Seychelles shares experiences in maritime security | 19 July 2017
A one-day workshop on maritime governance in relation to marine security and sustainable development, which is part of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, took place yesterday at the University of Seychelles (UniSey), Anse Royale.
It was organized by the Sir James Mancham International Centre for Peace and Diplomacy established under the auspices of the UniSey and the James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute, in collaboration with the Cardiff University in New South Wales.
The aim of the workshop was for the representatives of the Cardiff University to learn more on the achievements, experiences and lessons of Seychelles in maritime security and sustainable development so that it could be shared to the outside world.
It was also an opportunity for delegates, with some meeting for the first time, to discuss and learn from each other, apart from meeting the international representatives.
Contemporary ocean policy faces multiple connected challenges and objectives associated with concepts such as the Blue economy, maritime security, ocean health and blue justice. These concepts reflect different policy objectives. The objectives are to offer pathways for sustainably exploiting ocean resources, of preventing maritime threats, including piracy, fishery crimes or the trafficking of narcotics, of protecting the marine environment and its diversity in the face of climate change, but also ensuring appropriate distribution of income and risks (e.g. to human and food security) among the diverse users of the sea, stretching from multi-national corporations to local coastal communities. Often these objectives are mutually compatible, yet, policy frequently faces trade-off, wicked problems and a political process is required to prioritise objectives and means.
The workshop was attended by representatives from the UniSey, the Sir James Mancham International Centre for Peace and Diplomacy, the James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute, the department of the Blue Economy, the British high commission, the Seychelles Maritime Academy, the Seychelles Ports Authority and other stakeholders.
Welcoming Dr Christian Bueger, Professor Susan Baker, Dr Robert MacCbe and Dr Natasha Constant from the Cardiff University and all other delegates, the vice- chancellor of the UniSey, Professor Dennis Hardy, said he very well appreciated such a workshop being held as it provides an injection of new ideas and generates interest and thanked everyone for taking part.
The workshop was facilitated by Professor Susan Baker and Dr Christain Bueger. Professor Baker later said that Seychelles has done some interesting and innovative approaches towards addressing its vulnerabilities, towards addressing climate change, how it uses the Blue economy idea, its eco-base adaptation and the idea of using nature to protect vulnerabilities such by using mangroves to protect against flooding and using the ocean for protection against food vulnerabilities as examples.
“Seychelles seems to be doing some really interesting innovative approaches and is much more developed than in other countries and it uses public private partnership in getting stakeholders, in NGOs, in getting business groups involved in policy making and so we would like to learn more about what the Seychelles is doing so that we can take those examples to the outside world,” she said.
Professor Baker also said “We know we are not naïve. We know that there will be problems. So we want to get a better sense of what some of the problems are related to multiple expectations, multiple wants and wishes and multiple vulnerabilities and so we would like to get a sense of what are the trade-offs, what are the critical trade-offs, those that don’t really matter and what are the synergies so that we can learn better some of the problems of the Seychelles as well.”
He said it is no use sending good stories outside if they are not based on a more sophisticated understanding of some of the tensions and difficulties.
The delegation from Cardiff University is on a week’s visit since yesterday, to discuss collaboration in the field of maritime governance and sustainable development with the University of Seychelles.