Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) |19 October 2017
First Blue Grants Fund to be launched today
The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) will be launching its Blue Grants Fund (BGF) today.
Following a meeting of its board of directors on Friday last week, SeyCCAT has now opened the first BGF window and is seekingapplicants and partnerships to apply for funds through a competitive ‘Request for Proposals’ process.
How can Seychelles continue to fish into the future, safeguard national food security, apply marine spatial planning (MSP) to protect its unique marine biodiversity as well as maintain local fisher livelihoods? These are the questions that SeyCCAT is aiming to help solve through organisations and collaborations it funds through its first Blue Grants Fund request for proposals. By investing in sustainable fisheries projects and partnerships, SeyCCAT will be able to support Seychellois fishers and fish-workers with projects that meet their current and future needs, as well as the needs of marine protected areas.
Projects can be submitted that require either small-medium grants up to R100,000, or large grants between R100,000 and R1,000,000.
SeyCCAT anticipates dispersing approximately R3.6 million through this first Blue Grants Fund announcement.
Any locally registered NGO or CSO, parastatal organisation, government agency or citizen of Seychelles may submit a proposal to SeyCCAT, as long as they have legally existed and operated in the Seychelles for a minimum of one year.
The deadline for concept notes for this first call for proposals is November 17, 2017.
According to the chief executive of SeyCCAT, Martin Callow, “this is a significant milestone for SeyCCAT. Over the past six months we have been putting in place the operational systems to ensure we are ready to disperse funds from the worlds’ first marine debt for nature swap. We are excited to be able to implement this innovative financial mechanism to support improved marine resource management. A key part of our work going forward will be to ensure that SeyCCAT’s funds and partners are measurably delivering real outcomes and impact. We are also working to grow our asset base so that SeyCCAT can expand its support for projects that align with our five strategic objectives”.
SeyCCAT’s resources are long-term, such that on an annual and semi-annual basis, and over the next twenty years, the Trust will continue to announce further Requests for Proposals – each will be unique and align with one or more of SeyCCAT’s five strategic objectives:
- Support new and existing protected areas and sustainable use zones;
- Empower the fisheries sector;
- Promote the rehabilitation of marine and coastal habitats and ecosystems;
- Develop and implement plans for climate change adaptation;
- Trial and nurture Blue economy business models.
“It is an opportune time for SeyCCAT to come to life, over the past three years we have been working with stakeholders to learn of their interests as they relate to marine spatial planning and we are now at a point where SeyCCAT’s assets can start to support that planning process. We see SeyCCAT’s first call for proposals and its alignment with the fisheries sector as a key element for the future sustainability of Seychelles’ unique and fragile ocean,” explains Minister Didier Dogley, the chair of the SeyCCAT board.
Keith Andre, the chair of the FBOA (Fishermen and Boat Owners Association), announced that “the fisheries sector being prioritised as the first beneficiaries of the fund should not miss out on the opportunity to apply with relevant projects both big or small to ensure the durable exploitation of the resource and to demonstrate that we are the forefront of the battle promoting responsible and sustainable practices within our sector”.
The project manager for the Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) initiative, Helena Sims, states that, “the emergence of SeyCCAT in Seychelles heralds a very exciting time for marine resource management. For the first time in the world, with the support of The Nature Conservancy, financial assets are being made available to a MSP process before it has been officially completed”.
The Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture Pamela Charlette reiterated the importance of SeyCCAT to the fisheries sector here in Seychelles and globally, and having just returned from a very successful visit to Malta for the ‘Our Ocean’ conference, she stated that, “during the conference I was proudly able to support the President and represent Seychelles’ continued leadership on innovative financing and large ocean states issues. That is clearly evident with the model of SeyCCAT and the soon to be launched Blue Bond, which SeyCCAT is also playing a key role in developing and implementing”.
For those interested in collaborating with SeyCCAT, the SeyCCAT team plans to provide stakeholders with Blue Grants Fund Q&A sessions in the coming weeks to help potential applicants understand how to engage with the Trust.
Full details about SeyCCAT, the competitive grant application process and the specific request for proposals can be found online at www.seyccat.org - or interested applicants can call SeyCCAT on 432 5806.
SeyCCAT is a conservation and climate adaptation trust fund, with a mandate to provide a sustainable flow of funds to support the long-term management and expansion of the Seychelles system of marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, and other activities that contribute substantially to the conservation, protection and maintenance of biodiversity and the adaptation to climate change.
SeyCCAT is currently capitalised with proceeds from the government of Seychelles US $21.6M debt conversion that was completed in 2016 with the support of The Nature Conservancy (TNC).