Victoria, Seychelles May 27th, 2021 – The Seychelles is developing sustainable finance mechanisms for marine protection. Established in 2015, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) was originally set up to facilitate the debt-for-nature swap transaction and has since supported the Seychelles Marine Spatial Planning (SMSP) process and administration of the Sovereign Blue Bond. For its first five years, it was primarily focused on operationalizing and perfecting its Blue Grants Fund and dependent on private philanthropy and management fees to sustain its operations.
With the SMSP entering its implementation phase, SeyCCAT is now working to transition to the next phase of its evolution. One of SeyCCAT’s core functions is to mobilise resources to ensure that the 410,000 km2 of marine protected areas (MPAs) within the country’s territory are effectively managed. This transition presents the opportunity for SeyCCAT to re-define its mission, from simply managing the Blue Grants Fund to becoming an ideal financing partner to the Government of Seychelles in the broader scope of its ocean-climate leadership.
SeyCCAT is a conservation and climate adaptation trust fund, with a mandate to provide a sustainable flow of funds to support the long-term management and expansion of the Seychelles system of marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, and other activities that contribute to sustainable development. The Blue Grants Fund offers grants to impactful Seychellois-led projects that advance marine conservations, sustainable fisheries, development of new and existing MPAs, and select other blue sectors. This fund has sought to increase scientific knowledge of the marine environment that would ultimately feed into the development of the SMSP itself as well as its review processes.
Thanks to additional funding and technical support from the Waitt Institute, longstanding partners of the Seychelles Government, a contract with Starling Resources, an international sustainable finance firm, has been secured to support:
- SeyCCAT’s first business plan to ensure its long-term financial sustainability
- Financing plans for two MPAs developed under the MSP initiative
- One blue finance pilot project
The commitment to protect 30% of the Seychelles’ ocean through the SMSP process requires significant resources and investment. Angelique Pouponneau, SeyCCAT’s CEO, shares her perspective, “SeyCCAT understands the critical importance of 30% marine protection and we want to ensure it moves from designation to implementation on the ground. Whilst SeyCCAT cannot shoulder the entire financial requirements of this commitment, it is ready to focus its efforts in the coming years on mobilising the much-needed resources and enter into partnerships to support the implementation of the Marine Spatial Plan.” She added that only last week SeyCCAT learned that it had successfully secured a multi-year grant to support MPA management planning and fisheries reforms from the international funding organization Oceans 5.
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Based in San Diego, California, the Waitt Institute is a non-profit organization that partners with governments to develop & implement sustainable ocean that benefits communities, the economy, and the environment. The Waitt Institute brings a world-class team of technical experts focusing on four main pillars of work: Marine Spatial Planning, Blue Economy, marine protection, and sustainable fisheries to help governments around the globe protect their ocean and manage their resources sustainably for future generations. The Institute’s sister organization, the Waitt Foundation, specializes in public-private partnership and supports high impact global ocean initiatives with the ultimate goal of sustainable, resilient and thriving seas that benefit all. Both organizations were founded and are chaired by Ted Waitt, co-founder of Gateway, Inc.
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