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‘Revisiting the Ocean: Living the Blue Economy’ on sale at Antigone |07 February 2024

Are you looking for a copy of the book titled ‘Revisiting the Ocean: Living the Blue Economy’?

If yes, it is now available for sale at the local book store, Antigone, located at Victoria House.

This new book by James Michel, a leading exponent of the blue economy, is selling at R725 a copy.
Former President Michel is a realist and knows the challenges which Seychelles is faced with. As an optimist, he also draws the readers’ attention to a multitude of wonderful initiatives. Whether focused on new sources of renewable energy, the work of volunteers restoring Seychelles’ beaches and protecting wildlife, or the immense contribution that can be made by the inventive use of seaweed, or business startups for which nothing is impossible – all mark a turning of the tide. Readers should take heed.

For those who are willing to put their trust in the ocean, this is a book of hope.

To develop his argument, former President Michel has organised the book in three parts. The first two chapters appear under the heading of ‘Recognition’: where he shows how, even since he wrote his earlier book, there have been important changes.

“Numerous countries have developed their own policies and there are shared principles which give meaning to the idea of the blue economy. A sound platform for further work is now in place. Let us abandon our entrenched opinions and commit to universal values. Let us believe in our common humanity. Let us, together, move forward. There is still time, but we cannot delay any longer,” said former President Michel.

Then, in subsequent chapters, under the banner of ‘Innovation’, he gathers together accounts of many of the exciting initiatives taking shape in different parts of the world.

“There is a profusion of activities which are together giving substance to the emergent blue economy. A separate book could be written on any one of these themes.”

Finally, on the basis of progress to date, he concludes with ‘The Reckoning’.

“In this, I assess the chances of meeting the UN’s sustainable development goals for the ocean by 2030. And, in the final chapter, I celebrate the contribution of ocean champions, individuals who care passionately for the ocean and who are really making a difference” he added.

This educational and all-encompassing book about the ocean is funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, and written under the auspices of the James Michel Foundation.

Head of communications and global campaigns at Lloyd's Register Foundation, Beth Elliot said they are extremely excited to be funding James Michel's new book, which champions those who are working towards a sustainable blue economy.

“At Lloyd's Register Foundation, we are passionate about protecting the ocean while harnessing the many benefits it holds for humanity, which is why we had to get involved in this timely exploration of the blue economy,” ……Ms Elliot stated.

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation is an independent global charity with a unique structure and an important mission, in engineering a safer world.

A sequel to ‘Rethinking the Oceans: Towards a Blue Economy’ released seven years ago, ‘Revisiting the Ocean: Living the Blue Economy’ has been endorsed by Dr Enric Sala, marine ecologist, National Geographic explorer-in-residence and founder of Pristine Seas.

“Seychelles, under President Michel’s leadership, committed to protect 30 percent of its waters. And 15 percent of the Seychelles’ waters are already highly protected… The world needs Michel’s pragmatism – well-earned while leading his country – combined with his optimism and track record. Only hope rooted in realism will save our ocean, and ourselves. Much has happened in the seven years since James Michel wrote his first book on the blue economy (‘Rethinking the Oceans: Towards a Blue Economy’). Not all of it good.
“Illegal fishing remains a critical problem; the ocean continues to be a dumping ground for all kinds of waste materials; coastal communities face the reality of rising sea levels; advocates for seabed mining ignore the fact that we know too little about the damage that will be caused. And so on. It is too early to claim we are ‘living the blue economy’. That is hardly surprising. It will take longer than seven years to reverse forces which are embedded in the very structure of modern industrial society. But, even now, we can take heart from many promising signs of progress,” Dr Sala expressed.

Raving reviews have been pouring in for the literary work, with independent blue economy consultant Belinda Bramley writing that former President Michel has long been a formative influence.

“Political leaders who wholeheartedly support and celebrate the environment in thought and deed are the rarest treasures of all. James’ lifelong dedication to a sustainable ocean has never been merely a passing political fad, but amply demonstrated in his presidential work to create the conditions to initiate the largest marine spatial plan in the Western Indian ocean and designate 30% of Seychelles’ 1.3million square kilometres of ocean as protected areas, half of them strictly, supported by the first debt swap for the ocean. And now those endeavours have been handsomely rewarded with the discovery of an incredible abundance and diversity of whales and other cetaceans in the waters of Seychelles, including the world’s greatest animal, the blue whale.”

Providing an independent review of Mr Michel’s new book ‘Revisiting the Ocean: Living the Blue Economy’, seven years on from his first book on the subject, ‘Rethinking the Oceans: Towards the Blue Economy’, Ms Bramley wrote:

“The blue economy is about achieving a better balance in outcomes for people and planet, and therefore demands a new, more ethical way of behaving. This sense of balance and listening to diverse viewpoints for ‘an all-embracing ocean that can be seen through a multitude of prisms’ is masterfully conveyed throughout the book. ‘Policies are fine but, in the end, it is people who have the courage to turn back illegal fishing boats, who organise clean-up operations, and who inspire children to value their ocean inheritance, who really count. It is this translation of a broad idea into a myriad of practical schemes that encourages me most.

“It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the challenges facing humanity, from climate change and biodiversity loss to inequality and a collective failure to deliver on commitments. The state of the ocean and the blue economy reflects how we address all these grand challenges. In this book James pays personal tribute to the work of the many who tirelessly promote greater understanding of the threats facing the ocean and the need for marine protection to underpin prosperity for all. I congratulate James and wholeheartedly recommend this book as a beacon of hope in stormy seas.”

As for Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed, a distinguished political scientist and seasoned journalist for BNN Nigeria, he said Mr Michel’s book addresses the current unregulated state of the oceans, where illegal activities and environmental damage are rampant. He emphasises the need for radical changes to the practices of modern industrial society to reverse these negative impacts.

“In the midst of this crisis, his book celebrates exciting initiatives and pioneering work being carried out by communities, NGOs, and business startups around the globe in restoring and protecting the ocean,” said Mr Abdulrasheed.

He added that the book also aligns with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals for the ocean, by 2030.

PhD researcher within the department of Geography at the Durham University, UK Carlo Ceglia, wrote: ”Written in accessible and engaging prose, Michel’s ‘Revisiting the Ocean’ is an important contribution to current debates about the too habitually forgotten watery portion of our planet in a time of profound social, political, and environmental challenges. One thing is clear: all of us have a claim in it, and all of us have something to lose (and gain). And for that reason, people from many walks of life will find this contribution useful: from the newly-fascinated sea lover to the seasoned enthusiast, from the local community organiser to the country’s politician, from the (non-)academic researcher to the global policymaker – the stories recounted in the book will likely spark joy, hope, exhilaration, anger, sorrow and more to all of them. As time is running out to meaningfully transform the dominant relationship most of us and our societies have with the ocean, ‘Revisiting the Ocean’ serves to catalyse our attention to the high stakes at play and set the table to discuss them more, not less – something a good book should always do.”

James Michel was the third President of the Republic of Seychelles and is author of five other books namely: ‘A Man of the People’, ‘Distant Horizons’, ‘Island Nation in a Global Sea’, ‘Rethinking the Oceans and Legacy’.

He was recognised as an ‘Oceans 8 Champion’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in 2017, for his efforts to promote the blue economy concept as a new paradigm of development. Together with his successor Danny Faure, they received the National Geographic Planetary Award in 2019 for his commitment to establishing globally protected areas, and positioning Seychelles as an ocean leader.


Gerard Govinden

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