BIOFIN activities in Seychelles
The BIOFIN team in Seychelles is part of a national partnership and vision on biodiversity finance in the country, supporting efforts of Ministries of Finance and Environment, NGOs and the private sector. Biodiversity finance is a high priority on the national agenda that pursues a Blue Economy Strategy.
BIOFIN has identified mechanisms to finance Protected Areas under GEF/UNDP initiatives. The private sector and NGOs are also involved and the national BIOFIN team has made great progress in this regards. Recently it developed a project that seeks financial autonomy for the Seychelles National Parks Authority. This project would redirect the revenue generated from tourism and visits to the marine parks towards biodiversity. BIOFIN national team works closely with government departments and makes recommendations based on their findings. Similar recommendations were put forward based on the Public Expenditure Review, to some underfunded government departments to raise funds by levying charges/fees for some of the services they were providing free of charge.
Well renowned broadcaster of Germany, Deutsche Welle, visted Seychelles and featured the activities of BIOFIN in their Global Ideas Program. Their visit comprised of capturing the beautiful nature and biodiversity in the country, conducting interview with biodiversity finance experts and meeting government representative involved.
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The BIOFIN process in Seychelles is focused on several assessments developed under the BIOFIN workbook:
1. Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review (PIR)
Policy and Institutional Review in Seychelles is nearly completed. Through this process, the national BIOFIN Team maps the impact of economic sectors on biodiversity, identifies the main financing mechanisms being used and reviews which subsidies have an impact on biodiversity. The PIR also reviews the overall financing architecture for biodiversity in the country and generates specific recommendations for an improved institutional framework.
2. Biodiversity Expenditure Review (PER)
This review is also nearly completed. Through this, BIOFIN assesses which expenditures national stakeholders incur towards biodiversity, from both national and international resources, including the public and private sector. This helps the country generate national level expenditure data on biodiversity.
3. Biodiversity Finance Needs Assessment
The national BIOFIN team has already developed cost projections for the main activities of Seychelles National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) which was developed recently. The full analytical report was completed by the end of 2015.
4. Biodiversity Finance Plan
Under this component BIOFIN will develop a strategy to mobilize potential finance actors and finance mechanisms to reach national biodiversity targets.
5. Implementing the Biodiversity Finance Plan
BIOFIN team is working to review options for increasing financial autonomy for protected areas and it will identify further biodiversity finance opportunities during the biodiversity finance plan development.
Information about the country and partnerships
The Seychelles, being an island country, hosts unique biodiversity with a high percentage of endemic species, over 50% for animal groups and over 45% for plant species. Protected Areas cover around half of all land. It was the second country in the world to ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity back in 1992. In 1998, the first National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan was adopted, followed by the 2000-2010 Environment Management Plan, which integrated biodiversity amongst other environmental sectors. The current updated version of the NBSAP will be again solely dedicated to biodiversity, to ensure sufficient attention and resources are committed to its implementation.
The Natural Conservancy through its NatureVest division will support a debt-for-nature swap deal between Government of Seychelles and its Paris Club creditors. In return, the Government of Seychelles will enhance its marine conservation and climate adaptataion. The project will result in the mobilization of $30 Million (USD).
For more information: Debt for nature Swap - Seychelles