We are happy to announce that SeyCCAT has brokered agreements with international donors to support the newly designated Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
The Blue Nature Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, Oceans5 and the Waitt Institute have committed over US$ 4.7 million over a period of 36 months to support the development, implementation and adaptive management of the Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan across the 410,000 km² of Seychelles’ Exclusive Economic Zone.
In March 2020, Seychelles designated 30% of its territorial waters as MPAs, increasing the protection from less than 1% to 30% of national water territory. This enormous expansion requires significant additional investment and capacity to meet the conservation and sustainable use objectives.
This ambitious project supported by the donors will establish a governance system for the MPAs, leverage additional sustainable financing, and implement the building blocks of the MPA network. These building block include strengthening local capacity, bridging the financing gap, and engaging local stakeholders in ocean conservation. Additionally, US$ 500,000 of the US$ 4.7 million will go towards the SeyCCAT’s Blue Grants Fund – the grants facility that supports innovative Seychellois-led projects that advance sustainable blue development.
The grants will be managed by SeyCCAT and implementing partners, including The Nature Conservancy (Seychelles) (TNC), Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment (MACCE), Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy (MFBE), Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF), Save Our Seas Foundation (Seychelles) (SOSF), Green Islands Foundation (GIF), and the Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles (MCSS).
SeyCCAT CEO, Angelique Pouponneau said: “Having the international donors task us with the management of these grants is a testament to the work that SeyCCAT has done in the past five years but, in addition, it is an investment in SeyCCAT as well. Through these grants, SeyCCAT will be able to propel itself to its next stage as an effective mobiliser of resources to support the 30% marine protection areas”.
Background note: In March 2020, Seychelles completed the designation of 30% of its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone as marine protected areas. A process beginning in 2014 culminated in Seychelles’ EEZ waters protected increase from less than 1% to 30% which is from less than 2,000 km² to over 410,000 km². The geographic distribution and zoning of these areas constitute the first iteration of the Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan (MSP).
The newly designated areas have been divided into three zones:
- Zone 1 – a high biodiversity protection zone not suitable for resource extraction or seabed alteration
- Zone 2 – a medium biodiversity protection and sustainable use zone suitable for some level of resource extraction and seabed alteration, subject to management provisions in line with the objective of the designated area
- The remainder of Seychelles’ waters (or 70%) are classified as Zone3.