The MSP is designed to protect Seychelles’ ecological assets while also allowing its Blue Economy to develop sustainably. The Plan provides the management direction and considerations around what human activities are allowed in the new protected areas. The development of a governance and implementation framework for the MSP will be developed over the next year to ensure that these areas are effectively and equitably managed.
To get local buy-in, more than 100 stakeholders were consulted during the preparation of Phase 1 of the MSP, and their views on where and which activities—from fishing, shipping and petroleum exploration to tourism, and scientific research—were allowed, to form the backbone of the Plan. The planning process included 25 committee meetings, nine public workshops, and at least 60 consultations with marine sectors, local experts, and agencies.
This first phase of their new MSP puts the Government of Seychelles way ahead of international targets outlined in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14—Life Below Water—which calls for countries to protect at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas ‘consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.
With the creation of Phase 1 of this MSP and the designation of these two new marine protected areas, the government and the people of Seychelles are demonstrating that strong growth and strong ocean protection are not mutually exclusive – in the face of a changing climate, they are both essential.