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President Michel receives the UNESCO Ocean Champions award from Vice-President Meriton

President Michel receives the UNESCO Ocean Champions award from Vice-President Meriton

The Vice-President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Vincent Meriton, has handed over the UNESCO award of Global Champion of Ocean Science to former President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. James Alix Michel, at a ceremony held at the James Michel Foundation headquarters at the Espace building this afternoon.

The Republic of the Seychelles and the leadership of former President were recognized as an “Ocean’s 8 Champion” by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) at the UN Ocean Conference in New York on Tuesday 6th June in a ceremony called ‘Oceans 8’, where eight nations and individuals were honoured. The award recognized Seychelles’ innovative debt swap scheme that has enabled this small island developing nation to finance local ocean science and climate resilience programmes. 

“I would like to thank you Vice-President, for accepting this award on my behalf in New York. It represents the work that Seychelles has undertaken in the promotion of the Blue Economy and promotion of the ideal that the economy of our ocean needs to be sustainable. I would like to dedicate this award to the Seychellois people… I would like to ask you, the Government and the people of Seychelles to continue to support the work of developing the Blue Economy; that we protect our ocean and to develop innovative ideas such as the debt-for-conservation swap agreement and the Blue Bonds, to mitigate the effects of climate change, to develop programmes to use our oceanic resources in a sustainable manner, and continue to be an leading example to other Small Island Developing States,” said President Michel.

In his remarks during the presentation ceremony, Vice-President Meriton thanked President Michel for all the work he has done to develop and promote the Blue Economy concept.

“If today we have a leading role among islands and in the world, it thanks to a man who has pushed the question of the ocean on the international agenda. President Michel, thank you for the role that you have played in the development of our country in general, and most of all, the ocean. It  was a great honour for me to attend the ceremony and receive the honour that this respected world body has accorded to your leadership for the development of innovative financing under the debt-for conservation swap,” said Vice-President Meriton, who had headed the Seychelles delegation to the UN Ocean Conference and attended the Oceans 8 ceremony.

The ceremony was attended by the CEO of the James Michel Foundation, Mr. Jacquelin Dugasse, members of the James Michel Foundation executive committee as well as several members of the Seychelles delegation to the UN Ocean conference.

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