Sat, 04 September 2021
The Former President of Seychelles and Executive Chairman and Founder of the James Michel Foundation urges the world to support a new initiative aimed at developing a regional strategy to accelerate the development of blue economic opportunities. The “Great Blue Wall” initiative aims at delivering conservation outcomes through supporting efforts to achieve ocean conservation at targeted scales, implementing nature-based solutions on climate change adaptation and mitigation, and unlocking benefits to local communities in terms of regenerative blue economies and blue entrepreneurship.
Mr. Michel was speaking via video link during high-level dialogue organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this weekend to discuss emerging issues and innovative solutions to on-going conservation and development challenges. This dialogue forms part of the IUCN Congress held in Marseilles, France. “The Great Blue Wall initiative provides a great opportunity, if not a moral compass, to act as a global champion for the cause and pave the way towards a blue future. It promises to play an instrumental role in helping to achieve a nature-people positive world” he commented.
In his opening remarks as Co-Chair of the panel, Mr. Michel reiterated his call for urgent actions to tackle climate change. Referring to the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released last month, he made specific mention of the “Ocean Decade” whereby the world is progressively becoming more aware of the critical role the Ocean plays in the healing and protection of our planet Earth. He commended the increasing participation of the youth in their advocacy and fight for the protection of the ocean.
The high-level dialogue, also discussed the blue entrepreneurship concept and Mr. Michel stressed on the mechanisms already in place in the Seychelles (Blue Grants from Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust), which gives its people the opportunity to become blue entrepreneurs whilst ensuring a regenerative blue economy that benefits the local community.
Seychelles was represented at the forum in Marseille, France by the Chargé d'Affaires of Seychelles’ Mission to Paris, Mr. Ralph Agrippine.