Aldabra, Assumption put in high biodiversity areas for Seychelles’ marine plan
The Seychelles’ Marine Spatial Plan is an initiative that looks at the management of all the different uses of the island nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Areas around Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Assumption Atoll have been drafted as zone one areas — high marine biodiversity protection areas – under the Seychelles’ Marine Spatial Plan phase one presented on Friday. Discussions involving the management of the plan took place last Friday and looked at areas that will fall under zones one and two, and corresponding activities that will be allowed in each zone.
“We also looked at the conditions that come with these zones through the allowable activities and the management consideration,” said Helena Sims, the project manager of the plan. The Seychelles’ Marine Spatial Plan is an initiative that looks at the management of all the different uses of the island nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ]. At the same time, it will be promoting the Blue Economy agenda of the country, allowing for sustainable development, food security and economic prosperity.
The project, which started in 2014 and ends in 2020, has as the target of identifying 30 percent of the Exclusive Economic Zone for protection and management. Zone one has been demarcated as ‘high marine biodiversity protection’ which aims at increasing areas of protection and conserving unique biodiversity.
The Seychelles’ Marine Spatial Plan is an initiative that looks at the management of all the different uses of the island nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board)
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Seychelles News Agency
Speaking at the High Level panel discussion on Maritime Security on the opening day of the leadership “Our Oceans Conference” in Malta this week, President Danny Faure delivered a poignant message to world leaders, entrepreneurs, civil society leaders, scientists and researchers on the importance of having resilient blue economies and to finding innovative and visionary solutions on how to conserve and sustainably use our Ocean, for the present and future generations.
Since 2014, Our Ocean conferences, have invited world leaders to look forward and respond by delivering high-level commitments and transforming the challenges into opportunities for cooperation, innovation and entrepreneurship.
President Faure emphasised that; “Maritime security is an extremely important component of the sustainable development of the ocean economy. One of the expected results of the blue economy strategy is greater protection for Seychelles’ ocean space and resources through better coordination across different sectors, application of protective measures and greater use of surveillance and enforcement tools. This is certainly a formidable challenge for a SIDS like Seychelles. But, because of our limited and competing resources, it is particularly important that we have a well-thought out maritime security strategy, and this is thus our commitment and we welcome any cooperation that may be extended to us in this regard.”
The 2017 edition “An Ocean for Life” aims to drive forward new collaborations in the following ocean areas– marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, climate-change, and this year’s 2 extra themes, maritime security and sustainable blue economy. President Faure was invited to share the Seychelles experience on these themes and also provide an update on the previously registered commitments made in 2016. The commitments were on the issuance of the first Blue Bonds in support of sustainable fisheries, and the debt swap to develop a marine spatial plan of our EEZ and designate 30% as marine protected areas.
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The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeCCAT) website is now live! Please click here to learn more about the Trust and the grants program.
United Nations General Assembly, New York.
“From small islands come big ideas,” President Danny Faure told world leaders in New York yesterday. He was referring to action Seychelles has been taking in recent years to find innovative ways to fund sustainable development through the 2030 Agenda and address climate change under the Paris Agreement.
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Seychelles debt swap, marine spatial plan and Trust featured in The Economist. Interviews with Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, and Principal Secretary Blue Economy Department.
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The Economist, Print Edition 7 September 201
Representatives from the Government of Seychelles will be attending the first ever UN Oceans Conference in New York City, 5-9 June 2017.
The high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development will be convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017, coinciding with World Oceans Day, to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. The Governments of Fiji and Sweden have the co-hosting responsibilities of the Conference.
More information about the conference can be found here.
Seychelles featured in The Nature Conservancy magazine. Written by Ginger Strand, the magazine article describes the Government of Seychelles’ efforts to protect 30% of its ocean and develop the Blue Economy.
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Seychelles will be hosting a one-week festival in December to celebrate its rich marine heritage.
The Seychelles Ocean Festival which will be held from December 2-9, will be replacing the Sub Indian Ocean Seychelles (SUBIOS), also known as Seychelles Festival of the Sea.
The official launch of the event taking place at The Wharf Hotel and Marina on December 2, against a backdrop of the sea and the Eden Island. For more information, visit the Festival’s Facebook page.
Seychelles Ocean Festival 2016
The Seychelles government will establish up to 400,000 square kilometres of marine protected areas by 2020 as part of a comprehensive marine spatial plan for its entire exclusive economic zone. This will be achieved via a debt swap of up to $27 million with its Paris Club creditors and the government of South Africa, with the support of the Nature Conservancy and private capital investors interested in marine conservation. The announcement was made by Rebecca Loustau- Lalane, the principal secretary in the Blue Economy Department, on the main stage of the recent ‘Our Ocean conference’ at the US State Department in Washington D.C. Also attending the two-day conference was the chief executive of Nature Seychelles, Dr Nirmal Jivan Shah, who said that the main aim of the conference was to galvanise countries and institutions to do something real to protect this lifeblood of humanity.
Photo: Seychelles Nation
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(Seychelles Nation 24 Sep 2016)
Seychelles featured in National Geographic Magazine! From the article: “Restoration efforts are giving vulnerable native species a second chance on islands in the Indian Ocean. Privately owned St. Joseph Atoll was once commercially exploited for fish and coconuts but is now prized for its marine biodiversity and seabird colonies. In 2014 the island was made a nature reserve with a marine protected area. Its conservation is managed by the Save Our Seas Foundation. High tide in Aldabra lagoon finds green turtles grazing on sea grass. Here and on other Seychelles islands, exploitation by humans has given way to admiration and a desire to protect and restore.
Photo: Manu San Felix/National Geographic, shot during Pristine Seas Expedition to Seychelles, March 2015.
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(National Geographic Magazine)