SeyCCAT strategic objective: Support new and existing marine and coastal protected areas and sustainable use zones.
Lead Project Partner: Kalsey Belle
Partners: Didier Dogley (Inspire 4 Tomorrow Consultancy)
The aim of the study is to first conduct a detailed assessment on the positive and negative impacts of COVD 19 on the management capacities of the Protected Area (PA) agencies and secondly identify and explore potential sustainable financing solutions to build resilience for them against such exogenous shocks. Most PA agencies in Seychelles are highly dependent on tourism as their main source of revenue and they are, therefore, highly susceptible to exogenous and endogenous shocks and disasters.
COVID 19 has had positive and negative impacts on wildlife and nature. The significant drop in visitor numbers in PAs and other sensitive biodiversity areas have greatly reduced the negative impacts of humans on these areas. The sanitary measures such as lockdowns that have been applied locally and across the world have also decreased the anthropological pressures on biodiversity. During lockdowns and curfew, restrictions on the movement of people provide many species and habitats with an opportunity to rejuvenate. However, the adverse socio-economic impacts in the form of poverty may have increased the incidences of poaching and unsustainable harvesting of certain species.
Since April 2020 COVID-19 has disseminated tourism at a global scale causing massive economic and social impact worldwide, particularly in SIDS like Seychelles. In 2020, Seychelles experienced a drop in foreign visitor arrivals of 70% and a decrease in revenue of 61%.
PAs are financed through a wide range of financing mechanisms and sources. Some like SNPA are funded through a combination of government funding and the collection of entry fees from foreign visitors; others such as Vallee de Mai, Cousin and Aride Special Reserves do not benefit from government funds and source financing from other sources. These are primarily from foreign visitors through entry fees, private benevolent donors, commercial activities and merchandising and external project financing. In most cases, the annual inflows are sufficient to meet their fixed costs and maybe to conduct some maintenance on the infrastructures. In general, many PAs rely on one or a few sources of financing; rendering them vulnerable to changes in government or donors’ policies and budget but also significant decreases in the demand of services and resources on offer. But whatever the circumstances, the revenue PA collects rarely suffice for building resilience against economic shocks and disasters like COVID-19. This became very apparent because during the period the Seychelles was closed to foreign visitors most of the PA management agencies struggled to continue financing their operations and many sought funding from the government to meet the financing gap.
To date, no in-depth assessment has been conducted to ascertain the impacts of COVID 19 on both the health of biodiversity and the management of protected areas.
The results of the study will benefit PA managers and their staff in having a better understanding of the impact of COVID 19 on protected areas within the inner islands of Seychelles and Aldabra and also provide them with tangible solutions that can be considered for the building of resilience against future exogenous shocks.
SeyCCAT funds: SCR 96,500
Duration: 3 months
Project Application Form: Coming soon