Seychelles gets EU support to adapt to climate change | 07 February 2018
Seychelles is receiving technical expertise and support from the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance + (GCCA+) to strengthen and boost its capacity to better resist and adapt to climate change phenomena.
A team of three expert consultants from the GCCA+ and Stantec -- the Brussels-based firm which has been contracted to carry out the work -- has been in the country for three months now.
Yesterday morning they led a half-day training, education and discussion session and received contributions from a wide range of key stakeholders involved in environment protection, education, conservation and climate change adaptation projects.
The overall objective of the 33-month work is to ensure the people of Seychelles, the economy and the environment are able to adapt and develop resilience to climate change and its effects and thereby safeguard the sustainable development of the country.
Additionally to contribute in carrying out the Seychelles Climate Change Strategy by strengthening the climate change sector policy framework with the aim of helping government develop local capacities so as to address climate change issues in a sustainable manner.
Wills Agricole, the principal secretary for Energy and Climate Change, launched the working session which took place at the STC conference room.
It is to be noted that climate change represents a major threat to Seychelles’ economy and way of life due to changes in rainfall patterns, sea level rise, resulting in increased coastal erosion and flooding, as well as its impacts on marine ecosystems and fisheries due to ocean warming and coral bleaching.
PS Agricole pointed out that the first GCCA programme for Seychelles -- Seychelles Climate Change Support Programme (SCCSP) -- was implemented between 2008-2013 and has been successful in: facilitating successful mainstreaming of climate change actions into a national development strategy for 2012-2020, has created strong institutional and regulatory framework for a modern energy sector to enable renewable energy and reduce dependency from oil, has created incentives and encourage participation of the private sector in renewable energies.
“However the programme design did not recognise fully the challenge of inter-sector coordination to mainstream climate change, and was not insufficiently grounded on an institutional assessment recognising the capacity constraints of the institutions involved, which are key challenges still to be addressed,” PS Agricole explained, highlighting the request for Seychelles to seek financial support from EU GCCA+ in 2014.
The GCCA was established by the European Union (EU) in 2007 to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with developing countries, in particular least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (Sids).
The project has two components: A and B. Component A has to do with strengthening of climate change policy framework whereas component B has been ongoing here since 2016 and is related to climate change adaptation works taking place around the country more particularly on La Digue.
Explaining in details the objectives of the project being undertaken, Peter Brinn, the project leader, said climate change is not only an environment issue, it is a development issue, it is a national issue which should be the business of everybody.
“With climate change we have to balance optimism and pessimism. We have to make adjustments to our behaviour and planning to reduce the risk of severe catastrophes and slow onset issues which would inevitably affect our children and grandchildren,” he added.
The expected outcome of the work is a better harmonisation of local climate change strategy, goals and actions, improvement in climate change governance and accountability by establishing and adopting a new performance assessment framework, improve capacity of the government to plan for, access, deliver, monitor and report on climate finance and enhance sector institutional and organisational capacity to support climate adaptation actions by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change to name but a few.