Seychelles takes part in virtual leaders’ summit on climate |23 April 2021
Seychelles’ Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change & Environment, Flavien Joubert, was a distinguished speaker at the virtual leaders’ summit on climate held yesterday in Washington, USA.
The summit was hosted by John F. Kerry, special presidential envoy for climate in President Biden’s administration.
Minister Joubert joined other ministers and leaders around the globe in a discussion focused on nature-based climate solutions.
It was an urgent and open dialogue on ways to strengthen the collective efforts to confront the climate crisis.
Seychelles committed to working with all countries to strengthen climate ambition heading into the U.N. Climate Change Conference this November in Glasgow. Seychelles’ guiding aim is to keep within reach the vital goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Minister Joubert contributed Seychelles’ valuable perspective to a session focused on nature-based climate solutions.
Minister Joubert informed the audience that Seychelles is putting forward an ambitious climate target for 2030 in its revised nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement.
Minister Joubert shared how the government of Seychelles will contribute to keeping the 1.5 degree Celsius goal within reach and what role will nature-based solutions will have played in achieving this goal.
He said that Seychelles is a large oceanic state reliant on the ocean for many things, including our food security, economic livelihoods, and preserving our cultural traditions. We are also rich in marine biodiversity. Our waters support some of the largest and most biologically diverse marine ecosystems on the planet.
Because of this and to strengthen ocean biodiversity, conservation, resilience, sustainability and productivity, Seychelles is currently protecting 30 per cent of its EEZ, an area of some 400,000 square kilometres, as marine protected areas which is nearly six times the size of the Republic of Ireland. The high biodiversity or no-take zones alone are the size of Great Britain.
He continued by saying that Seychelles’ marine protected areas has achieved the 30-by-30 or 30 per cent by 2030 goal in 2020, which scientists say is crucial to safeguard marine wildlife and help mitigate the impacts of climate change, a decade early. Despite being the least responsible for climate change but the most vulnerable to, and often suffering the most from it, Seychelles as a small island state is resiliently leading by example.
That in itself strengthens our ocean’s capacity to act as one of the planet’s most effective carbon sinks. Seychelles is increasingly investing in ecosystem restoration or nature-based solution while transitioning to more sustainable tourism and fishing.
It helps raise Seychelles’ climate ambition by being a leader in ocean climate action through ecosystem-based adaptation or nature-based solutions to climate change.
Seychelles is dedicating a whole chapter of its NDC to ocean climate action and blue carbon as nature-based solutions to climate change. Seychelles’ revised and ambitious NDC is looking at seagrass meadows, coastal wetlands and corals which are critical carbon sinks known as blue carbon ecosystems and as nature-based climate solutions. These absorb more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests, playing a substantial role in mitigating climate change. Coastal wetlands also provide adaptation benefits, including buffering the shoreline and coastal communities against storms and flooding. We need to protect these natural carbon sinks at all cost..
Yet, these ecosystems have not been afforded the same attention as their terrestrial counterparts.
He added that Seychelles’ commitments for nature-based climate solutions are putting in place protections including but not limited to through the ongoing Marine Spatial Planning process and marine protected area network, for at least 50% of Seychelles seagrass and mangrove ecosystems by 2025, and 100% of seagrass and mangrove ecosystems by 2030, subject to external support.
He concluded by saying that Seychelles intends to regulate coastal planning and coastal infrastructure at the national and local level to prioritise the consideration of “blue” nature-based solutions and to achieve the country’s NDC commitments.
These contributions are clear and transparent and help Seychelles to reach its expressed NDC targets by 2025 and 2030.
For this reason, ocean conservation is a key priority for the government of Seychelles as we look to address the climate crisis.
Press release from the climate change department