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Seychelles' President highlights country's work to join collective efforts to resolve world's ocean challenges

Victoria, Seychelles | April 10, 2024, Wednesday @ 11:03 in National » GENERAL | By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 5764
Seychelles' President highlights country's work to join collective efforts to resolve world's ocean challenges

Ramkalawan (3rd right) gave an opening remarks at the Ocean Decade Alliance meeting. (State House)

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President Wavel Ramkalawan highlighted Seychelles' efforts to join the world in a collective action to resolve the world's most pressing ocean challenges in his opening remarks at the Ocean Decade Alliance meeting, State House said on Tuesday.

Ramkalawan, one of the Patrons of the Ocean Decade Alliance, is in Barcelona, Spain to participate in the United Nations (UN) Ocean Decade Conference 2024.  

Seychelles' President spoke about the island nation's sustained commitment towards the protection and sustainable development of its aquatic resources.

Ramkalawan said Seychelles is a small island state surrounded by a vast maritime territory that presents many ocean-related challenges such as the rise in sea levels, coral reef degradation, overfishing, illegal fishing practices, and marine pollution, among others.

He said the island nation has limited expertise and technology, lack of funding, and data unavailability and accessibility.

"However, we embrace these challenges with vigour and we do our best with what we have. Yes, we do voice out our concerns on all available platforms, punching way above our weight at the international level because we are committed to protecting our oceans. This does not mean that we want to shift the blame or responsibility onto others. Rather, we do so because we want to see collective actions and solutions to the problems our planet is facing," he added.

Ramkalawan said that the challenges are "common to us all and if left unchecked will affect us all and have severe consequences to our existence. We are also not afraid to acknowledge our limitations and to ask for help. We cannot achieve much on our own. There is strength in numbers and some tasks are only surmountable through collaborative efforts. The Kenyan spirit of Harambe, let us pull together, must remain the life giving beacon in these times." 

He spoke about the great strides Seychelles has made through its regional recognition as a Blue Economy pioneer. These include initiating the first Blue Bonds, exchanging debt in environment protection and achieving the protection of 30 percent of its marine territory before 2030.

"We have also made notable progress in ocean science research. We have set up our own Blue Economy Research Institute. We have more recently collaborated with renowned research entities, such as the Monaco Explorations and Ocean X. We are also integrating ocean literacy and sustainable ocean management into our curriculum. Equally important to note is that, we have ratified the BBNJ (Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction) Treaty, making us the first African state to do so and the third worldwide," he added.

Ramkalawan stressed that ocean sustainability is at the core of Seychelles' development agenda. It features prominently in the country's diplomatic outreach, making it a key actor in mobilising Indian Ocean countries and small island developing states (SIDS) more generally into supporting and contributing towards the Ocean Decade.

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Tags: Ocean Decade Alliance, United Nations (UN) Ocean Decade Conference 2024, Blue Bonds

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