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Ocean Decade: Commitment of Seychelles towards ocean science is deeply rooted, says President 

Victoria, Seychelles | April 10, 2024, Wednesday @ 16:25 in National » GENERAL | By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 2972
Ocean Decade: Commitment of Seychelles towards ocean science is deeply rooted, says President 

President Wavel Ramkalawan made a keynote address at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona. (State House)

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The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders to develop scientific knowledge and partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science, said Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan in his keynote address at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona, Spain, on Wednesday.

"As we gather here, it is crucial for us to acknowledge the significant strides made under the leadership of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, which has been able to galvanise a global network of partners, uniting us in a common cause to deliver the science that will safeguard the precious blue expanse that connects us all," said Ramkalawan.

He said that science offers new perspectives and promotes truth-seeking and "whether we are scientists or not, the ways in which we carry out these scientific activities are of profound significance. They determine the quality of our decisions, the accuracy of our understanding, and ultimately, the quality of our lives. Most often, we are rarely aware of the assumptions that we make as we seek solutions to problems."

Ramkalawan Seychelles has embraced the Ocean Decade challenge with vigour.

"We have been able to set up our National Decade Committee, which comprises diverse members from various stakeholder groups, such as scientists, local and indigenous knowledge holders and early career ocean professionals, among others. We want to empower stakeholders to engage, plan, and implement Decade Actions in a spirit of co-design and co-delivery," he added.

"The commitment of Seychelles towards ocean science is deeply rooted in the understanding that the sustainable development of our Blue Economy hinges on unlocking the mysteries of the marine realm, and only the right kind of science can help us achieve this. In this regard, Seychelles is walking the talk," Ramkalawan said.

He gave some examples of Seychelles' engagement in line with its efforts to promote scientific research to better understand its ocean.

"We have been placing emphasis on the integration of ocean literacy and sustainable ocean management into our school curriculum. We need to shape the minds of the next generation as early as possible if we want to promote research and development to ensure that they understand and appreciate not only what the ocean can do for them, but also what they can do for the ocean," said the President.

"Only yesterday, the Monaco Explorations, under the auspices of His Serene Highness Prince Albert organised the screening of the documentary entitled "Saving Paradise," which was a culmination of the Indian Ocean expedition of 2023," he added.

This scientific expedition was dedicated to the multidisciplinary investigation of the Aldabra atoll, one of Seychelles' UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the Saya de Malha Bank.

"During this research mission many specimens were studied, lost species were re-discovered and new species were also potentially discovered. I must note that 18 Seychellois scientists had the opportunity to be part of this expedition, underlying our commitment to ensure that our very own scientists, especially young early career scientists also benefit from the research opportunities happening in our ocean space," he highlighted.

Ramkalawan reiterated "that by investing in science and research, implementing effective policies, and promoting sustainable practices, we will ensure that our oceans remain a thriving and diverse ecosystem that supports both human and ocean well-being."

"Ocean Decade beckons us to chart a course towards a future where our oceans flourish, our communities thrive, and our shared commitment to sustainability resonates globally. So, let us set joint priorities for the future; the kinds that are rooted in the science we need, in collaboration, through innovation, and a shared vision for a resilient and thriving blue planet," he said in conclusion.

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Tags: National Decade Committee, 2024 Ocean Decade Conference, UNESCO World Heritage sites

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