Sat, 24th June 2017 | Updated Tuesday 20 June 2017, 04:53:43
Today in Seychelles 31. 10. 14- Local environmental officers and counsellors representing several governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGO) were invited to participate in an inception workshop yesterday in an effort to reduce Seychelles' vulnerability to climate change, water scarcity and flooding.
By A. De Giorgio
"Your presence in this particular workshop is crucial to safeguard and secure a better future for our small island state," said the director general of the Climate Affairs, Adaptation and Information Division (CAAI) of the ministry of environment and energy, Alain Decommarmond. This was yesterday morning during the launch of a new climate change adaption project coordinated by the Government of Seychelles in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility (GOS-UNDP-GEF).
The training workshop was held at the Seychelles Trading Company (STC) Conference Room located in New Port, Victoria and was attended by several key stakeholders including representatives from ministries, the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), Sustainability for Seychelles, Nature Seychelles and Island Conservation Seychelles, to name a few.
The project manager, Selby Remy stated that the new project, entitled Ecosystem Based Adaptation to Climate Change (or EBA project) is the largest ever GOS-UNDP-GEF project in Seychelles with a budget of US$ 6.5 million, with the aim of reducing Seychelles' vulnerability to climate change over the next five years. Mr. Remy gave the participants an overview of the project objectives, work plan and outcomes. He explained that the EBA project focuses on two main issues which are water scarcity and flooding. It will be implemented at ecosystem level, looking at watershed and coastal rehabilitation. It will address issues such as conflicting water uses, the impact of development on water-related services, whether water from catchment areas are being fully utilised, flooding and saltwater intrusion.
"This project promises an innovative approach to water management in Seychelles and looks at building capacity from the local community to government," he added.
For his part, the UNDP regional representative, Simon Springett shared his concerns with the participants that the climate change projections in the Seychelles show that forecasted rainfall will become even more irregular. "Much of the precipitation is falling in sharp bursts, creating heavy flooding in the wet season, while imposing an extended period of drought during the dry season," said Mr. Springett.
Furthermore, he mentioned that the country's water supply is heavily dependent on rainfall whereas the coastal zone is vulnerable to flooding as a consequence of rising sea levels and increased storm surges from cyclonic activity in the Western Indian Ocean.
The workshop continued with discussions in how to implement strategic policies and plans to support the EBA project.
Source: Today in Seychelles