Seychelles and its UNCCD Obligations
Seychelles signed the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on 14 October 1994 and ratified the Convention on 26 June 1997. Since signing onto the UNCCD, the country has participated in all Regional and International activities of the Secretariat. These activities range from Regional meetings of the African Group; the Conference of the Parties (COPs); the Committee for Reviewing the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC); and several training sessions and special meetings.
Seychelles has participated in the Medium Size Project (MSP) for the LDC-SIDS Portfolio Project for SLM, Mainstreaming Sustainable Land Management into national sustainable development, at three levels: the individual, the institutional and the national levels. Seychelles now also has its Integrated Finance Strategy (IFS) for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) which had been conceptualized and funded under the GEF/UNDP-funded “Capacity Development for Sustainable Land Management” Project (SLM Project) in collaboration with Global Mechanism (GM). The SLM Project was part of a global portfolio of SLM projects for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to respond to the obligation of the UNCCD. The Ministry of Environment and Energy also has its Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy (SSDS) which covers the 2012-2020 period. Currently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is elaborating the Medium-Term National Development Strategy (MTNDS).
1. A SLM National Action Plan (NAP) was elaborated during 2011. It contains the following Goals:
- Goal 1: Land use planning and land use management are supportive of sustainable land management
- Goal 2: Forested land and watersheds are sustainably managed
- Goal 3: Agricultural land and water is sustainably managed and contributing to food security in the Seychelles
- Goal 4: Physical infrastructure developments and coastal zone developments are supportive of sustainable land management
2. Seychelles is also presently reviewing the Land Use Plans of all of Mahé’s 26 districts in the Town and Country Planning Act.
3. In 2014, Seychelles launched its Seychelles Protected Areas Policy.
Seychelles has so far prepared and submitted its National Reports on UNCCD Implementation to the Conference of Parties (COP), the last being in 2014. Through the Indian Ocean Commission, Seychelles is also actively involved in the process leading to the implementation of a regional strategy in sustainable land management with the technical support of the UNCCD and the Global Mechanism. In 2014, Seychelles received approval of a grant from UNEP for a proposed project that will strengthen Seychelles’ capacity to align the NAP to the 10-year UNCCD Strategy and enhance the country’s reporting process under UNCCD following the new PRAIS format. The activities are expected to kick off in 2015.
Reported by the UNCCD Focal Point, Mr. Alain DeComarmond (Principal Secretary of Environment for the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change)