Established in 2017, the James Michel Foundation is a non-profit organisation and its activities stem from the experience and legacy of its founder's presidency between April 2004 and October 2016. We are located on the main island of Mahé, within the Seychelles archipelago, and its domain of operations is within Seychelles and extends to other small island developing states and coastal communities around the world.
In the work we do, we acknowledge and endorse the pursuit of economic opportunities within the ocean and seas, but we are also extremely cognizant of the profound overexploitation and destruction of the marine resources, and general decline of the health of the ocean resulting from anthropogenic activities and climate change.
At the James Michel Foundation we deliver, for our fellow islanders, meaningful and impactful outcomes relating to climate mitigation, ocean conservation and sustainable development.
1. Promoting sustainable global economic growth in the blue economy sector through blue diplomacy, sustainable development and by supporting blue entrepreneurship.
2. Raising awareness and building capacity for the world to maintain and safeguard its marine environment.
3. Strengthening small island developing states' and coastal communities' ability to become climate resilient.
4. Building knowledge, skills and competencies for Seychellois with an interest for the blue economy.
5. Engaging the global community in activities related to ocean sustainability, ocean conservation and job prospects in the blue economy.
Prior to the establishment of the James Michel Foundation in 2017, Former President James Michel shaped the Seychelles Blue Economy by creating a dedicated governmental department during his presidency. Through this department, he spearheaded a Blue Bonds initiative to raise capital for the sustainable management of ocean resources and fisheries, using market mechanisms with the support of development institutions.
Former President Michel directed a $21 million debt-for-nature swap agreement with the Paris Club, an innovative method of debt redemption, in which a part of the country's foreign debt was 'forgiven' in exchange for a commitment for investments in domestic environmental conservation and sustainability projects. This debt-for-nature swap was done through the creation of the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT), with aid from the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and generous grants from a group of international conservation foundations.
“The Foundation that I have created will enable me to channel my efforts and aspirations for the good of all. I am eager to continue to work with young people, who are our future leaders. I am fascinated by the ingenuity of scientists and policy-makers who are responding to the great challenges we face with boundless skills and imagination. And I am enthusiastic to do all that I can in any role to advance the prospects of humanity.”