SeyCCAT selected as convening agent for Global Fund for Coral Reefs
This means that over the next seven years SeyCCAT will manage grants and other blended finance mechanisms for catalysing businesses that are coral-positive. (SeyCCAT/GFCR)
The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) has been selected as a convening agent in the island nation for the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR).
The announcement was made by SeyCATT and GFCR in a joint press release on Wednesday.
What this means is that "over the next seven years SeyCCAT will manage grants and other blended finance mechanisms for catalysing businesses that are coral-positive. Meaning that we will build on the existing efforts started with the Seychelles Blue Bond to leverage new funds to either grant, loan or invest in national businesses," Marie-May Jeremie, the SeyCCAT chief executive, told SNA on Wednesday.
SeyCCAT was established in November 2015 after a debt-for-nature swap which saw $21.6 million of Seychelles' external debt re-structured on more favourable terms. A first of its kind in Seychelles, it is a non-profit trust fund set up to oversee and manage this initiative, which ultimately led to investments in ocean stakeholders in Seychelles.
As a convening agent for the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, SeyCCAT will mobilise a wide and representative cross-sector partnership that has widespread stakeholder backing to lead the implementation of the Seychelles' Ocean's Resolve programme.
The Ocean's Resolve aims to elevate the focus on coral reefs within Seychelles' pioneering initiatives on the Blue Economy and sustainable finance and promote the wider use of blended finance, which combines public and private capital.
Seychelles will benefit in that "in the first 18 months of the seven-year programme, a grant of $426,000 will be received to kick-start the programme with local partners," said Jeremie.
According to the press release, Jeremie emphasised the immense value of the coral reefs for Seychelles.
"Coral reefs are the cornerstones of our marine ecosystem. They support our unique biodiversity, generate jobs and incomes for local communities and businesses, and protect the people and the islands from storm surges and rising sea levels. With the Ocean's Resolve programme, we hope to ignite action to protect these critical ecosystems and create a sustainable and resilient economic model that benefits the people of Seychelles today, tomorrow, and for generations to come," said the CEO.
In close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority, and a few other local partners, Ocean's Resolve will support the implementation of two core marine management frameworks.
The frameworks are the Seychelles National Policy and Strategic Action Plan on Coral Reef Conservation and Management, and contribute towards the implementation of the Seychelles' Marine Spatial Plan.
Building on the groundwork laid by the Seychelles Blue Bond, which was launched in October 2018, in collaboration with the local Business and Technology Incubator (BTI), Ocean's Resolve will aim to maximise the long-term positive impact of projects and enterprises that benefit coral reefs.
The press release state that "as the area of Seychelles' MPAs (marine protected areas) has drastically increased from less than 1 percent to 33 percent over the past decade, the programme will also aim to attract investment and build the capacity required to realise the conservation and sustainable use objectives of these marine protection areas."