Seychelles will benefit from a $2.3 million grant to support the effective management of its marine protected areas, as the country joins the Blue Nature Alliance, a consortium of different philanthropic organisations.
Blue Nature Alliance is a global partnership that seeks to protect 18 million square kilometres of ocean over the next five years. Working across the global ocean, the Blue Nature Alliance's projects cover conservation efforts in coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, and kelp forests.
The alliance's partner in Seychelles is the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT). The Trust's chief executive, Angelique Pouponneau, said that "when Seychelles announced the 30 percent marine protection on March 26 last year, that was when Blue Nature Alliance approached the island nation to explore how to support this venture so as to make it work."
"For the past year, they have been working closely with SeyCCAT to develop a three-year project, which has four main objectives to support the effective management of its 30 percent marine protected areas," said Pouponneau.
SeyCCAT is looking at how to support the governance arrangement of the marine spatial plan, and to do this, the Seychelles' government will first have to make a decision as to what kind of governance arrangement will be put in place.
"Once that is completed, from Blue Nature Alliance, through SeyCCAT to the government, we will be able to provide them with three key staffs as well as operational cost for three years," said Pouponneau.
She added that the second objective is also about financial sustainability, looking at how to sustainably continue to provide revenue to support those 30 percent protected areas.
"We are exploring different options and mechanisms through SeyCCAT. The third element is about MPA management planning and capacity building. We are being given an envelope of about $300,000 just for capacity building for the new governance organisation, SeyCCAT as well as MPA managers. We are also being given a second donation of $500,000 into the Blue Grant Funds. We are also going to be looking at things like control and surveillance, and research agendas," said Pouponneau.
The Blue Nature Alliance is a global partnership founded and led by Conservation International, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Global Environment Facility, Minderoo Foundation, and the Rob & Melani Walton Foundation. The Alliance believes that the only way to achieve the pace and scale of conservation needed is by joining and aligning with those that share the same ambition.
So far, the Alliance has provided resources advancing ocean conservation in Antarctica' Southern Ocean, the Lau Seascape in Fiji and Tristan da Cunha, and is actively examining additional opportunities.