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Seychelles hosts ClimSA forum |12 September 2023

Seychelles hosts ClimSA forum

Guests and delegates in a souvenir photograph after the opening ceremony

        Uniting nations to combat climate crisis


Under the framework of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Intra-ACP Climate Services and related Applications Programme (ClimSA), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) in collaboration with the government of Seychelles, the African Union Commission (AUC), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the European Commission are convening at the 2023 ClimSA forum in Seychelles.

The event is an amalgamation of the 3rd OACPS and 1st African ClimSAFora, creating a comprehensive and dynamic platform for participants to share best practices and explore possible solutions for climate action.

The three-day meeting at the Kempinski Hotel, in Baie Lazare, is the first ClimSA Forum to be held in hybrid in Africa.

It is being held under the theme ‘Building Bridges for Climate Services and Advancing Stakeholder Dialogue to Enhance Regional Resilience in Vulnerable Countries’.

During the opening ceremony yesterday morning, panellists delivered opening speeches, including a PowerPoint presentation by Dr Nsadisa Faka of the OACPS, providing an update on the status of implementing decisions and recommendations from the 2nd OACPS global forum, and an introduction to the objectives and anticipated outcomes of the 3rd Annual (global) ClimSA forum and 1st Africa ClimSA forum by Dr Jolly Wasambo from the African Union Commission.

In a press conference held post-ceremony, the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and the Environment, Flavien Joubert, stated that Seychelles was proud to host the ClimSA forum and expressed gratitude to the organisations financing the initiative.

“We hope that from this forum we can derive concrete benefits from these interactive sessions,” he stated.

He stressed the significance of disseminating climate information to particular sectors, particularly agriculture and others, emphasising that these sectors depend on practical climate data.

He added, “For us, this is highly beneficial for all island states involved, and as a country, it aligns with our goals of enhancing adaptation and building capacity to address future climate hazards. It also strengthens our cooperation with various countries.”

In conclusion, he urged all Seychellois participants to maximise their engagement and make full use of the opportunity presented.

He emphasised that such forums not only offer valuable opportunities for strengthening the country’s resilience but also provide a platform for reinforcing partnerships with entities like the OACPS, reflecting Seychelles’ commitment to collaborative efforts in addressing climate challenges.

The minister’s words were echoed by the assistant secretary-general of OACPS, Cristelle Pratt, who underlined the importance of addressing sustainability and building resilience, particularly highlighting how the 3rd ClimSA forum fosters collaboration among various regions.

The OACPS encompasses a significant portion of the Earth's surface, and it was crucial to recognise that all member countries, regardless of their size, hold equal importance and face vulnerabilities to the ravages of the alleged “current climate crisis”, according to her.

She further emphasised that the forum provides a valuable opportunity to facilitate interactions and knowledge-sharing among member states, regional organisations, and international partners like the EU and the World Meteorological Organisation, enabling mutual exchanges and learning.

“It is important to recognise that such meetings also inform how our countries engage in negotiations at the global level,” she stated. “It is appropriate that we convene our scientists and practitioners to provide a foundation of solidity and evidence-based information, essential as we progress in these sensitive negotiations.”

She conveyed that these negotiations are important for the very survival of the nation states.

European Union delegation programme manager, Eric Hoa, highlighted the current prominence of climate-related issues on political agendas and stressed the importance of demonstrating tangible examples of how science-based information, observational data, and products can empower end-users to make informed decisions, emphasising the need to bridge the gap between scientific discourse and practical application and foster a common language for addressing climate change through the forum.

The secretary general of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), Prof. Vêlayoudom Marimoutou, expressed that when talking about something like the climate, the maritime factor also needs to be taken into consideration.

He also noted that the amount of carbon dioxide was unfortunately too high and according to the last report, it was not getting any better.

He noted that as a small country, Seychelles has to face all these challenges and has to do all the necessary, along with the ClimSA programme, to put in place a political instrument.

In his presentation, Dr Jolly Wasambo emphasised the critical importance of achieving specific goals by 2063, which would be virtually impossible without sufficient climate information.

He highlighted that the forum represents a major initiative focused on climate information and its application across all sectors of the continent, particularly in providing climate information for agriculture and other fields.

He also mentioned that the project is expanding its scope to address marine issues.

The ClimSA forum will go on until tomorrow (Wednesday).


Sunny Esparon

Photos by Louis Toussaint


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