There are many definition of sustainable development but the one that is mostly used is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brutland Report: 'Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. It consists of two key concepts; the concept of needs, particularly the fundamental needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority must be given and the concept of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs. The manufacturing sector has been the engine of economic miracle of the 1980's. This great performance would not have been achieved without the setting up of the EPZ some 35 years ago. The creation of the EPZ marked the emergence of a new era which opened the way for diversification, industrialisation and the modernisation of the Mauritian economy.
1.2. Importance of sustainable development in the Mauritian manufacturing sector
The role of the Manufacturing Sector in the development of Mauritius cannot be underrated. For the year 2001, its estimated contribution (EPZ, milling, and other manufacturing) to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is Rs. 27.4 billion, which means 24% of total GDP compared with only 15% in the mid 1970's. After three consecutive years of declining growth rates,in 2012, the Manufacturing sector's growth rate improved to 1.5%. The evolution of fish processing boosted food manufacturing which almost singlehandedly propelled manufacturing grwoth in real terms. Fish and fish preparations exports rose to 34% and increased its share of food/animal exports to 53%,i.e well above sugar's 34%. Therefore, we place manufacturing growth at a higher 1.8% in 2013.
The Ministry of Environment & Sustainable Development (formerly Ministry of Environment & NDU) is implementing the National Programme for Sustainable Consumption and Production 2008-2013 (SCP). The SCP Programme is being applied in the aftermath of proposals made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg in 2002. The SCP Programme has as objective to promote greater efficiency in production and consumption pattern in Mauritius.
1.3.The manufacturing sector :its evolution
The manufacturing sector initially begun with a few import-substitution industries in the 70s and later developed into a fully fledged Export Processing Zone (EPZ), absorbing the high unemployment in the country. Over the years, Mauritius became a reference in produced goods, particularly textiles.
Nowadays, the manufacturing sector, which consists of activities such as sugar miling, exports oriented enterprises and other enterprises manufacturing goods mainly meant for the local market, is still considered as a vital source of growth in the economy despite its contribution is relatively less than its high-track records in the 80s and the 90s. In 2007, the total number of large enterprises operating in the industry fell to 807 down from 915 in 2002, whereas an increase was registered in the number of small production units from 11,859 in 2002 to 12,798 in 2007.
The project will study the Mauritian manufacturing sector with regards to developing a sustainable Mauritius island. It will explore the concepts of sustainable development and how it is really applied in the Mauritian manufacturing sector.
While many challenges awaits Mauritius in terms of energy savings, solutions for waste management and also the environment, it is essential that Mauritius achieves success in the manufacturing sector.
1.5. Objectives of the project
The objectives of the project are:
' To explore the concepts of the Mauritian manufacturing sector together with sustainable development.
' To understand how sustainable development is meaningful in the manufacturing sector.
' To provide recommendations in order to make the Mauritian manufacturing sector successful and sustainable.
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