Seychelles’ blue economy day |17 July 2021
Today, July 17, Seychelles celebrates blue economy day.
To commemorate this day, Seychelles NATION brings you a centerspread about the responsibilities of staff of the Seychelles blue economy department within the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy under the leadership of Designated Minister Jean-Francois Ferrari.
- Kenneth Racombo, Principal secretary for the blue economy
“The blue economy in Seychelles has been built on a foundation of transformation from the status quo to a development which incorporates the need to conserve our marine resources while creating wealth for equitable distribution.
“We have made it our priority to invest heavily in the adaptive measures that were required to make the transition from business as usual to a more sustainable use of the marine resources within the Seychelles exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“From the creation of the department of the blue economy in 2015, development has gone from strength to strength and the landscape has benefited from various government initiatives aimed at establishing the environment from which the blue economy will thrive. Many of these initiatives have been award-winning and have helped boost Seychelles into a leadership role.
“The systematic approach to development is guided by the Seychelles Blue Economy Strategic Policy Framework and Roadmap which has been used to guide development of policies and plans within the region. We have invested in ensuring that it is done right, with the right policies and plans in place, so as to progressively keep reaping the benefits in the future, for years to come.
“Seychelles aims to remain the most ardent promoter of the blue economy and diligently share the best practices that is learnt as we tackle the difficulties faced.
“Our Ocean – Our Future.”
- Phillianne Albert: Director general for policy and programme management division
“As the director general of my respective division, I ensure proper coordination and facilitation of blue economy's development in Seychelles. The division is currently staffed by post holders in the field of policy, research, economy, programme management and monitoring and evaluation, who are striving to facilitate and spearhead the development of initiatives, projects and programmes that would create a more enabling environment for the country to progress with its blue economy endeavors.
“The blue economy presents an opportunity for Seychelles to progress socially and economically in a sustainable manner, and to therefore improve livelihood whilst maintaining our environmental integrity. “However, success does not depend solely on the actions of civil servants, but also on that of the private sector and civil societies, and more specifically on the commitment and contribution of all Seychellois individuals, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.”
2.1. Chrissant Barbé: Principal policy analyst
“I have been working within the department of blue economy as policy analyst since 2018. My responsibility as principal policy analyst is to examine the efficacy of existing policies and laying out the groundwork for new programmes to meet objectives and goals. Duties of the position include reviewing and amending policy drafts and proposing suggestions to improve the effects of existing policies.
“Other tasks currently being undertaken by this position, are the finalisation of the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework and the development of a blue economy database system. The M&E framework will facilitate the tracking of progress being made by key stakeholders for the effective implementation of the blue economy strategic policy. Also, the blue economy database system will facilitate the provision of reliable data across blue economy and enhance our understanding on the magnitude of such development in the country. Henceforth, this information will further be used to support policy initiatives, enhance evidence-based decision-making, and provide direction in ocean sustainable stewardship and development.
“The blue economy development extends its concern towards the pressure that exists between socio-economic development and environmental preservation. It acknowledges the importance of socio-economic development for the country but emphasises on the need for them to be mindful of sustainable development, which is safer for environmental development as well as for human and well-being. Also, it perceives that the harmony between social-equity, economic development, and environmental preservation can be achieved gradually, through effective communication and policy development programmes.”
2.2. Fatime Kante: Senior economist
“I am responsible for economic/investment on the blue economy implementation including the coordination of Seychelles Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) in the blue economy department. I am also the Seychelles national focal point for the African and Indian Ocean Developing Island States (AIODIS). As a senior economist, I am also expected to:
- Participate in the formulation, review and implementation of economic planning policies, strategies and programmes,
- Participate in the preparation of position papers on regional and international economic cooperation’
- Identify and deal with emerging sectoral and cross cutting socio-economic issues in investment.
“I have a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Economics and Social Administration (BSc), from France and an Advanced Professional Program on International Trade and Investment (MSc) with the British University of Egypt in cooperation with the ‘Baden International Business School’ (BIBS) in Baden, Switzerland.
“We are pleased to celebrate the blue economy day with our archipelago of 115 islands and a population of less than 100,000 inhabitants. The blue economy concept is being adopted across our entire Indian Ocean region and the world with a sustainable approach. It would be wise to continue the monitoring and evaluation of existing and future natural resources, which could allow the creation of employment, wealth and consequently the well-being of our people. This is why I urge everyone to continue thinking about this day of celebration of the blue economy. Let us continue to move from a concept to a reality for the good of all.”
2.3. Gabriella Gonthier: Senior monitoring and evaluation officer
“The main aim of the monitoring and evaluation officer (M&E) officer is to track the implementation of the blue economy nationally. Tracking the implementation cultivates other important traits to the role such as monitoring, evaluating, accountability and progressive learning. Progress on blue economy implementation is outlined by the roadmap and is reviewed annually and includes feedback to and from stakeholders; the implementation is carefully observed and analysed through proposed SMART indicators given to the department of blue economy by its stakeholders.
“Having this mechanism in place is vital to execute the ambitions of the roadmap; it allows for stakeholders to know their role in developing the blue economy, aims at reducing the data gaps within the sector by collecting ample information first hand from its contributors and lastly gives both the department and stakeholders the overview on their performance by highlighting any constraints for future improvements.
“My message for blue economy is rather short and sweet and that is to believe and trust in the sector; whilst it is inevitable to run away from the blue economy, believing in it will allow us to reap the benefits in the near future.”
- Francesca Adrienne: Director general for maritime boundary management
“I am a geographic information system (GIS) specialist with years of experience in data and database management, spatial programming, cartography and map making. I have worked in land and asset management, surveying and cadastral, disaster and emergency management, emergency and rescue, and community safety. Recently, I transitioned into maritime, ocean management and governance. Since January 2019, I have taken on the role of director general for maritime boundary management at the department of blue economy, managing day-to-day activities and other duties and responsibilities such as:
- Coordinating delimitation of the international boundaries between States and the establishment of Seychelles’ zones of jurisdiction.
- Delivering strategic recommendations on all international boundary issues including submissions for the claims and subsequent delimitation of boundaries.
- Managing and executing all activities of the joint committee (JC) under the Treaty of Joint Management Area (JMA) as focal person including the UNDP-JMA demonstration standalone project.
- Being the focal person for the international oceanographic commission of the Unesco (IOC-Unesco) and the International Seabed Authority (ISA).
- Advising on ocean governance and management, and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) within the Seychelles and the JMA.
- Leading, coordinating, and monitoring international projects delivery to ensure completion within established timeline, costs, and requirements:
“I also have an active participating role in national discussions on spatial data sharing and management policies, ocean management policies, marine spatial planning legislation and management, and maritime security.”
3.1. Veronique Nibourette: Principal maritime officer in the maritime boundary management division
“I assist the director general and the department in implementing its mandate and objectives towards coordinating and managing the Seychelles maritime space in a sustainable and transparent manner.
“I also assist with the organisation and coordination of activities related to the Joint Management Area (JMA) which is co-managed by Seychelles and Mauritius and also assist the Joint Management Committee (JMC) under the Treaty of Joint Management of the Continental Shelf in the Mascarene Plateau Region.
“I assist in the preparation of information notes and Cabinet memoranda on the maritime boundary delimitation (MBD) projects and technical papers and other scientific documentations.
“I also coordinate the organisation of various activities required by the director general and the department and participate in bilateral and multilateral negotiations plus any other duties assigned by the principal secretary of the blue economy department.
“The blue economy, being a new concept, is still something that the Seychellois general public needs more education and awareness about. Being blessed with a vast healthy ocean, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to play our part in ensuring that while exploiting its rich resources, at the same time we are doing our best to protect it for our own benefits and the benefits of our future generations.”
- Abel Sorry: Principal research officer
“My duties and responsibilities are a constant balance of planning, managing and coordinating research projects aimed at developing the blue economy and enhancing local, regional and international partnerships. The job entails determining the goals and objectives of projects in the blue economy and how this fits with the principles and policies dictated in our ‘blue economy roadmap’. The interactions with stakeholders, be it fellow scientists, a recognised institution or the simple individual dealing or interested with marine research, are important in this job. This means that frequently, these interactions involve educating stakeholders about the purpose of scientific research in the blue economy and the importance of these partnerships in developing the blue economy and achieving sustainability. As such, collaborating on research projects for the development of the blue economy is also the responsibility of the principle research officer and there have been, actually, quite a number of collaborations dealing with both local and international government agencies as well as several other institutions who have shown interest in doing so. Another rather interesting part of this job is taking part in certain marine scientific explorations and expeditions. For instance, the Hamburg Cruise which was conducted on the Saya de Malha banks in the Joint Management Area between Seychelles and Mauritius is one such expedition which involved collaboration with international institutions.
“So, as it can be seen, being part of research in the blue economy is mainly joining forces with different stakeholders taking research on a higher, collaborative and sustainable level. As such, the message that I want to convey, especially for small island developing states (Sids) such as ourselves is: “We need science and technology for the development of the blue economy. However, we should never forget that indigenous knowledge and partnerships is key in achieving development in the realm of the blue economy which itself is a concept based on sustainable development models where economy, society and environment complement each other. Therefore, just like these sustainable development dimensions link, we also have to link with each other on a global scale to preserve more than we have already taken for the future generations to come.”
Contributed by the department of blue economy
Structure of the Centre Spread
Phillianne Albert Francesca Adrienne
Chrissant Barbe Abel Sorry Veronique Nibourette