President James Michel has returned to Seychelles from his working visit to Abu Dhabi where he attended the Second Blue Economy Summit as well as the World Future Energy Summit of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The President had a series of meetings in the margins of the Blue Economy Summit.
He met the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, and they discussed ongoing bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
President Remengesau said Palau is following closely Seychelles in terms of Blue Economy strategy and learning from its experiences, especially in the area of marine spatial planning.
President Michel noted that Palau is doing great work to promote the Blue Economy.
They spoke about islands’ cooperation in the Global Island Partnership (Glispa) and Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis) fora.
They discussed the modalities of the Seychelles ‘Blue Bonds’ initiative, to raise capital to finance projects for boosting the fisheries sector, which will directly impact and assist the local fishing communities.
President Remengesau applauded Seychelles for the successful organisation of the Second Blue Economy Summit.
With the President of Iceland, Dr Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who had also attended the first Blue Economy Summit in Abu Dhabi in 2013, President Michel discussed ways Seychelles and Iceland can share knowledge of fisheries management, processing and product development.
President Michel said Iceland is interested in contributing its expertise to the Blue Economy dialogue as well as helping Seychelles in developing a high-tech innovative Blue Economy which would include high-end medical and pharmaceutical products derived from fisheries.
They also discussed the possibilities of the Blue Economy Research Institute of the University of Seychelles to create partnerships with similar marine research institutes in Iceland.
The President also met the French Secretary of State for Development and La Francophonie in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Annick Girardin.
They discussed the success of the recent COP21 Paris Climate Change Conference and the leadership role that Seychelles had played in promoting the interests of small island developing states during the negotiations.
They also spoke about the opportunities for financing Blue Economy projects in the Indian Ocean region, as well as the need to set up a regional surveillance mechanism to combat drug trafficking.
When he met the director of International Sustainability Unit of the HRH Prince Wales’ Trust, Justin Mundy, President Michel discussed the ongoing work of the Commonwealth to creating mechanisms for the financing of environmental projects as well as developing a Blue Economy framework.
They spoke about ideas for boosting investment in marine projects and infrastructure. He commended Seychelles’ leadership on Blue Economy issues.
Present for the meetings were the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Didier Dogley, Seychelles’ ambassador to the UAE, Dick Esparon, special adviser in the Blue Economy department of the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Philippe Michaud, principal secretary for the Blue Economy, Rebecca Loustau-Lalanne, and the chairman of Seychelles Fishermen and Boat Owners Association, Keith Andre.
Source : Seychelles NATION