U.S.-Africa Forum: Seychelles highlights efforts to maximise conservation of land mass and oceanic territories
Ramkalawan participated in the thematic session on Tuesday held at the Washington Convention Centre under the theme "Building Our Green Future Together. (State House)
The significant efforts Seychelles has made to maximise conservation of its land mass and oceanic territories while promoting economic growth were highlighted by President Wavel Ramkalawan in a session on conservation at the U.S.-Africa Leaders' Summit in Washington.
State House said in a press statement on Wednesday that Ramkalawan participated in the thematic session on Tuesday held at the Washington Convention Centre under the theme "Building Our Green Future Together."
The segment focused on three main overarching themes - conservation, climate adaptation, and a just energy transition in which various members of the high-level panel exchanged views.
Ramkalawan said that despite its size, Seychelles is not only talking about saving the planet but rather playing an active role through the application of concrete actions.
These actions include the increase in the percentage of its territory dedicated to conservation and protection, the implementation of quotas for exploiting marine resources, and the relentless commitment to cleaning up the atmosphere to ensure the survival of not only its islands and the world.
"Seychelles is net zero. I like it when I hear countries say they will be net zero in 2030, 2040, 2050 or 2060. We are already there and at the same time we are cleaning up the emissions of the world," he said.
Ramkalawan said that "unfortunately when we talk of Africa we sometimes forget about the islands, we talk of the Congo Bassin, the Green Belt and others and we forget that the oceanic states and islands play an important role. When we talk of trees, the seagrass meadows remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than trees."
He gave the example of Seychelles and its neighbour Mauritius jointly managing the Saya de Malha Bank where the seagrass meadow is larger than Switzerland.
"Seychelles is also already protecting 32 percent of its ocean, which is equivalent to a size larger than Zimbabwe. As part of our commitment, as of 2023, small Seychelles will be protecting 100 percent of its mangroves and also the seagrass meadows," added the President.
Moderated by Haydé FitzPatrick, from Voice of America, the thematic session was officially launched by the U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken.
The session explored ways that the governments and people of the United States and African nations are partnering to address conservation, climate adaptation, and the just energy transition based on shared priorities.
Ways to better integrate natural resource planning and infrastructure development, including clean energy, were identified during the discussion.
The areas included conservation based on forests and wildlife and protecting Africa's waters, ending Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, climate adaptation and the clean energy transition.
Other African heads of state who also addressed the floor on other proposed themes on the agenda included Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Nigeria.