Fri, 05 November 2021
Former President James Michel has shared Seychelles’ experience in harnessing Blue Economy opportunities and using nature-based solutions for adapting to climate change and building economic resilience based on Blue Economy principles. Mr. Michel was addressing delegates during a side event at the Indonesia pavilion at COP26 in Glasgow this morning.
Our ocean is the barometer for the scale of the climate crisis that we must face up to as citizens of our planet. For there is no better indicator or regulator of the global climate than the ocean. We are teetering on the edge of the abyss Michel told delegates.
Mr. Michel gave an account of the opportunities and threats that Seychelles’ decision to dedicate 30% of its marine territory as protected area presented. “The goal to me represents the most lasting investment of my presidency. Because for me, it was about giving my country a fighting chance. It was about ensuring that my children and grandchildren can benefit from a symbiotic relationship with the ocean which has defined so much of my own existence”.
The main challenge in achieving this ambition was that it was seen as economically unviable- and even that such a goal may represent a brake on the expansion of tourism and fisheries. We were determined to marry the possibility of sustainable management of the oceanic space and economic opportunity. And this is why we used every chance we got to advocate for the principles of a Blue Economy. Seychelles has undergone, have also shown how sustainable structures can generate rewards on financial markets for even the smallest jurisdiction.
Commenting on nature-based approaches to climate change, Mr. Michel explained how Seychelles is exploring the role that seagrass protections can play in its next Nationally Determined Contributions, adding that some other countries including Indonesia, are also considering the role that nature-based solutions can play within these collective efforts to achieve global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The event was streamed live to other participants across the globe.