Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust becomes operational |30 November 2015
The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SEYCCAT) has become
operational after the board held its first meeting.
The trust was legally established by the government of the Seychelles in November
2015 after the national Assembly approved the Conservation and Climate
Adaptation Trust of Seychelles Bill (2015).
The trust fund has been created with the support of the Nature Conservancy and is
linked to the Seychelles Debt Swap/Buy Back and subsequently, the Seychelles
Marine Spatial Planning Initiative.
The main objectives of the board of directors of SEYCCAT are to direct and monitor the management of the trust’s assets to provide a sustainable flow of funds to support the long-term management and expansion of the Seychelles’ system of protected areas and other activities which contribute substantially to the conservation, protection and maintenance of biodiversity and adaptation to climate change.
The trust will perform exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes for the benefit of the public of the Seychelles.
Through workshops held in October 2012 and March 2013, an action plan to create the trust was developed and the board structure of SEYCCAT was finalised.
As advised in the said meetings, the board of the trust is composed of nine members with five civil society board directors and four government board directors. The members of the SEYCCAT board are:
Minister Jean-Paul Adam – Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy;
Minister Didier Dogley – Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change;
Minister Wallace Cosgrow – Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture;
Glenny Savy – chief executive of the Islands Development Company (IDC);
Robert Weary – The Nature Conservancy;
Sybille Cardon – chairperson of the Seychelles Tourism and Hospitality Association;
Marco Francis – chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
Dr Nirmal Jivan Shah – chief executive of Nature Seychelles;
Dr Frauke Fleischer-Dogley – chief executive of the Seychelles Islands Foundation.
The board of directors will serve without remunerations. The two ex-officio directors of the board are the government of Seychelles and The Nature Conservancy. Major changes to the objectives of the trust and its articles of association cannot be made unless both ex-officio directors are in agreement.
The SEYCCAT needs to be operational prior to receiving the first payment from the debt-swap which is expected to be in June of 2016. The Nature Conservancy, with the leadership support of Oceans 5, a collaborative of philanthropists dedicated to conserving the world’s oceans, is acting to mobilise this approximately US $30 million debt buy-back for the government of Seychelles in exchange for its commitment to increase formal marine protection from less than 1% to 30% of its territorial waters, an area equal to 400,000 sq km (the Seychelles Marine Spatial Planning imitative). Over the next 20 years, the debt buy-back will create a funding stream of approximately US $500,000 per year to pay for the implementation of climate change adaptation projects on the ground.
This project will result in the Indian Ocean’s second largest marine reserve network, improving protection for the island nation’s marine resources and securing resources that fuel its thriving fisheries and tourism sectors.
The effort will also serve as a model for island and coastal nations worldwide to recast development goals and marine area management plans.