Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan has stressed on the vulnerabilities of the island nation vis-a-vis the effects of climate change despite having delivered on most of the sustainable development goals at an action forum in Dubai on Wednesday.
State House said that Ramkalawan participated in a forum ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Action under the theme: Scaling new Heights for the Future of Humanity’ at the World Government Summit.
Questions in the forum were linked to sustainable goals linked to the Blue Economy such as SDG 2 – Zero Hunger, SDG 6 – Clean water and Sanitation, SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth, SDG13 – on Climate Action and SDG 14 – Life below water.
Ramkalawan said that being an island nation has prompted the government “to relook at the way we conduct our socio-economic activities, and to adopt a shrewder approach which puts the ocean, which is our biggest asset, at the centre of our sustainable development aspirations.”
He said that the SDGs have become increasingly important now in the midst and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has aggravated our already fragile socio-economic status. It is to be noted that the pandemic has also created a more convincing business case for the development of our blue economy as it has given us hard proof that there is a dire need for us to become more self-sufficient and resilient to external shocks,” he added.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, like all other island states, is vulnerable and can be greatly affected by the effects of climate change. The island nation has therefore undertaken several adaptation and mitigation initiatives.
This includes a Debt-to-Adaptation Swap, whereby repayment of an international debt of $21 million was cancelled in exchange for investment in the Blue Economy and designating 30 percent of its maritime territory as a protected area.