Mainstreaming Biodiversity Project

Mainstreaming Biodiversity Management into Production Sector Activities. This is a GoS-UNDP-GEF funded project implemented from 2008-2015.

Seychelles’ ecosystems and biodiversity are relatively intact compared to many other small islands states, but development pressures are expected to increase substantially in the years to come. Past efforts at biodiversity conservation have focused on protected areas, but the major threats are associated with the main production sectors i.e. overfishing, mass tourism, and physical infrastructure development.

Expected Outcomes
The Biodiversity Project aims to incorporate biodiversity conservation into the day-to-day operations of the key economic sectors, with the following outcomes:
•    strengthening the systemic and institutional capacities for mainstreaming biodiversity management within and across sectors
•    having in place methods and means for integrating biodiversity and artisanal fisheries management
•    addressing biodiversity conservation needs as part of good practice in business operations by the tourism industry.
Key Results and Activities
The Project has made significant progress since its inception in 2008. It has supported the formation of various partnerships and the development of conservation management plans for several islands. The results achieved under the Biodiversity Mainstreaming and Conservation component include:
•    the development of an information and knowledge management system for biodiversity mainstreaming
•    the development and implementation of Land, Water and Coastal Use Plans in collaboration with MLUH for the integration of biodiversity priorities for all islands.  This is an ongoing project started with the districts of Anse Royale,
Praslin, and La Digue islands  with plans to expand to other districts and the outer islands 
•    the project has reported an increase of approximately 20% of yearly investments in conservation activities, based on newly established tourism-conservation partnerships and newly managed areas
•    over 6,000 additional hectares of ecologically sensitive habitat under improved conservation management is planned through collaborations among NGOs, the Government and private tourism operators.
•    the BD project also provided some seed funding for community-based initiatives in learning and taking ground action in biodiversity conservation.
For the Tourism Sector, the project has:
•    initiated activities such as the development of improved guidance for biodiversity conservation in project implementation for tourism developers
•    developed and adopted a Sustainable Tourism Label and Environmental Management Systems for tourism operators and the development of the necessary tools for the adoption and promotion of this label
•    developed and provided support to Joint Management Systems for the management of ecologically sensitive areas with private sector operators and the development of guidelines and criteria for joint management of ecologically

sensitive sites

In the Fisheries Sector, the project is responsible for:
•    the development and piloting of co-management systems for artisanal fisheries, has facilitated the establishment of the Praslin Fishers Association, the first in Seychelles and instrumental in developing the co-management of fisheries resources on Praslin in collaboration with Seychelles Fishing Authority
•    it is also assisting the Government in developing its capacity to manage fisheries within sustainable limits through the deployment of highly qualified technical assistance.