Seychelles, France Team Up to Recycle Sea Litter, Increase Awareness

The Seychelles' Blue Economy Department will be looking at ways to recycle waste from the sea and plastic bottles littering the environment under two newly signed financial agreements with France.

The two agreements, worth a total of 21,600 euros, are part of the grant from the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects, Civil Societies, Francophonie and Human Development (FSPI). They were signed on Wednesday by the Seychelles' Principal Secretary for Blue Economy, Kenneth Racombo, and Dominique Mas, the French ambassador to the island nation.

Racombo told reporters that the agreements "will be for two specific projects. First, it is to deal with waste from the sea and will help sensitise the general public on the negative impacts of waste thrown at sea and how this waste can be used."

He said that the second project is for the collection of plastic bottle waste from the environment and its conversion into fuel.

Racombo that the financial facility provided through the agreement will contribute to the efforts being made to promote the Blue Economy in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.

On his side, Ambassador Mas said that France has chosen to accompany Seychelles in the realisation of projects that the Blue Economy Department has developed and will implement.

"These are projects that will contribute to the long-term development of Seychelles and will benefit Seychelles. It is this form of development cooperation that France and Seychelles intend to maintain and develop," he said.

The funding has been made available under the 'Indian Ocean Blue Year project' to the member states of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) which France is chairing for one year.

The Indian Ocean Blue Year project benefits the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania. In particular, it will make it possible to celebrate Blue Economy Day at the regional level, an initiative of the government of Seychelles.

"The French presidency of the IOC has placed economic recovery at the heart of its regional priorities. It intends to promote the development of the Blue Economy to diversify the economies of the region and to take advantage of this resource that surrounds us, the ocean. It also means that we must protect these resources, preserve them and manage them sustainably. By reducing ocean pollution, we are protecting our source of income," added the Ambassador.

The funding complements support to the University of Seychelles for the implementation by the Seychelles research laboratories of four study programmes on marine conservation.

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