UN Special Envoy for the Ocean holds high-level talks in Seychelles
In the meeting, Seychelles also revealed its plan to continue with protecting its EEZ of 1.4 million square kilometres. (Ryan Daly, Save Our Seas Foundation)
Using the ocean as a living laboratory as well as future developments in the Blue Economy in Seychelles were discussed in a meeting between Seychellois officials and the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean on Monday.
Peter Thompson, who came to Seychelles to launch the Ocean Race Summit yesterday, met with three ministers from Seychelles; Marie-Celine Zialor - Minister for Youth, Sports and Family, Devika Vidot - Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship, and Industry and Flavien Joubert - Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment.
Among the initiatives brought forward by Vidot was attracting investors into doing videography concerning the ocean.
"This will increase the number of documentaries that are being produced and enable an understanding of the species within our waters as well as promote the conservation agenda and also showcase Seychelles as a destination," she said.
|Peter Thompson came to Seychelles to launch the Ocean Race Summit on Monday. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY|
Seychelles is also planning to improve ocean literacy – the understanding of the influence of the ocean on people and vice versa – in schools. At the moment, the island nation has already included ocean education for two secondary school class levels and will now move to introduce the subject across the board.
Although ocean literacy is not one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Thomson explained there are resources available through UNESCO to assist Seychelles to develop its educational materials for the subject.
In the meeting, Seychelles also revealed its plan to continue with protecting its EEZ of 1.4 million square kilometres.
Thompsom said that Seychelles has already gone beyond just supporting "and started doing things like big marine protected areas in the Indian Ocean, debt swaps and your Blue bonds."
Marine Protected Areas cover more than 30 percent of Seychelles' waters and half of these are of high biodiversity and are Marine National Parks protected under the law.
The designation means Seychelles has tripled the UN Convention of Biological Diversity Target 11 for 10 percent marine protection by 2020, and the UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG-14 for 10 percent coastal and marine protection a decade ahead of international targets.
Seychelles will continue its interaction with the UN at the SDG 14.5 meeting, which is concerned with accountability in safeguarding the oceans.
"Seychelles will have to attend the meeting in Lisbon as there will be important topics that will be raised for example the protection of biodiversity and other resources outside the various EEZ on the high seas," said environment minister Flavien Joubert.
The meeting will take place from June 27 to July 1 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Joubert explained that the UN coordinator for the region will play a role with the other partners and facilitate interactions with the other partners.
"We cannot give a concrete time frame for the completion of all the projects discussed today. Formal letters will be issued and concrete actions will be taken by the government and the UN partners to ensure these improvements take place," he added.
Thompson also called on President Wavel Ramkalawan at State House on Tuesday.