Statement by President Wavel Ramkalawan on the occasion of the One Planet Summit | 12 January 2021
Seychelles calls on world to support its environmental ambitions
Seychelles is calling on the world to join us in our endeavour to implement our environmental ambitions.
The call comes in a statement delivered virtually by President Wavel Ramkalawan on the occasion of the One Planet Summit held yesterday in Marseille, France.
The full text of President Ramkalawan’s statement reads:
“On the occasion of the convening of the One Planet summit for biodiversity being organised by France, the United Nations and the World Bank, it gives me great pleasure to address you on behalf of the people of Seychelles.
“The planet and humanity are going through challenging times with the Covid-19.
Nevertheless we need to continue to talk and discuss our challenges and priorities as we dialogue on the future in reference to the preservation and protection of nature. It is imperative that we act together for nature.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly reminded us about the importance of the environment in our lives and economies.
“For small island developing states (Sids) like the Seychelles, biodiversity is the basis for the survival of our people and also a most important pillar of our economy.
“Seychelles has always had a strong belief in not only appreciating our heavenly habitat, but even more so in its protection. This is clearly illustrated with our present status of having over 48% of our already limited land area under protection and early last year we designated 30% of our Exclusive Economic Zone as protected areas.
“We are very happy to see that one of the key themes of the summit is protection of land and marine ecosystems. This is aligned directly with our national priorities and challenges in moving forward particularly at the start of the implementation of our marine spatial plan comprising the 30% protected area.
“Seychelles is calling on the world to join us in this endeavor. We need all the help and support!
“Seychelles knows that it is through partnerships with the private sector and philanthropic organisations that Sids can deliver on our environmental ambitions.
“We have initiated a number of public-private deals and mechanisms to mobilise the necessary resources, such as the debt-for-nature swap and the sovereign blue bond towards the protection of marine biodiversity.
“These proceeds are administered by an independent public-private trust fund, the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SEYCCAT). The government and SEYCCAT are ready to work with potential partners and supporters to achieve our national, as well as the global objectives, and such examples are the ongoing works on the Post-2020 global biodiversity framework and our nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) under the UNFCCC.
“In addition to our marine areas, the protection and sustainable use of our terrestrial areas in harmony with nature are most important. This is why we will seek to explore further the potentials of agro-forestry to use that landscape for the production of edible and non-edible agricultural products. In so doing, we will be meeting our obligations under the LEADERS’ PLEDGE FOR NATURE and in particular to commit to moving to sustainable patterns of production and consumption and sustainable food systems that meet people’s needs, while remaining within planetary boundaries.
“To conclude, there is no doubt on the level of seriousness on the status of nature. We note the alarming rate of extinction of species and the destruction of nature globally. The only way we can reverse this situation is through the highest levels of commitment through concrete, tangible and innovative actions on the ground. 2021 is a very important year for biodiversity through key forums such as the CBD COP in China, UNFCC COP and the IUCN Congress later this year. So let us use these opportunities to renew our engagement and show that we can be proactive and transformative!
“I thank you!”