A COP26 SeyCCAT Side-Event Translating ambition into action – Support required by Sids |06 November 2021
‘A conversation that had to be had’ summarises the general feeling following the SeyCCAT’s ‘Translating Ambition into Action’ side-event held at COP26 on Thursday November 4.
Ten panellists including the Minister for Finance, Economic Planning & Trade, Naadir Hassan; Angelique Pouponneau, chief executive of the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Change Trust (SeyCCAT) and Ronny Jumeau, Climate ambassador, participated in a round table discussion which addressed the urgent need for financing mechanisms for small island developing states (Sids) to take a different and innovative approach.
SeyCCAT organised the event, which took place in Glasgow, Scotland, to provide a platform for countries such as Seychelles and Belize which have made ambitious blue carbon commitments in their updated NDCs to share their stories and to highlight their needs for their respective implementation phases.
Seychelles has embarked on an ambitious journey to protect 50% of its mangroves and seagrass habitats by 2025 and the remaining 50% by 2030.
Prior to COP26 and in recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the plight of Sids and developing countries in accessing finance for their climate action projects. Sids, as coastal territories, are at the forefront of the devastating impacts of rising sea levels and warmer temperatures which are eroding away their shores and depleting their biodiversity. These impacts, which need to be addressed with adaptation measures, have been sidelined since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016, since the general perception was that the urgency of the planet’s deterioration due to climate change required mitigation measures first.
The Paris Agreement calls on developing countries which are party to it to raise US $1 billion annually to finance climate adaptation projects in vulnerable countries. This target has not been reached and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the commitment fell even shorter.
Seychelles has been no exception to the burden of falling into the Sids category when it comes to accessing such finances. Characterised as a high income country, we do not meet the requirements to qualify for concessionary funding.
During the ‘Translating Ambition into Action’ side-event, Seychelles reminded funding partner institutions of the urgent need for the special requirements of Sids to be factored into funding mechanisms which they develop.
Taking part in the discussions at the event were also representatives from the World Bank, the Nature Conservancy, the PEW Charitable Trust and the Commonwealth Secretariat who got the chance to elaborate on what they would require from Sids in order to engage in partnerships which will enable implementation of climate adaptation projects.
Aside from both sides explaining their respective requirements, the round table discussion also provided for ideas on how to improve consensus that climate change adaptation and enhancing resilience offer opportunities in terms of sustainable development for Sids and developing countries. Another take away was how success stories and lessons learned can be modelled and shared with others so that they can be examples to others. One such success story is the 2016 debt-for-nature swap for ocean conservation which brought together the government of Seychelles, the Nature Conservancy and the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) in a US $21.6 million debt-buy back.
In his closing remarks, Minister Hassan re-iterated the urgency for climate finance considerations for Seychelles given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in reducing our fiscal space for such investments and called on the importance of the Vulnerability Index to finally be factored in the big picture for Sids.
The event, which was hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat was live-streamed and can be viewed on the Commonwealth’s YouTube channel.
For more information contact Angelique Pouponneau: firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of SeyCCAT