The Seychelles consists of an archipelago of over 115 diverse islands, both granitic and coralline, some extending over 1,000 kilometres from Mahé, the largest island . The archipelago has a total land area of 45,500 hectares. In 2010, the population of Seychelles was around 88,113; 90% of people and development are located on the coastal plateaux, with 87% of the population on Mahé.
The SARUA Climate Change Counts in Seychelles workshop was held on 4-5 September 2013 with the contribution of the University of Seychelles.
The chief guests at the opening of the workshop were Mr Wills Agricole, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Energy; Mrs Marina Confait, Vice Chancellor of the University of Seychelles; and Dr Sherley Marie, Dean of Faculty of Sciences.
Mrs Confait emphasised that the SARUA mapping study and five year programme would allow identification of opportunities for enhanced collaboration and knowledge co-production. She underlined that Seychelles was pleased to also participate as it could also benefits from expanding regional networks in terms of academic development, research and future investment for climate compatible development.She also pointed that the University of Seychelles (UniSey) was currently offering two Degree programmes related to climate change and has been collaborating with SARUA.
In the identification of other knowledge partners, a few points that emerged from buzz group discussions included:
- Training is needed at all levels;
- In teacher education at B.Ed levels, there are 2 Environment and Sustainability Education core modules, with a chapter on Climate Change. There is a need to mainstream CCD in all Bachelor programmes;
- More opportunities are needed for local students to do internships and get more exposure, in particular enhancing partnerships between universities and local actors.
After one and a half days’ hard work, Adv. Johan Naudé outlined HEMA’s appreciation to the support and warm reception they have received from the University of Seychelles. He declared that the workshop was a success and that the objectives aimed were met.
In his closing speech, Mr Wills Agricole, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Energy thanked SARUA, UniSey and the facilitators for their assistance in this workshop. He underscored that the multilateral spirit of cooperation is intact and strong in SADC and the outcomes reached at the end of this workshop will be crucial for the flourishing of a network. He emphasized that it is only by working together and collaborating with one another that SADC countries can accomplish the aspirations that they cannot achieve unconnectedly. He underlined that this one and a half day workshop was a unique opportunity to foster discussions and share experiences about the use of CCD as a tool in Seychelles for all the sectors as it forms part of a comprehensive mitigation, adaptation and cost benefits development strategy for all stakeholders. He pointed out that it was important to raise awareness on the five building clocks in the climate change negotiations: mitigation, adaptation, finance, technological transfer and capacity-building.