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PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                        Date: 28th October 2014

Government of Seychelles and UNDP to sign three new environmental projects

The Government of Seychelles and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will sign agreements for three new environmental projects in a ceremony that will be held on Thursday 30th October, 2014.

The signing ceremony will take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at 2.30 pm.

The agreements will be signed by the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles, Mr Simon Springett, the PS for the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Mr Wills Agricole, and the Ministry's Special Adviser, Mr Didier Dogley.

The three new projects to be signed are: Promotion and Up-scaling of Climate-resilient, Resource-efficient Technologies in a Tropical Island Context (Resource Efficiency Project), Ecosystem Based Adaptation to Climate Change in Seychelles (Adaptation Project) and Expansion and Strengthening of the Protected Area Subsystem of the Outer Islands of Seychelles and its Integration into the Broader Land and Seascape (Outer Island Project).

The projects are funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and together are worth more than 10 million USD. The first two projects are focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation while the OI project is supporting biodiversity conservation in Seychelles.

The RE project – a three-year project with a budget of US$ 1.77 million – will focus on promoting and creating an enabling environment for the uptake of resource-efficient appliances. The EBA project is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of Seychelles to climate change, focusing on two main issues – water scarcity and flooding; at US$ 6.5 million, the EBA project is the largest ever GOS-UNDP-GEF project in Seychelles and has a duration of six years. The OI project focuses on biodiversity conservation, more particularly supporting the establishment of new protected areas and their management. It is allocated US$1,935 million and will run for five years.

All three projects will be implemented by the GOS-UNDP-GEF Programme Coordination Unit.

– End –

Note for Editors

a) Promotion and Up-scaling of Climate-resilient, Resource-efficient Technologies in a Tropical Island Context Project (RE Project)

Seychelles is highly dependent on imported oil to meet its energy needs: 90% of the primary energy supply comes from imported fuel, with imports of fuel for electricity generation alone accounting for 12% of the total Government budget. This heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels places a heavy pressure on the country's foreign exchange reserves, exacerbates state budget deficits, and poses major energy security concerns, both in terms of access to supplies and pricing. A market for energy-efficient appliances is just beginning to develop in the Seychelles, based in large part on the rapidly rising cost of electricity for most consumers. However, this market faces a number of constraints.

Expected Outcomes

The aim of the RE project is to increase market penetration of energy-efficient technologies, practices, products, and materials in the residential market. It consists of the following components:

• Policy strategies and legal framework;

• Strengthening of the support for resource-efficient technologies; and

• Developing financial mechanisms.

b) Ecosystem Based Adaptation to Climate Change in Seychelles (EBA Project)

The climate change projections in the Seychelles show that rainfall will become even more irregular, while increasing in overall terms. 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. As island topography puts constraints on water storage capacity, the country's water supplies are heavily dependent on rainfall. Furthermore, 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.

Expected Outcomes

The EBA project aims to reduce Seychelles' vulnerability to climate change, focusing on two key issues – water scarcity and flooding. It consists of the following components:

• Watershed rehabilitation;

• Coastal rehabilitation; and

• Policy strategies.

c) Expansion and Strengthening of the Protected Area Subsystem of the Outer Islands of Seychelles and its Integration into the Broader Land and Seascape (OI project)

Seychelles' existing protected area system is primarily situated in the Inner (Granitic) Islands of the country. The Outer Islands of the Seychelles make up more than half of the total number of islands within the archipelago and include nine of the twenty Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Seychelles, but at present there are only two fully gazetted protected areas in the Outer Islands: (i) Aldabra Special Reserve (15,260 ha terrestrial and 23,100 ha marine) and (ii) the African Banks Protected Area (2 ha terrestrial and 3 ha marine), as well as two declared Nature Reserves (Boudeuse and Etoile, each less than 1 ha.).

Expected Outcomes

The aim of the OI project is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and marine biodiversity in the Seychelles' Outer Islands by expanding the protected areas system and strengthening protected area management, supported by broad-scale ecosystem planning and sustainable land management activities to conserve ecosystem functions. It consists of the following components:

• Establishment of new protected areas; and

• Development of an institutional framework supporting the integrated management of the new PAs.


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