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Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy 2012-2020 (Volume 1)

1.1 Environment Management Plan of Seychelles Seychelles embarked on its first environment management plan in 1989, with the support of UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank. The Environment Management Plan of Seychelles (EMPS) 1990-2000, raised pledges of over 40 million USD, and after a decade of implementation was a successful programme. Key highlights were the expansion of the Department of Environment; training of environment professionals; enactment of a modern Environment Protection Act; introduction of Environmental Impact Assessment; implementation of national effluent quality standards; the elimination of the turtle shell industry and construction of the Greater Victoria sewerage system. The success of the EMPS 1990-2000, prompted Government to embark on the preparation of a second generation action plan; the EMPS 2000-2010. With the support of the World Bank, the EMPS 2000-2010 was prepared through a national multi-stakeholder consultation process and national expert input. The EMPS 2000-2010 was also further closely aligned to environment and sustainability principles emerging following the UNCED Rio Summit held in 1992. EMPS 2000- 2010 therefore also incorporated major global environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Although the EMPS 2000-2010 was successfully implemented, efforts at improved monitoring and evaluation of the benefits were limited. In 2009, a review of the EMPS 2000- 2010 revealed that 85% of the EMPS 2000-2010 action plan was effectively implemented despite serious economic difficulties experienced during this period. Some objectives were not attained in relation to capacity and the report made suggestions to improve the institutional mechanism for effective steerage of the EMPS. 1.2 Seychelles commitment to sustainable Development Small Island Developing States (SIDS) forms a distinctive group which shares many characteristics and whose vulnerability and special situation has been recognized by the international community. The sustainability of SIDS, in particular, drew the attention of the international community in 1989 when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution (GA 44/206) on SIDS, which later became enshrined in Agenda 21, Chapter 17G (1992). This was further recognized by the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action for Small Island States (BPOA) and the 2005 Mauritius International Meeting of the Small island States. However, despite a global consensus on sustainable development, its translation into practice has not been so straightforward. Efforts by the United Nations have been driven mainly by global summits every 10 years, three global environmental conventions (the CBD, the UNFCCC and the UNCCD) and one major global financing mechanism, the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Seychelles, being a Small Island Developing State, has played a leadership and active role in this process. It was one of the initial signatories to the three Rio global environmental conventions and has been instrumental in driving sustainable development at the national and international level. Indeed, the development of the EMPS 1900-2000 and EMPS 2000-2010 are hinged on the premise that Seychelles wishes to be a global leader in sustainable development. This national drive, endorsed by the Head of State at various international meetings, in particular the United Nation General Assembly, is testimony to this commitment. The Constitution of the Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy 2012 - 2020 7 Republic of Seychelles (1993) makes reference in the preamble on the need to ‘…participate in the sustainable economic and social development of our society.’ Furthermore, Section 38 (Right to safe environment), Part (b) of the Constitution also states the intention ‘…to ensure a sustainable socio-economic development of Seychelles by a judicious use and management of the resources of Seychelles.’ The President of Seychelles James Michel, in a statement to the UNGA in 2008, stressed that ‘Despite our small size, we shall continue to lead. And we shall lead by example. By our example, we have shown and will continue to show to all that sustainable development is achievable in our present generation.’ 1.3 The Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy (SSDS) 2012-2020 The overall objective of the EMPS 1990-2000 and EMPS 2000-2010, was to promote, coordinate and integrate sustainable development in Seychelles. In line with the Agenda 21 (in particular Chapter 17), and outcomes of the BPOA, the need to transform the EMPS into a strategy for national sustainable development is of importance and merit. This is particularly crucial as many of the issues tackled in the previous two EMPS’s are closely linked to development and social issues. There is also the need to cater for the increasing complexity of ongoing and emerging environmental concerns and threats. The institutional dimension of the EMPS also needs to shift from being seen as exclusively an environmental matter to become a national matter of prime importance for the future prosperity and security of the Seychelles people. The rationale for shifting from an environment plan to a Sustainable Development Strategy is derived from extensive multi-stakeholder consultations associated with the review of the EMPS 2000-2010, and consultations in preparation for this new plan (See Annex 1). A survey undertaken during the review of the EMPS 2000-2010, found that 3 out of 5 people agreed that the EMPS is about sustainable development rather than only environmental management. The same review concluded that the EMPS is ‘still the reference strategic document for sustainable development programmes in Seychelles.’ Furthermore, stakeholders recommended that sustainable development principles form a core part of the new strategic plan, which should be reflected in the vision and overall objective of the new strategy and plan. In the EMPS 2000-2010 Review national experts were of the view that a sustainable approach was required to tackle many of the issues, in particular: population growth; agriculture; land use; coastal management; fisheries; and addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation. It was highlighted that efforts were necessary to further link biodiversity conservation and development which would entail a close implementation of the sectoral development plan within a coherent sustainable strategy framework. The role of education and its links to sustainable development was also emphasized. Therefore, there was wide consensus that the next generation of the EMPS should be reviewed and emphasized to develop into the Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy. This entails an improved national institutional framework, with enhanced inter-ministerial influence, effectiveness and wider stakeholder buy-in and participation. Those recommendations have been incorporated in the SSDS.
Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy 2012-2020 (Volume 1)
Strategic Plans | Ministry of Environment & Energy, | 29/07/2015
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