Marine and Coastal EbA for Enhanced Resilience in Southern Africa: Country Review: Seychelles
The Seychelles islands lie to the north-east of Madagascar, about 1 800km east of coastal Kenya. Most of the islands that make up the Seychelles are small, isolated and uninhabited, with the majority of the population living on the two main islands of Mahe and Praslin. The climate is tropical and the weather is influenced by alternating monsoon seasons dominated by the prevailing winds. The impacts of climate change on these islands are expected to be mostly negative, with projected increases in sea levels, storm and tidal surges, extreme sea-surface temperatures, and coastal flooding that will affect the way of life of all residents. These impacts are already being observed in various forms such as periods of extensive drought, coastal flooding, coastal erosion and repeated mass coral bleaching events. All types of marine and coastal ecosystems are being affected, with the biggest impact observed so far being on corals, which bleach and die when the sea temperature increases beyond certain points. As a result of the extreme vulnerability of coral reefs to climate change, they have been locally prioritised as one of the main candidate ecosystems for ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA). Other ecosystems on which EbA interventions have focused include mangroves, sandy beaches, coastal plateaus and freshwater wetlands. This paper focuses on marine and coastal EbA in the Seychelles and its role in enhancing climate resilience. It details the institutional, policy and regulatory context of EbA and delves into marine and coastal EbA initiatives that have been undertaken, are on-going or being planned. It synthesises information on funding mechanisms that support EbA and looks at challenges and opportunities in implementing, replicating and up-scaling EbA. From the perspective of the Seychelles, EbA can be defined as the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.