The Seychelles consist of over 100 islands of granitic and corraline origin with a total land area of 455 km2 and a coastal length of 151 km. Coral reefs surround the granitic islands. Coral islands are rich in marine lif, and due to their size and homegeneity are considered part of the coastal zone. Tourism and fishing are the main industries, with light manufacturing and service sectors also contributing to the economy. Tourism employs 40% of the workforce and provides the population with 60% of foreign currencies. The country’s tourism industry and socio-economic development mainly depends on its environment, more specifically its unique biodiversity and its high landscape value. The needs to extend Protected Areas and to strengthen the Protected Areas Systems are stressed in the 2013 PA Policy. This new project has been developed to strengthen the Seychelles Protected Area (PA) system, especially as the country is in the process of exploring the potential for expansion of the protected areas system through the Marine Spatial Planning exercise, in line with the 2013 PA Policy.
The project intends to develop the first whole system and financial/investment plans for Seychelles’ protected areas, treating the system holistically, and bringing together the various Government agencies and NGOs currently involved in managing separate areas. It looks in particular at the costs of managing the system, much of which is under-performing in terms of capturing revenue, and addressing financing gaps through development of new and innovative financing mechanisms.
The project aims to develop a framework whereby the PA system can be sustainably financed. The project has two main components:
1) Enabling planning and legal framework for an improved use of existing and new PA finance – It will support the Government, Seychelles National Parks Authority and other entities managing PAs in evaluating the financial performance of the PAs, determining financial gaps and identifying opportunities for improving the overall functionality of both the current and the proposed expanded PA estate. It will also develop a national PAs investment Plan and site-level PA Financing Plans where needed. Additionally, it will strengthen the financial management capacities of the national PA managing entities in order to reduce cost-inefficiencies, improve revenues and develop mechanisms for revenue sharing.
2) Increasing and securing revenue generation for PA management – It will improve the financial sustainability of the PA system and selected individual PAs to ensure that they have adequate financial resources to cover the full costs of their management at optimal level. To achieve this, it will support the building and renovating of small infrastructures, and introduce new cost-effective practices, systems and schemes, all aimed at making sites more attractive to visitors and increasing the revenue generation capacity of the individual sites.
Project Duration: 5 years, from 2016 to 2020
Project Financing: US$ 2.7 million
Funding Agency: Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Implementing Entity: Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Climate, Programme Coordination Unit
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