PEOPLE’S VOICES NETWORK
The sea of unproductive debates that we, as citizens, are currently swimming in as a result of most politicians largely focused on how to beat their political adversaries, has triggered the NGO- People’s Voices Network (PVN), to organise a debate entitled “Gearing towards COP 27- Sustainability Perspectives from Mauritius”.
PVN is very concerned that critical issues affecting the everyday existential condition of humanity is not sufficiently taken on board. The other main factors which provoked the debate include: the communications gap that exist between the authorities and the citizens regarding the outcomes of COP 26 and the preparations for COP 27; the anxiety which large numbers of young people experience regarding their future and more so as they watch the persistent destruction of the environment and their ocean, exacerbating climate change; the rapidly changing geo-strategic relations impacting further on small vulnerable island states; the underutilized potential of blocks/groupings such as AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States) to advance climate diplomacy, Adaptation Finance and climate justice. Also, the fact that policies are often made in a vacuum- with a short-term view – a point made in the book on “Sustainability and the SDGs-COVID 19: opportunity or constraint” authored by Sheila Bunwaree, Sunil Dowarkasing and Rajendra Gunputh, was also briefly discussed at the workshop.
The debate organised by PVN at ICJM, Rose-Hill on Friday 2nd September, brought together a number of citizens from diverse backgrounds to engage on a range of critical issues relevant to COP 27 and sustainable development. The latter included : Pertinence of COP 27 for addressing climate change by Professor Rajendra Gunputh; Interdisciplinary lens for an alternative development paradigm by Professor Sheila Bunwaree, Sustainable development and the Voluntary National Review by Sunil Dowarkasing, COP 27- small states, the question of loss and damage, Sustainability and Mauritius’s resilience as a small island state by Karim Jaufeerally, Contemporary challenges and the kind of economic growth required by Riad Sultan, the ocean and climate change by Faizal Jeeroburkhan, Inter island state collaboration and climate diplomacy by Gina Bonne. The workshop programme was conceptualised in such a manner so as to show the multidimensionality of climate change related problems and was very ably chaired by two brilliant young members of PVN: Chamilah Rughony and Ishan Rye Ramdenee.
Citizens attending the debate felt that it was very important for such engagement to take place and more space be created for participatory democracy, so that ordinary citizens can come to bear on key decision-making as well as influence policies in such a manner, so that their lives can be improved.
The pledge taken by People’s Voices Network was read by William Moutou, representing the youth. The pledge reads as follows:
We, members of the NGO People’s Voices Network (PVN) and the members of the public concerned by the ecological question and climate change, met on Friday 9th September 2022 at the workshop organized by PVN, entitled “Gearing towards COP27: Sustainability Perspectives from Mauritius”, commit to advocate and lobby for a more just, humane and inclusive development model which ensures the protection of the environment as well as the fundamental human rights of the citizens of the Republic of Mauritius.
Nu, bann mamb lorganizasyon non-gouvernmantal People’s Voices Network (PVN) ek mamb piblik ki konserne par la kestyon ekolozi e sanzman klimatik, finn zwenn vandredi nef septam 2022 dan rankont ki finn organize par PVN, intitile “Gearing towards COP27: Sustainability Perspectives from Mauritius”, nu angaz nu pu milite ek lobby pu enn model developman ki pli zis, inklisiv ek imin ek rasir proketsyon lanvironnman ek bann drwa imin fondamantal de tou sitoyen/sitoyenn rebiplik moris.