‘The Blue economy, Seychelles’ answer to climate change’


‘The Blue economy; What has climate change got to do with it?’ was the title of an event organised recently by the governments of Seychelles and Belgium at the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) headquarters, in Nairobi.

It took place on the sidelines of the 41st International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) annual meeting and was attended by over 100 delegates and diplomatic representatives.

Seychelles’ Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change Didier Dogley and Professor Jean Pascal Van Ypersele, the vice-president of IPCC were the two main speakers at the event, which was moderated by the ambassador of Belgium to Seychelles, Roxane de Bilderling and Meryl Van Voore, head of climate change, Unep.

Minister Dogley highlighted the urgency of tackling climate change as the challenges and risks it poses are increasing as clearly spelled out in the 5th IPCC report.

He spoke about the strong linkages between climate change and development and the need to decouple development from environment destruction and carbon monoxide emissions.

He made the case for small islands developing states (Sids) to take the initiative and develop their own home grown solution and used the Blue economy as a clear example for achieving this.

To drive home the point he used President James Michel’s exemplary initiative and effort to promote the Blue economy as a tool to achieve sustainable development and tackle climate change.

After speaking about the merits of the Blue economy and what it entails, the minister moved on to talk about the debt swap and thanked the government of Belgium, United Kingdom and France for supporting Seychelles in turning a debt burden into an innovative financing mechanism for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

This world first financial innovation, once approved, will provide other Sids with a tested model of sustainable financing for climate change action.

Professor Van Ypersele on his side presented data and scientific evidence which support the Blue economy approach being advanced by Seychelles.

He argued that if the world wanted to keep below the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius rise, above the pre-industrial level, the world will have to adopt a low carbon sustainable development pathway and take care of the oceans; the lungs of the planet.  Should the world fail to work together and make a real effort to reduce emissions at the global level, the earth as we know it will become a very difficult place to live in.

He pointed out that the choice is clear because everything less will lead to an increase of 4 degrees Celsius and catastrophe at a scale that mankind has never experienced before.

The two presentations were then followed by statements and questions from the floor.
Minister Dogley was accompanied by Wills Agricole, the principal secretary for climate change and energy in his ministry and also the national focal point for climate change.

The Seychelles delegation also held discussions with representatives from the German and Italian embassies in Nairobi who offered their support to Seychelles in implementing the Blue economy.

They also held talks with Jeremiah Lengoasa, the deputy secretary general of the World Meteorological Services.




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