Like many small island states, the Seychelles is highly dependent on the healthy functioning of both its terrestrial and marine ecosystems for its economic development and social well-being. A significant proportion of the country’s economy depends on natural ecosystem services, including productive marine ecosystems for fisheries and pristine and diverse terrestrial and marine ecosystems to sustain the all-important tourism industry. With a very limited land area, the Seychelles experiences intense competing pressures on land resources for tourism, agriculture, housing, water provision and other needs, and 200 years of human settlement have exerted a serious influence on the native biota of the islands.
The project will undertake a comprehensive Ridge to Reef (R2R) approach that addresses the ‘whole island’ priorities of improved management and conservation of upland forest and agricultural ecosystems, as well as coastal and marine ecosystems in the Seychelles, to produce global benefits in terms of conservation of globally significant biodiversity and the effective management of large marine ecosystems (including coastal and near-shore marine ecosystems), and to arrest and reverse ecosystem degradation.
The project is designed to:
- i) reduce threats to globally significant biodiversity by strengthening the country’s system of marine protected areas and reducing negative land-based impacts on those ecosystems, as well as strengthening the management of forested Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and their surroundings;
- ii) reverse land degradation in areas outside of formally protected areas and in productive land through the promotion of SLM/SFM practices and agroforestry, leading to the restoration and sustainable flows of forest ecosystem services with positive impacts to communities as well as to adjacent coastal and marine ecosystems; and
iii) strengthen capacity and partnerships to promote integrated ecosystem management based on the R2R approach.
The outcomes of the project are:
- Expansion of marine and terrestrial protected areas of the Seychelles’ Inner Islands
- Strengthened management of upland KBAs and adjacent areas to enhance the flow of ecosystem services through the R2R approach
- Promoting the ‘Ridge to Reef’ (R2R) approach through knowledge management, ecosystem health monitoring and inter-sectoral coordination
- Knowledge Management, M&E and Gender Mainstreaming
Project Duration: 6 years, from January 2020 to December 2025
Project Financing: US$ 3.9 million
Funding Agency: Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Implementing Entity: Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Climate, Programme Coordination Unit