Victoria (March 29, 2019) – Whilst there is ambition to increase marine protected areas globally, the question remains as to how to bridge the financing gap that exists to meet the ambition for effective marine protection. Seychelles’ innovation with tools such as SeyCCAT was identified as a dynamic tool to do so at Monaco’s Blue Initiative (MBI) on the 24-25th March 2019. Whilst Seychelles continues to explore financing options for the 30% of the marine protection areas of the marine spatial plan, SeyCCAT is an independent trust fund, with a mandate to provide a sustainable flow of funds to support projects that will support marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, and other activities that contribute substantially to the conservation, protection and maintenance of biodiversity and the adaptation to climate change.
This year, following a competitive, two-stage application process, a total of SCR 4, 953 438.30 will be disbursed to fund seven project partnerships to co-deliver on SeyCCAT’s strategic objectives. SeyCCAT is excited to announce the successful project partnerships of the second Blue Grants Fund (BGF).
The Board of SeyCCAT has approved the following projects:
- 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 iconic world heritage site Aldabra Atoll- Post-expedition education and outreach following the Aldabra Clean Up, including up cycling and re-purposing of the waste. – Led by the Seychelles Island Foundation and its partner, the Queen’s College, University of Oxford.
- Assessing the effectiveness of Curieuse Marine National Park in the protection of the critical early life stages of sicklefin lemon sharks (Negaprionacutidens) – Led by the Global Vision International and its partners: Seychelles National Parks Authority, University of Seychelles, James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute.
- First use of satellite telemetry on small pelagic and abundant seabirds (juvenile Sooty Terns) to define potential Marine Protected Areas through identification of foraging areas used during the gaining of independence from their parents– Led by Rachel Bristol and its partners: Bird Island Eco-Lodge, Seychelles Christine Larose, WildWingsBird Management, Seychelles Prof Chris Feare, WildWingsBird Management, UK.
- Blue Economy Entrepreneurs -Creating smart, sustainable and shared prosperity through entrepreneurship ecosystem assessment and training – Led by Eco-Sol Consulting Pty Ltd (Seychelles) and its partners: Andrew Zimbroff (Assistant Professor), The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
- Assessment and Valuation of the Parrotfish Fishery to Support an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries- Led by John Nevill and its partners: Seychelles Fishing Authority, and the Green Islands Foundation.
- Abundance, habitat selection and movements at sea of the Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) as informative tools for conservation within the Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan – Led by the Island Conservation Society and its partners: Island Biodiversity & Conservation Centre -University of Seychelles, Island Conservation Society (ICS), Islands Development Company (IDC) and Alphonse Island Lodge (AIL).
- Marine Biodiversity baseline assessment around Fregate Island, the eastern most Seychelles ‘Inner’ granitic island – Led by the Green Islands Foundation and its partners: Fregate Island Private, University of Seychelles/ Blue Economy Research Institute and the Coralive.org (Zurich, Switzerland).
The SeyCCAT’s CEO, Angelique Pouponneau, said, “This year, we had an additional US$ 500 000 available for disbursement to project partnerships. With funds from both the debt-swap and the blue bonds, we were able to provide grants financing for seven projects that are innovative and will provide valuable data to enhance our understanding of our marine space. It is very encouraging to see the increased partnerships, especially between private sector, non-governmental organizations and academics, to deliver on our strategic objectives.”
SeyCCAT is extremely satisfied with the implementation of the projects that were funded in the first call for proposals. “There are many lessons learned from our ongoing projects and it is evident that the most successful projects are based on people or community-driven initiatives that bring about a change in behaviour. We have been impressed with the relationship of trust that exists between and among partners on projects that have enabled accessing of critical data. Furthermore, we can confidently say that collaboration has brought about creative solutions,” added Pouponneau
SeyCCAT will be announcing its third call for proposals on the 2nd April 2019 with a goal of disbursing up to US$ 750 000 with a focus on one or more of its five strategic objectives.
SeyCCAT joined the Monaco Blue Initiative from the 24th -25th March 2019 obtaining strengthened partnerships with organizations such as Ocean Katapult, InnovaFeed and CLS Argos to support prospective applicants to the Trust and existing grantees.