The work of the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) is aligned to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). SDG 5 seeks to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at all levels. One of the indicators that a country must measure itself against is whether it has systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment. SeyCCAT is tracking its allocation of blended finance that empowers women and girls and advances gender equality. This is particularly important as SeyCCAT seeks to invest in the sustainable development of the ocean and the involvement of women in this process is indicative of women’s leadership, participation and benefit from greater investment in SDG 14 (life below water).
How many SeyCCAT-funded projects are women-led?
Out of the 13 projects that SeyCCAT is funding, 7 are led by women or women-led organisations. Read more about our project leads and their views on gender equality:
Karine Rassool, a 30 year old, PhD student at York University who is undertaking a socio-economic survey of the artisanal fishery: https://seyccat.org/gender-and-ocean-karine-rassool/
Malshini Seneratne, a Director of Eco-Sol Consulting Ltd, an environmental consulting firm undertaking work nationally and internationally. She is undertaking a Blue Economy entrepreneurship ecosystem assessment for the Seychelles: https://seyccat.org/gender-and-ocean-malshini-senaratne/
Dr Rachel Bristol, a conservation biologist and practitioner, is undertaking the first use of satellite telemetry on small pelagic and abundant seabirds (juvenile Sooty Terns) to define Marine Protected Areas through identification of foraging areas used during the gaining of independence from their parents.” She has project partners and 2 of them are women – https://seyccat.org/women-in-bird-conservation-and-management/
Alphonse Foundation is assisted by Island Conservation Society (ICS) as their conservation adviser and lead for conservation efforts on the outer islands. ICS is managed by a female chief executive officer, Michelle Murray, and the project is implemented by Caitlin McGarigal, a Ph.D. candidate, University of Massachusetts Amhers Dept. Environmental Conservation and the project manager of “Spatial ecology and response to catch-and-release of recreationally targeted fish species on St. François and Alphonse Atolls, Alphonse Group, Seychelles Outer Islands: Implications for conservation and management.” Her project includes one other young woman: https://seyccat.org/gender-and-ocean-caitlin-mcgarigal/
The Seychelles Island Foundation is led by Dr Frauke Fleischer-Dogley, a trained conservation biologist and chief executive officer of the organisation since 2007 with the mission of improving the management effectiveness of Seychelles’ World Heritage Sites. Learn more about the Aldabra Clean Up Project where 50% of the 12 people selected for the clean-up were women: https://seyccat.org/currents-of-change-empowering-and-educating-in-the-seychelles-by-investigating-marine-plastic-pathways-composition-and-recyclability-alongside-the-removal-of-marine-plastic-pollution-from-the-iconi/
Green Islands Foundation’s General Manager, Wilna Accouche, is responsible for the success of two consecutive SeyCCAT applications looking at data collection on ‘species of local concern’ and the baseline assessment of the marine biodiversity of Fregate Island. In the latter project, 2 women are involved as “spotters” where they are tasked with monitoring of catch at different landing sites in a predominantly male-dominated sector.
Photo Credit: Green Islands Foundation
In total, SeyCCAT has invested SCR 5, 604, 938 (approx. US$ 415, 180.59) in women-led projects. That is, 63% of the total investment made by SeyCCAT over the past two years. In 2019, there was a record number of applicants and out of which 54% were by women or women-led organisations. Of the 11 small-medium grants that have been, 7 are led by women or women-led organisations (64%), including an organization with the specific mandate of promoting gender equality and promote cottage industry for self-reliant women in society. Whilst small-medium grants of up to SCR 100, 000 attract mostly women, only 44% of the large grants are sought by women or women-led organisations.
Leading projects is not the only means of benefiting from the Blue Grants Fund. Women are beneficiaries of the projects, without leading them.