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9 April 2019

Overseas Trajectory 5.0 strategy: following in the footsteps of COP 21 in the Overseas territories

The “Trajectoire Outre-mer 5.0” (Overseas Trajectory 5.0) strategy offers a new roadmap for the Overseas territories.
Launched on 8 April 2019 by the Minister for Overseas France, Annick Girardin, the Overseas Trajectory 5.0 strategy gives new direction to the development and transformation of the 12 French overseas territories. Priority is given to sustainable development.

5.0 objectives to be implemented in Overseas France

Building on the 17 sustainable development goals of COP 21, the Overseas 5.0 strategy involves five main “zero” objectives.

First objective: zero waste, to save and preserve resources in the territories. This objective is being achieved, in particular, through the action plan to reduce the stock of abandoned vehicles in the territories. The aim: to collect 60,000 abandoned vehicles over three years. In 2018, an experimental phase of this action plan was carried out in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Second objective: zero carbon, to develop renewable energies in Overseas France. This objective will be achieved by converting coal-fired power plants in Guadeloupe and La Réunion Island.

The zero agricultural pollutant objective aims to reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture, thus ensuring that people are better protected. To achieve this, the Ecophyto II plan includes the target of reducing the use of plant protection products by 50% by 2025.

With zero exclusion, the strategy also sets out a social inclusion objective, to combat all forms of discrimination and inequality. As such, healthcare provision must be reinforced by financing 100 posts between 2018 and 2019, particularly in Mayotte and French Guiana.

The last objective: zero vulnerability, to fight most effectively against climate change and the natural hazards resulting from it. Indeed, the Overseas territories are particularly vulnerable to climatic events. In 2017, hurricane Irma hit the territories of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy hard. The “zero vulnerability” objective is being achieved in particular by adapting buildings to anti-cyclonic and anti-seismic standards.

A strategy based on citizens’ ambitions

With 2.7 million inhabitants, the Overseas territories have many special features: their remoteness from mainland France, their insularity, tropical climates, and also their wide biodiversity and available natural resources. These Overseas characteristics require public policies to be adapted to the needs of each individual territory.

“The Overseas Trajectory thus reflects a new way of imagining and building the Overseas territories of tomorrow” said Annick Girardin on 8 April 2019. The Trajectory is the result of a process that began in October 2017, with the Assises des Outre-mer (Overseas Conference). Giving 25,000 people a voice, this opportunity for citizen dialogue has encouraged the emergence of projects and ambitions specific to the Overseas territories.
The 12 French Overseas Territories and their populations
Guadeloupe (383,000 inhabitants)
French Guiana (297,000 inhabitants)
La Réunion Island (866,000 inhabitants)
Martinique (364,000 inhabitants)
Mayotte (270,000 inhabitants)
New Caledonia (282,000 inhabitants)
French Polynesia (282,000 inhabitants)
Saint-Barthélemy (9 600 inhabitants)
Saint-Martin (36,000 inhabitants)
Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon (6,200 inhabitants)
The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (200 inhabitants)
Wallis and Futuna Islands (12,000 inhabitants)

“2.7 million of our fellow citizens live in the Overseas territories. They are the driving force behind projects, testing out solutions, innovating and playing a full part in our times”, the Minister said last June. “They are also the first to witness the challenges and imbalances which threaten certain territories. Consulting them was obvious.”

Following seven months of consultation, the Overseas Conference resulted in the Overseas Blue Book. Published in June 2018, the book incorporates the findings of the Conference and provides the Government with the main guidelines for the development of these territories.

The book contains four main priorities for transforming the Overseas territories: firstly, to turn them into “territories for living” by ensuring effective levels of public service. Secondly, to support them in their transformation, both financially and legally. Thirdly, to make them leading territories when it comes to facing environmental challenges. Finally, to make them territories of France which have international reach and influence.

Every six months, the Interministerial Committee for Overseas France meets to ensure these priorities are being implemented. The next Committee will be held in September 2019, ahead of an update on progress due in early 2020.