The Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam made this remark in a statement on the occasion of the World Ocean Day being celebrated today.
Minister Adam’s statement reads:
“Today we are celebrating World Ocean Day under the theme ‘Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet’. We celebrate the importance of oceans in our lives for today and future generations.
“Seychelles as a small island state, with a low resource base and being isolated in location, its livelihoods have always been sustained by the waters that surround us. And even today, amid the technological advances and immense economic development, we continue to depend upon the oceans for our future and the future of generations to come.
“Over the years, climate change has become a rapidly emerging threat globally, especially to small island developing states (SIDs). The rising sea levels, fluctuating sea temperature and changes in the ocean’s chemical composition is affecting our fisheries, eroding our shore lines and destroying parts of our coral reefs.
“In 2015, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the signing of the Paris Agreement on combatting climate change have created new urgency for a more comprehensive framework to address the needs of small states and galvanise urgent action to reverse the decline in health of the ocean.
“Seychelles is currently pioneering a transition to a Blue Economy, a concept that promotes the sustainable use of our vast oceanic territory. It is undeniably linked to climate change. As an island nation, Seychelles is eager to learn and share with other SIDs actions and strategies to mitigate climate change and further understand the ocean’s crucial role in global climate system.
“Seychelles’ implementation of the Blue Economy is about sustainable development, economic prosperity and the preservation of our oceans. The government of Seychelles has been a strong advocate of the Blue Economy on the global stage. It co-hosted the Second Blue Economy Summit early this year in partnership with the United Arab Emirates and the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission of UNESCO in Abu Dhabi under the theme ‘One Ocean, One Future’, as part of the 2016 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
“The summit focused on how the Blue Economy approach will support the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the realisation of 2030 SDGs. While the Blue Economy implements many of the 2030 SDGs, SDG 14 — “Conserve and sustainably use the Oceans, Seas and marine resources for sustainable development” – has a unique significance for large ocean states like Seychellesand provides a benchmark for the Blue Economy implementation.
“The Blue Economy is not just a new frontier for socio-economic opportunities, more importantly it is a powerful means by which to foster a much needed global dialogue about the imperative role of the oceans in our planet’s future, and in addressing the threat of climate change.
“An important aspect of the Seychelles Blue Economy approach is innovation. Seychelles, as a new high income country, is facing new challenges in financing the implementation of its Blue Economy. Seychelles is advocating with international donors the need to consider vulnerability (economic and environmental) in the determination of eligibility for international assistance.
“Seychelles is also spearheading two innovative finance mechanisms. The Seychelles debt swap for adaptation and conservation, which is supporting the development of our Marine Spatial Plan. It is the first time a debt swap transaction has been used for addressing climate adaptation, conservation and development. The ‘Blue Bond’ projects are also a long-term funding mechanism for the implementation of Seychelles Mahé Plateau Demersal Fisheries Management Plan.
“By adopting a Blue Economy approach as the driving force of Seychelles’ economy, a new paradigm emerges where oceans are no longer viewed as a place for free resource extraction and an unlimited sink for the disposal of waste, but one where oceans are a central component of decision-making and where the benefits create equity, unity and diversity for each and every one who is dependent on these resources. The Blue Economy, our oceans, are not just for one generation, it concerns us all — our parents, grandparents and our children of today and tomorrow.”
Source : Seychelles NATION