Maurice Ile Durable (MID) - The Concept needs a Rethink

The Maurice Ile Durable (MID) Concept needs a rethink

It was an impottant concept whose main objective was to make Mauritius a world model of sustainable development, particularly in the context of SIDS (Small Island Developing States). In spite of a few laudable projects and initiatives, MID never took off. Let us have a look at concept and its implementation strategy and draw lessons for the future.

First, there was no attempt to include environmental NGOs in the process. The think tank comprised one individual. The initial thrust was to minimize our dependency on fossil fuels through increased utilization of renewable energy and a more efficient use of energy in general. Soon the MID concept was soon broadened to include all aspects of development, i.e. economic, social and the environmental as sustainable development is generally meant to encompass these. 

Based on concepts developed overseas, the MID concept was soon made to rest on designated 5Es, namely Energy, Environment, Education, Employment and Equity. The catch words had to be thrust in the Mauritius context. The French ‘Grenelle de l’Environment’ offers considerable lessons in approach to refocussing the concept and implementation of sustainability and beyond to include ‘resilience’. It has to move beyond the ‘project’ stage to a policy inclusive framework.

The Policy and Strategy Action Plan consisted of four MID Priority Programmes:

·         Energy Conservation and Renewables
·      Cleaner, Greener and Pollution Free Mauritius
·      Green Economy
·      Ocean Economy

Some 130 projects/activities had been proposed across the 5Es, i.e., Energy, Environment, Employment, Education and Equity.

These projects would be implemented in the short-, medium- and long-term to bring coherence and to enhance existing activities by introducing new ideas for better sustainable development.

The concept should be revisited and placed in a Mauritian context with Mauritians and their NGOs taking the lead from redefinition to implementation.