Strengthening Seychelles’ Protected Area System through NGO Management Modalities (PA Project). This is a GoS-UNDP-GEF funded project implemented from 2010-2015.
The 21 formal protected areas in Seychelles are under the administration of a number of different Government institutions, parastatals and NGOs, including the Ministry of Land Use and Housing (MLUH), Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF), Island Conservation Society (ICS) and Nature Seychelles (NS). As Seychelles has limited financial resources, and is geographically isolated from global centres of excellence in protected area planning and management, it is important that the diverse Government and non-government partners in the field of protected area management in Seychelles work in partnership to complement their individual capacities, knowledge and skills.
The Protected Area project started in 2011 to create synergies between current Government conservation efforts and those of non-government partners in the establishment of new protected areas, and also to improve the management of existing terrestrial-marine protected areas. The main outcomes of this project are:
For Marine Protected Areas:
• designing a more representative system of marine protected areas that builds resilience against environmental variations associated with global climate change
• facilitating the establishment of new or expanded marine protected areas and conservation zones that will more effectively safeguard habitats associated with fish spawning aggregations (e.g. rabbit fish, whale sharks, groupers) and coral reef ecosystems
• strengthening the operational capacity of NGOs, artisanal fishermen and the private sector to establish and manage marine protected areas and marine conservation zones in a collaborative partnership with the SNPA and SFA
• improving the policy, legislative and institutional framework for collaborative management between state and non-state partners in MPA management
For Terrestrial Protected Areas:
• designing a representative, adequate and comprehensive system of terrestrial protected areas
• facilitating the establishment of new protected areas on privately-owned and state-owned islands under different co-management arrangements and using a range of different sustainable financing strategies
• testing the feasibility of establishing and enforcing seasonal conservation areas for nesting turtle habitats
• strengthening the operational capacity of NGOs, parastatals and the private sector to establish and manage terrestrial protected areas and
• improving the policy, legislative and institutional framework for collaborative management between state and non-state partners in terrestrial protected area management.
The Project’s activities will make a significant contribution to the overall mission of the Seychelles 2017 Strategy by ‘… generating the maximum level of local participation …’ in the environment sector of the strategy and it also conforms with the management priority areas of the second Environment Management Plan of Seychelles (EMPS, 2000-2010).
Upon completion, the project will have added 1,022 ha of terrestrial landscapes and 7,664 ha of marine areas under effective management and protection to the national protected area system.