The Vice President, Mr Vincent Meriton, represented President Danny Faure, at the 10th Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI) which took place in Monaco on 24th – 25th March 2019. The event was organised by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. This 10th MBI focused on Marine Protected Areas as a tool for achieving sustainable development goals in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030, and the Aichi objectives of the Convention on Biodiversity.
Vice President Meriton participated in a panel of discussion centred on “What is the next step after the evaluation of ecosystem services and how can this be integrated into blue economic development?”. Seychelles was commended for its commitment to protect by 2020, 30% of Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zoneof 1.37 million Km². The discussion acknowledged the need for consultation and involvement of stakeholders, such as related governmental bodies, the private sector as well as the civil society. The tools of financing for the setting up of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the community at large was an important point raised during the discussions and reference to the Seychelles’ experience was shared. The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) was identified as one such innovative mechanism that not only bridges the financing gap but also, enhances transparency.
In conclusion, it was agreed that it is imperative that for effective management of Marine Protected Areas, there is the need for more data in the valuation of ecosystem services, the incorporation of the value of natural capital in national statistics and the need for partnership amongst stakeholders. The Monaco Blue Initiativewas a platform for networking between key stakeholders in ocean governance and the Seychelles’ delegation had exchanges with The Pew Charitable Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Government of Canada, Our World Underwater Scholarship Society amongst others.
Vice President Meriton had a bilateral meeting with H.E Mr Bernard Faurtier, Vice President of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The meeting discussed matters of mutual benefits and future collaboration in terms of capacity building for effective implementation and management of MPAs, training in enforcement and monitoring for coast guards, marine police and other relevant projects with the Seychelles.
Vice President Meriton was accompanied by Ambassador Sylvestre Radegonde, Mr Alain de Commarmond, Principal Secretary of Environment, Mr Kenneth Racombo, Principal Secretary of the Department of Blue Economy, Ms Estelle Lucas, Senior Legal Officer of the Department of Blue Economy, Mr. Andry Accouche Second Secretary / officer responsible for SIDS, Oceans & Blue Economy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Ms Angelique Pouponneau, CEO of SeyCCAT.