FROM THE FIELD: ‘Blue’ finance flows in the Seychelles

Seychelles Tourism Board/Ennio Maffei
A giant tortoise makes its way to the water’s edge on a beach on Curieuse Island, a Seychelles National Park.

Protecting marine areas from over-exploitation and providing the people who have traditionally lived off the sea with a sustainable alternative livelihood does not come cheap, but in the Seychelles, a focus on financial instruments is making that task easier.

The Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, is rich in biodiversity. However, years of over-fishing and the impact of climate change has meant that many Seychellois are unable to make a living.

Fishermen at Beau Vallon beach in the Seychelles prepare their nets for fishing. Seychelles Tourism Board/Ennio Maffei

The island nation’s Government has been supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to put together a financial plan, including a “blue bond” and debt restructuring focused on climate adaptation.

Ultimately, up to 400,000 km2, around 40 per cent of its marine environment, will be protected and marine resources will be managed in a sustainable way for the benefit of the people of the Seychelles.

Read more here about how protected areas are being financed.