Stakeholders discuss regional plan to address effects of climate change


Mr Agricole addressing delegates at the workshop yesterday

Opening the two-day workshop on Wednesday, the new principal secretary for Environment and Energy, Wills Agricole, recalled that the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge was first proposed by President James Michel in 2007.

The President, he said, had envisaged it as a “platform, to galvanise political, financial and technical commitments and actions at national and regional levels on climate change adaptation, promoting resilient ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods and human security”.

The meeting was attended by delegates from Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, Comoros, Zanzibar and Mozambique. 
The new ambassador for climate change, Ronny Jumeau, who has provided strong support to the formulation of this challenge, was also present at the inauguration.

Mr Agricole said to realise this vision extensive talks have been held over the past four years  among regional government representatives, members of inter-governmental organisations  and multilateral institutions through the Global Island Partnership.

He noted that this was often sponsored by the Seychelles government at important international meetings, including the United Nations Framework on the Convention for Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

“So as a regional initiative, governments in the Western Indian Ocean region will take bold steps and commitments to address the unavoidable impacts of climate change and sea level rise on its people and natural resource base by promoting ecosystem-based adaptation strategies,” said Mr Agricole.

He said the objective of this systems approach is to increase resilience and maintain essential ecosystems services, while at the same time reducing the vulnerability of the people, their livelihoods and nature in the face of climate change.

Over the next 18 months, the objective of the platform will be to mobilise countries and partners in the region to develop a 20-year strategic framework for the Western Indian Coastal Challenge that will be anchored in a regional action plan, with goals, objectives and  targets linked to complementary national plans.

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