Sun, 25th June 2017 | Updated Tuesday 20 June 2017, 04:53:43
Seychelles Nation 18. 07. 15- The GOS-UNDP-GEF Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) hosted a full-daysymposium to mark the closure of two projects: the Mainstreaming Biodiversity Management into Production Sector Activities (or BD project) and the Strengthening Seychelles' protected area system through non-governmental organisation management modalities (or PA project).
The biodiversity project which aims to integrate biodiversity conservation objectives into two key production sectors of the economy – tourism and fisheries – lasted for seven years and had a budget of US $3.6 million.
The PA project, which aims to create synergies between diverse government and non-government partners in the planning and management of the protected area system in Seychelles, lasted for four years and had a budget of US $2.1 million.
The aim of the symposium, held yesterday at the Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa, was to showcase the main achievements and outputs of the two projects.
There were presentations by the two project managers, Helena Sims for the PA projectand Betty Seraphine for the BD project, and their key partners. These two large and important projects were completed on June 30, 2015. Both were implemented by the PCU on behalf of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and both projects were biodiversity-related, helping to achieve sustainable biodiversity conservation in Seychelles.
"Both projects have made major advances. I do not know the extent to which biodiversity conservation was in the forefront in Seychelles' planning in 2008 when the GEF4 projects started, but looking at the national debate over the last couple of years – the Seychelles strategic planning process, the marine spatial planning process, and so on – there is no doubt that biodiversity is in the forefront now and also the outputs of these two projects are there in the forefront of the national process. The projects have involved many organisations and persons in their implementation. The PA project actually sub-contracted 80% of its budget to NGOs for management as responsible partners, a new modality for Seychelles but a modality that will continue within the upcoming PA Finance project," said Andrew Grieser Johns from PCU.
He added: "Of course not everything that we hoped to achieve has been achieved – some blockages remain particularly in the legislative environment – but the ministry and PCU will continue to work on these. But as has been indicated in the independent terminal evaluations held for the two projects earlier this year, their delivery has been excellent, and many important lessons have been learnt relevant to the design of new projects in Seychelles and within GEF internationally."
The various stakeholders made presentations on priorities for expansion of Seychelles' protected areas system, the national biodiversity database, reef mapping and monitoring at Aldabra, a new category of temporary protected areas for turtles and whale sharks, planning for new protected areas at Denis and North islands, the success of the Denis mynah eradication effort, the identification of key biodiversity areas, the establishment of fisheries management plans, and examples of how the private sector has been engaging in conservation actions.
Source: Seychelles Nation@ http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=246108