Established in 2015, SeyCCAT strategically invests in ocean stakeholders to generate new learning, bold action, and sustainable blue prosperity in Seychelles. The trust grants at least USD 700,000 per annum to support the stewardship of Seychelles’ ocean resources, island life and blue economy. As of 2020, 33 projects have been funded by the trust.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were brought into effect on the 1st of January 2016. With seventeen goals and one hundred and sixty-nine targets, the goals aim to “end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.” The SDGs build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in addition to addressing their shortfalls by focusing on a combination of economic development, environmental sustainability and social inclusion.
The SDGs were born out of the failure of the MDGs to be multidimensional in their approach to development. They leave behind the top-down processes that were central to the MDGs and turn to more holistic and inclusive goals. The SDGs address multidimensional needs, from the environment to poverty, as opposed to the MDGs which were relatively limited in their scope. The success of the SDGs is reliant upon specific and targeted interventions which require collaboration between policymakers, civil society, academic institutions, and the private sector.
The SDGs have been mainstreamed into SeyCCAT-funded projects. SeyCCAT-funded projects specifically target eleven out of the seventeen SDGs. These include Goal 4- Quality Education, Goal 5- Gender equality, Goal 7- Affordable and clean energy, Goal 8- Decent work and economic growth, Goal 9, Industry, innovation and infrastructure, Goal 11- Sustainable cities and communities, Goal 12- Responsible consumption and production, Goal 13- Climate Action, Goal 14- Life below water, Goal 15- life on land and Goal 17- Partnerships for the goals.
SeyCCAT project, Go-Now, targets many of the SDGs listed above by connecting Seychellois youth directly with volunteering opportunities related to the SDGs. Project leads, Lisa Bastienne and Shafira Charlette, aim to provide outreach services to organisations in Seychelles who are SDG focused. The project also will create visual and written resources to reach youth in Seychelles.
Out of the 11 SDGs targeted by SeyCCAT-funded projects, the most important goals for SeyCCAT are Goals 14 and 17. 100% of SeyCCAT projects contribute to Goal 14, life below water. All projects must contribute in some way to the sustainable development of Seychelles’ ocean resources, according to aims of Seychelles blue bond, which prioritises the expansion of marine protected areas, improved management and governance of the fisheries industry and the development of the blue economy.
Goal 17, partnerships for the goals, is another goal which is key in how SECCAT funds are disbursed. SeyCCAT mirrors UNDP’s beliefs about partnerships, in that sustainable development of Seychelles’ marine resources can be realised most effectively with strong global partnerships and cooperation. Partnerships in SeyCCAT projects are important in fostering innovation, sharing of technologies, and in ensuring that when developing marine resources, all actors in the space of the blue economy are considered. 87% of SeyCCAT-funded projects have more than one actor, with 30% of projects having two actors, 42% having three actors and 15% having four actors. Collaboration occurs between NGOs, community organisations, academic institutions, government organisations, the private sector and individuals. Collaboration between actors also generates more funding for the blue economy. SeyCCAT has disbursed SCR 18.9 million as funding to projects and over the past two years and parallelly, there has been SCR 19.7 million raised in co-financing. This is more than the total amount of funds made available by SeyCCAT.
An interesting example of Goal 17 in action is the marine biodiversity assessment project on Fregate island. The project aims to establish a coral reef biodiversity baseline for Fregate island via a long-term marine monitoring programme and 3D mapping of the seafloor. The project is led by the Green Islands Foundation, in collaboration with Blue Nomads, a social enterprise based in the Philippines, the University of Seychelles, the Blue Economy Institute and Coral Alive, an NGO in Switzerland. Like the Fregate Island project, many of SeyCCAT- funded projects depend on collaboration between international and local actors.
SeyCCAT is committed to contributing to the sustainable development of livelihoods, the environment, via the blue economy.
 United Nations, 2015. Transforming our world: the 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Contributed by Upeksha Hettiarachchi