The Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, is rich in biodiversity. However, years of over-fishing and the impact of climate change have meant that many Seychellois are unable to make a living.
The island nation’s government has been supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to put together a financial plan, including a “blue bond” and debt restructuring focused on climate adaptation. Ultimately, up to 400,000 km2, around 40 per cent of its marine environment, will be protected and marine resources will be managed in a sustainable way for the benefit of the people of the Seychelles.
“New conservation finance options are giving local communities and private sector opportunities to re-think business as usual, to appreciate their social and environmental responsibility in our quest for development. Literally, incentivising people to think blue,” said Angelique Pouponneau, CEO, Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT).
Safeguarding the ocean for future generations is a shared responsibility and a matter of global urgency. These approaches jointly contribute to achieving the government’s vision to use marine, coastal and terrestrial resources in a responsible, sustainable and integrated way towards better stewardship and governance of its marine space. Under-financing of protected areas is a global problem, and it is getting worse. The experience of Seychelles provides important lessons on how to address the challenge of financing conservation head-on with imagination, innovation, and determination.
Read more here about how protected areas are being financed.