James Michel Foundation hands over Roadmap to Blue Carbon Opportunities in Seychelles to Government of Seychelles
The Seychelles Blue Carbon ecosystem which comprises mainly of seagrass meadows and mangrove forests of over 145 thousand hectares currently stores over 65 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Every year the country’s carbon ecosystem captures over 200 thousand tons of organic carbon which is equivalent to over 60% of its annual C02 emission. These are the findings of the Blue Carbon study conducted by the James Michel Foundation in collaboration with the Deakin University of Australia, with the financial support of Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SEYCCAT). The study culminated into a roadmap on the Blue Carbon opportunities for Seychelles. This roadmap is the final deliverable of the ‘Roadmap to Blue Carbon Opportunities in Seychelles’ Project funded by SeyCCAT, led by the James Michel Foundation in collaboration with Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab.
The document was officially handed over to the Chairman of SEYCCAT, who is also the Minister responsible for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment Mr. Flavien Joubert, by the Vice Chairman of the James Michel Foundation Emeritus Professor Dennis Hardy. This took place in a short ceremony in Victoria this morning attended by the Principal Secretary for Environment Mr. Denis Matatiken, the Chief Executive Officer of SEYCCAT Mrs. Marie May Jeremie, the James Michel Foundation’s CEO Debbie Monthy, and the James Michel Foundation’s Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. Ameer Ebrahim. Three of the scientists from Deakin University’s Blue Carbon who have worked on the project were also present to give a detailed presentation of the findings and recommendations.
Minister Joubert commended the James Michel Foundation and Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab for this comprehensive document which he described as a big step forward for Seychelles as it is a very important input into the national climate strategy. He says that this project reflects the kind of cooperation that should be adopted by other projects where local capacity is limited.
The CEO of the James Michel Foundation, Debbie Monthy explained that the roadmap will promote blue carbon research in the region, help to mitigate climate change through blue carbon management strategies, ensure enhancement of our natural capital through restoration and protection of Seychelles’ coasts, seed new environmental markets, all whilst contributing to jobs, coastal resilience, economic growth and community wellbeing.
One of the scientists from Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab, Dr. Maria Palacios, acknowledged that some of the actions recommended in the roadmap are already being implemented and acted upon so Seychelles will not be starting from scratch with the roadmap which is a very positive status.