Seychelles: Climate Change - Seychelles' IDC Trying Mitigate Erosion On Outer Islands

Climate mitigation will play a big role in the strategic plan of the Islands Development Company (IDC) and it is crucial to put adequate measures in place sooner rather than later if Seychelles wants to preserve its islands, said a top official in a press conference.

The IDC chief executive, Glenny Savy, described the erosion on the outer islands as very severe and that "It's becoming extremely concerning, almost all of the islands are being affected by erosion. We are hoping that these reef balls work; if they do, we'll have to accelerate the project to other islands."

IDC has already started to implement several projects to mitigate the impact of climate change among them is the reef ball project, which is a designed artificial reef module that mimics the structure and function of a natural reef, made with special concrete additives with a pH similar to seawater.

This assures compatibility with marine environments and enhances its attractiveness to colonising organisms. These balls are placed about 150 metres away from the beach. They also aid in reducing the surf and current before it reaches the coastline, minimising the strength of the impact and effectively reducing erosion.

Although the project began in July 2022, Savy clarified that they have not been able to fully implement the project due to certain challenges that they faced.

"We've already fabricated these reef balls, about 800 to 1,000. At first, we were installing them using a small landing craft because of how shallow the area is and we were able to put 24 but it was very difficult because the draft from the boat was too much so we had to stop," he said.

Savy added that IDC tried using an excavator with an extension piece but that did not work either because the sand is so fine and soft that the excavator gets stuck.

"We then decided to pause the project until we receive another landing craft that is on order from an Indian Shipyard; there have been some delays. We expect the new boat by the end of next month," he said.

Savy confirmed that IDC will continue its work to try and mitigate the effects of climate change on the islands and mentioned the possibility of bringing in foreign expertise to consult on the matter.

"This year, with the speed at which these islands are being affected we will have to discuss the need to bring in more assistance from international experts to analyse and find different solutions to mitigate the effect of the erosion. We have to keep trying to find something that works, because if the situation continues as it is now, in the next 20 years some islands may disappear," said Savy.

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