysing Youth Unemployment. It is likely that Namibia (NPC) will continue to collaborate with the Stellenbosch University. The technical skills enhanced and capacities improved through this partnership will be applied and utilised in the preparation of the next NHDR.

Supported by: UNDP

Implemented by: Macroeconomic Division, National Planning Commission (NPC), Namibia, contact person Mr Sylvester Mbangu, Chief National Development Advisor

Contact person: Martha T Naanda, UNDP Namibia - Programme Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 13:59

Rwanda has made significant social and economic progress over the past 20 years. Building on an elaborated set of long- and medium-term development strategies the country has maintained economic growth on average at rates of 5-10% since 1995 and achieved a large part of the Millennium Development Goals (e.g. education, health, and missing MDG1 only slightly).

At the outset of this positive development trajectory following the end of the genocide in 1994, Rwanda was highly dependant on Official Development Assistance, which, although significantly reduced by 2014 still makes up close to 40% of the national budget. In addition, in 2015, about 15% of external resources stemmed from South-South and Non-DAC cooperation.

The large number of development partners and of funds dedicated to specific development purposes required substantive management efforts from the young administration and has driven the set up for an innovative development finance coordination architecture in order to ensure that external finance is aligned to and promotes national development priorities. Up to now this architecture inspires countries and development partners in the region.

A pioneer in development effectiveness on the continent, Rwanda has a well-established National Aid Policy (2006) and development cooperation architecture, including a sound mechanism for assessing the performance of development partners (DPAF) which takes place annually. Performance is measured against 14 effectiveness indicators in line with the national Aid Effectiveness Action Plan and the global effectiveness agenda (Paris Declaration, Busan Monitoring Framework). This review is published together with the review of the Government performance, which is is assessed annually in line with the national development strategy. 

The DPAF and the Division of Labour (DoL) between development partners (DPs), which requires that DPs work in no more than 3 sectors, have been instrumental in introducing a behavioural change among DPs.

A cabinet-level Aid Policy Implementation Committee provides high-level oversight and strategic direction in the area, while the Development Partners Coordination Group brings together the Governments, DPs, CSOs and private sectoral for high level dialogue. At the sectoral level, the dialogue between the government and partners is organized through Sector Working Groups (SWGs) which are jointly lead by a  lead ministry and a DP.  

Through its Development Assistance Database (DAD) the government collects official development finance data from development partners and publishes annual official reports .

In view of the shifts in the development finance landscape over the past years and an increasing share of South-South  and private sector resources, the Government of Rwanda has proactively developed its South-South Co-operation Policy, is working on the implementation of a private sector financing strategy and on the development of a new DPAF that can measure "beyond aid partnerships" in the areas of trade, taxation, FDI, PPPs, etc. 

Rwanda has willingly shared lessons learnt from the implementation of these development finance management tools with  other countries. Every year the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning hosts delegations from peer ministries to learn about best practices in making sure effectiveness principles are respected at national level.  To name only a few, delegations from Bangladesh, The Gambia, Malawi, Sudan and Madagascar have  visited Rwanda's aid management institutions and learned about best practices to ensure coordination,  alignment and results to national development priorities and the monitoring and accountability of DP interventions. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 12:45

Mauritius faces several challenges to gender equality and women's representation at Board Level.

In line with Mauritius Vision 2030, and with the objective to promote women's descriptive and substantive representation, a Parliamentary Gender Caucus has been established at the level of the National Assembly in March 2017. Strategic planning exercises are inspired from best practices identified in other countries in the region.

The percentage of women in formal politics in Mauritius is around 12% (2015), while the last study of 2003 on women’s representation at Board Level in Mauritius remained at 7%. The Government of Mauritius had adopted in 2008 a National Gender Policy Framework that called upon all Ministries to formulate their respective sector specific gender policy. As at date all Ministries have in place their gender policies with an allocated budget of USD 6,500 for implementation of gender specific programmes.

Nevertheless, several challenges to gender equality and women's representation remain :

1)Neither the status of implementation of gender policies nor the status of gender equality in the private sector have so far been addressed.

2)The Concluding Comments of CEDAW have identified a number of areas for redress to achieve gender equality and equity in Mauritius and promote and protect women’s human rights.

3)The percentage of women in higher echelons of decision making needs to be addressed for their substantive representation at the level of Parliament.

4) The capacity of gender focal points in sectoral ministries is also limited in terms of their expertise or skills in gender mainstreaming in policies and programmes as well as in gender responsive budgeting processes

5) In addition, the number of reported cases of violence is currently on the rise and there is a need for a coordinated and holistic approach from all stakeholders to address the scourge of violence

The Vision 2030 of Mauritius provides the overall framework for action for sustainable development.
A Parliamentary Gender Caucus has been established at the Level of the National Assembly of Mauritius in March 2017 following an amendment to the Rules and Procedures and Standing Order of Parliament, with the support of UNDP.

The overall vision of the Caucus is the attainment of gender equality, through inter alia, enabling cross-party collaboration to advocate for gender sensitivity in Parliament; acting as a watchdog for the implementation of sectoral gender policies; commissioning of research on salient gender issues and building capacity of Members of Parliament to mainstream gender in bills, debates and other processes of the Legislature.

Activities have been launched through the commissioning by the Gender Caucus of a participatory gender auditing exercise in both the public and private sector that assesses the status of gender equality, and identifies gaps and challenges for redress. The support of the Private sector has been sought from an Umbrella Organisation regrouping around 1200 private firms.

The Gender Caucus has also commissioned a study on the sociological profiling of perpetrators of domestic violence to be able to address the root causes of intimate partner violence. As a result of this study, with technical support from UNDP, an online Domestic Violence Information System is currently set up at the level of the Executive.

To ensure long term sustainability in line with the national development objectives, the Gender Caucus is currently in the process of formulating its strategic plan, with the support of UNDP, and will be inspired from best practices from Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi, as well as other countries of the SADC and the SADC Regional Women Parliamentary Forum.

Wildlife crime, human-wildlife conflict, restricted wildlife movements, fire management and misguided land-use are among the most pressing issues currently affecting Namibia and its four (4) neighbouring countries: Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Namibia recently launched its fifth National Development Plan (NDP 5) in 2017. NDP 5 encourages collaboration with regional neighbours on common environmental challenges.

In response to addressing the challenges at hand, the 5 countries have formally agreed to form a Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), referred to as Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) that aims to enhance their capacities to jointly deal with the current problems.

Covering over 520,000 km2, the KAZA TFCA is the largest transfrontier conservation area at the global level, which is a collaboration between five (5) partner countries: Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe that are aiming to maintain ecological integrity across a multiple-use landscape. KAZA TFCA is biodiversity rich and is home to the largest concentration of elephants in the world. It comprises more than 20 National Parks, 85 Forest Reserves, 22 Conservancies, 11 Sanctuaries, 103 Wildlife Management Areas, and 11 Game Management Areas

Today, the most common challenges facing the KAZA TFCAs, particularly on the Namibian side are: poaching, human-wildlife conflict, excessive burning, restricted wildlife movements along the Botswana-Namibia border, lack of accurate and detailed land-use information for the Wildlife Dispersal Areas (WDAs) and limited transboundary infrastructure.

Many communities within the KAZA TFCA highly depend on the natural resources (land, rivers and forests) with their livelihoods. Access to these resources, however, is limited and specifically in Namibia, communities feel restricted one the use of land. This situation exacerbates their vulnerability to wildlife impact and threatens the success of conservation, often pushing people to turn towards illegal activities such as poaching.

Elephants, especially, that perceived as one of the biggest threats to human lives, although incidents rarely happen, are threatened by alarming levels of poaching. This is due to the high value of ivory, which is in high demand in Asian countries. The problem is further exacerbated by the strong link with the neighbouring countries within the KAZA transboundary, as there are reportedly organised syndicates that are associated with other countries. Overall, elephant poaching is quite a big threat to Namibia as a country, particular due to a lack of awareness of their value, the need to conserve them and the impact that poaching has on them.

SGDs Target(s):

Namibia's recently launched fifth National Development Plan (NDP 5) underscores the interconnectedness of all efforts towards economic progression, social transformation, environmental sustainability and good governance and encourages collaboration with regional neighbours. Over the past few years, a number of transboundary solutions have improved communities' often negative attitude towards wildlife and its conservation:

KAZA Excellency Tour: The KAZA Excellency Tour is set to be a milestone collaborative effort in economic growth, cultural preservation, job creation and environmental sustainability within the region, continent and global community. Specifically in Namibia the benefits of the tour has the potential to positively affect conservation efforts, the environment and eco-tourism within the country. The KAZA Excellency tour route will officially open to the public in February 2018.

The tour was officially launched in November 2017:
UN Resident Coordinator (RC) and UNDP Resident Representative (RR) to Namibia, Ms Kiki Gbeho, accompanied a delegation of 7 Ambassadors accredited to Namibia, Charges from Angola and Libya, the Managing Director (MD) of NWR, Ms. Zelna Hengari and the Deputy Minister of International Relations Maureen Hinda, to participate in a six-day excursion. Undertaken within the framework of South-South Cooperation, the delegation met their counterparts within the cross-border terrain. They exchanged ideas on the sustainable use of biodiversity and culture to maximize the tourism benefits with focus on access and benefit sharing particularly for the remotely located areas of southern Africa and on how to foster partnerships for tourism advancement in line with the SDGs.

The launch, also supplemented efforts to commemorate the 2017UN international Year of Sustainable Tourism (IY2017) and, through its lead female figures ultimately served as ideal fit, to match the global 10 Special Ambassadors of the IY2017, that include Her Excellency Ellen Johnson, former President of Liberia.

KAZA TFCA Master Integrated Development Plan (MIDP): Implemented by all five countries in the region, this plan provides strategic guidance towards the development of the KAZA TFCA at the regional level, over a period of 5 years i.e. 2015 – 2020. This can be achieved through: 1) providing for sustainable conservation and management of transboundary natural resources; 2) promotion of harmonisation of policies, strategies and practices for managing the shared natural resources across the KAZA TFCA landscape; 3) providing for the development of infrastructure which will allow economic integration, specifically the promotion of regional tourism products across boundaries and private sector investment; and; 4) providing benefits to local communities within and adjacent to key conservation areas within the KAZA TFCA through the development of tourism and the protection of natural and cultural resources.

Protected Areas System Strengthening (PASS) Project: The PASS Project is a project for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET). Implemented by UNDP, the project’s aim is to assist MET in addressing the new challenges that are affecting the management of Protected Areas (PAs). The objective of this project is to ensure that the Protected Areas System of Namibia is strengthened and is sustainably financed through improving current systems for park entry and revenue generation mechanisms, law enforcement strategies and mechanisms to address wildlife crimes (particularly the poaching of high value species), as well as fire management in protected areas.

  • With support from the PASS project, MET has done/ is doing the following:• Protecting high value species of elephants against poaching in the Bwabwata National Park and surrounding areas through continuous anti-poaching patrolling and awareness raising activities.
  • Joined forces with the Namibian Police (NAMPOL) and Ministry of Defence (MoD), towards anti-poaching in well-known poaching hotspots, especially Bwabwata National Park with its large population of elephants.
  • Developed a National Fire Management Strategy for Protected Areas (PAs), as an overall framework for fire management in Namibia’s PAs.
  • Further developed protected area specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for fire management. The development of SOPs for the first two (2) PAs has already started.

Community-Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM):

In Namibia, the management of wildlife is not only a priority in PAs, but also beyond PA boundaries. The proclamation of PAs and the management of wildlife in Namibia at large are guided by the Nature Conservation Ordinance No. 4 of 1975. This ordinance was amended in 1996, such that it devolved communities’ rights over the protection of wildlife, while at the same time yielding economic benefits.

In line with the ordinance, a written permission is needed for hunting in the protected areas and on communal land.

While the provisions of the ordinance are often ignored, due to the economic value of the elephant ivory, communities have been placing efforts in the protection of wildlife within the communal areas, including elephants through the Community Based Natural Resources (CBNRM) schemes.

Reports have revealed that various CBNRM schemes have been successful in Namibia, which has led to the registration of more conservancies in the Zambezi Region of Namibia, which is part of the KAZA TFCA.