Ninth Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa |18 September 2021
Seychelles’ prosperity intrinsically linked to its marine and coastal assets,Minister Joubert tells delegates
Seychelles’ current and future prosperity is intrinsically linked to its marine and coastal assets, with fisheries and tourism being the two main pillars of its economy, gross domestic product and source of employment.
Flavien Joubert, Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, made the statement during one of the panels at the Ninth Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa heldvirtually from September 13-17 in Sal Island, Cape Verde under the theme ‘Towards a just transition that delivers jobs, prosperity and climate resilience in Africa: leveraging the green and blue economy’.
The ninth Conference on Climate Change and Development was convened by the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa and the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, in collaboration with the government of Cape Verde.
The conference was organised with a view to launching a continent-wide debate on what a just transition and green recovery for Africa should look like, and developing appropriate frameworks to support African countries in their efforts to design and implement Africa-led solutions for a green recovery, a just transition, and climate resilience that fosters prosperity, the creation of decent jobs and environmental integrity, while also strengthening the continent’s voice and agency in global climate negotiations.
Wills Agricole, technical advisor for climate change and energy, and George Uzice, climate change negotiator were part of the three-man Seychelles delegation led by Minister Joubert.
As for Jean-Paul Adam, director for Economic Commission for Africa in Ethiopia,he was a member of the panelist.
Mr Joubert elaborated that Seychelles needs solutions such as an economy that functions in a sustainable way, the creation of green jobs, energy-efficient buildings, cars with alternative driving technologies and simple measures such as planting trees.
Seychelles’ contribution to climate protection is based on our long-term, simple but effective strategy, which is based on the principles of nature: the conservation and preservation of high-quality land and marine ecosystems through our Marine Spatial Plan and the achievement of 30% of our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under marine protected areas.
The government of Seychelles is embarking on green investments built around renewable energy, sustainable transport solutions and nature-based rehabilitation which could deliver significant number of additional jobs and increase in percentage of more value added in the economy.
He further said that as a small island developing state (Sids), Seychelles has been at the forefront of blue economy, ocean and climate conversations in international fora since the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012. The ocean brings untapped development opportunities for our people as well as responsibility for protection of our marine and coastal assets and resources, and the fundamental principles of sustainability and climate resilience, consistent with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change we ratified 2016.
Through our flagship activities on innovative finance, marine spatial planning, and sustainable fisheries, we have already made a very good start. Much more will be needed to realise our vision, and the continuing support of our partners such as the World Bank, the Nature Conservancy and others will be very much needed. As a high-income country since 2015, we have to do our part too.
He stressed that we are presently exploring the golden opportunity renewable energy presents for not only strengthening energy security but also for the provision of clean, affordable and sustainable energy to combat climate change. Therefore, Seychelles has endeavour to clean our energy sector by accelerating the deployment of renewable energy and adoption of energy efficiency measures.
He concluded by saying that the green and blue economy concept has managed to turn the focus of the international community towards a new way to achieve sustainable development, one that is targeted at a greater involvement of the private sector, but also based on social equity and poverty alleviation. The development and implementation of a green and blue economy in Sids like Seychelles should be consistent with their respective current sustainable development priorities.
Contributed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment