The University of Seychelles and the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change have teamed up to develop a long-term research programme to make our coastal communities and low lying ecosystems resilient and responsive to climate change.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two parties was signed yesterday at the university’s cafeteria at Anse Royale.
The project, entitled ‘Enhancing Capacity, Knowledge and Technology support to build Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Developing Countries’, forms part of another project entitled ‘Ecosystem-based Adaptation through South-South Cooperation (EbA South).
It aims to help vulnerable communities in Africa and Asia-Pacific to adapt to the impacts of climate change by improving their capacity to plan, implement, finance, research and legislate in support of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA).
The EBA South MoU, which is a joint initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) and China funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF), was signed by the principal secretary for energy and climate change, Wills Agricole, and UniSey vice-chancellor Dennis Hardy in the presence of Minister Didier Dogley of that ministry.
Considered as a landmark in the cooperation between the UniSey and the ministry, the project is fully financed by GEF Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and China’s South South Cooperation Programme on Climate Change (SCCP) and is co-managed by the China National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) and by the Unep. It is being implemented in only three countries – Nepal, Mauritania and Seychelles
“The MoU signed today is tackling climate change at its root by including it as part of the curriculum studies in the university as a long-term research and monitoring programme with the support and involvement of the staff of UniSey,” said Mr Agricole when explaining the purpose of the MoU.
He said the project is currently carrying out key activities like training of trainers; setting up of a nursery for its mangrove and coastal vegetation propagation and planting; award of contracts in enhancing the interconnectivity of mangrove areas on Praslin especially at Cap Samy and at Grand Anse and Petit Barbarons on Mahé. This is through restoration of wetland channels and inter-connecting culverts to facilitate the flow between wetlands.
As for the vice-chancellor, he commended the ministry for its tremendous commitment towards the environment which is inspiration.
He said it is also a subject that matters deeply to the UniSey which has that up and coming course on environment science where one student has already graduated.
He added with the existence of the Blue economy research institute, he believes UniSey is going from strength to strength.
“But we would not be able to do this without the close partnership of your ministry,” he said.
He remarked even if Seychelles is paradise on earth, the forces of climate change is being felt deeply and a project like the EbA South is extremely important in sustaining what is already there and for preventing the degradation of the environment.
He added the UniSey has to work hard with Seychellois students to play their part in preserving the environment.
The EbA South project is being implemented at a total cost of nearly US $830,000 for a duration of four years.
Source : Seychelles NATION