Blue Ocean Solutions for Climate Resilience and Accelerated Development – Businesses
– The 115 islands of the Seychelles are an exotic ocean ecosystem of beaches, coral reefs and unique plant and animal species. Concerned about the impacts of climate change, the country is committed to decarbonising by 2050.
As climate change threatens food security, livelihoods, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, countries with blue carbon coastal ecosystems are increasingly looking to the ocean for trade and change solutions. climate.
Angelique Pouponneau, CEO, Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust, specifies for these countries, âthe blue economy, sectors dependent on healthy marine and coastal resources, is at the heart of their update Nationally determined contribution (NDC) submissions.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries review their NDCs every five years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the rise in Earth’s temperature and commit to implementing solutions to adapt to the effects of climate change.
Seychelles has made the most ambitious commitment in its NDC to fully decarbonize its economy by 2050, making it one of the few developing countries to do so.
âSeychelles has developed a national roadmap for the blue economy based on the identification of sectors of the blue economy that can generate wealth and sustainable management of marine resources. Priority areas include aquaculture to help build the resilience of local communities and accelerate sustainable development, âPouponneau said in an interview with IPS, adding that sustainable fishing and the creation of ocean businesses are critical to the success of this project. Indian Ocean archipelago.
âBuilding ocean-based businesses, providing a regulatory framework for sustainable businesses and funding research and development activities are the three pillars of the blue economy roadmap. “
Seychelles launched the world’s first sovereign blue bond in 2018. The blue bond, according to Pouponneau, is an innovative financial tool to support sustainable marine and fisheries start-ups and SMEs and the key to unlocking sustainable ocean-based businesses.
According to the Seychelles government, the bond is a pioneering financial instrument that has raised US $ 15 million from international investors. The success of the bond demonstrates the potential of countries to tap capital markets to finance the sustainable use of marine resources.
Likewise, as part of Nature Conservancy’s Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation program, Belize has signed a Conservation Funding Agreement, also known as the Blue Bond.
âOur Blue Bond is similar to that of the Seychelles. However, Belize’s is larger and has a more comprehensive set of objectives, âBeverly Wade, policy and planning adviser at the Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, told IPS.
âThe bond establishes a conservation fund of $ 180 million, accessible over 20 years, to support the implementation of coastal and marine conservation projects by government and non-government partners.
Wade, a representative of the Belize National Committee on Climate Change, said the ministry was finalizing the blue economy framework for the South American country.
âThis is a five-year multisectoral policy, strategy and plan. Belize is one of the countries in the Mesoamerican Reef region involved in the Smart Coasts project which promotes ecosystem-based adaptation and climate intelligence of marine protected areas and coastal development plans, âhe said. she told IPS.
Belize, a leader in marine spatial planning and habitat mapping, updated the marine habitat map by processing satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to classify critical marine habitats such as seagrass beds and corals.
The Blue Bond, she said, will facilitate the completion of a comprehensive marine space plan (MSP) for all of Belize’s blue space, an urban design term for visible water.
A total of 163 nations submitted their NDCs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as part of the NDC partnership.
The NDC partnership is a global initiative to help countries meet their national climate commitments through financial and technical assistance through the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP).
The Partnership assists countries with coastal blue carbon ecosystems to âimprove quality, increase ambition and implement NDCs, every five years since the submission of the first round of NDCs in 2016. With a footprint in 62 member countries and nine institutional partners since October 2017, the NDC Partnership has considerable experience, resources and expertise to ensure that countries meet the NDC goals.
This support is timely and essential. World Bank data shows the global ocean economy is estimated at $ 1.5 trillion per year. About 80 percent of the volume of international trade is transported by sea, and an estimated 350 million jobs worldwide are linked to fishing.
The report, NDCs-A Force for Nature? Notes that 105 of the 114 updated CDNs submitted by October 12, 2021 included nature-based solutions in their roadmap to limit global warming.
Through CAEP, launched in 2019 with technical and financial support from 46 partners, the NDC Partnership is currently helping 67 countries submit enhanced NDCs and accelerate their implementation.
CAEP aims to catalyze change towards resilient, sustainable and low-emission development, by supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement for member countries of the NDC Partnership. It also helps developing member countries to improve NDCs and accelerate their implementation, including providing technical expertise and capacity building in the country.
NDC’s political commitment, according to Pouponneau, is a “strong, realistic, measurable and achievable benchmark against which Seychelles assesses its progress towards climate change resilience and sustainable development.”
âNDCs are a tool for planning, financing, resource mobilization and accountability. And there is a grassroots commitment at the international level to achieve the goals set. “
Wade agrees. She explains that through the process of updating the NDC, the National Climate Change Office, with support from the World Wildlife Fund and PEW Charitable Trusts, a national blue carbon working group has been established.
âThe group oversaw the research activities carried out in support of setting realistic mangrove mitigation and adaptation targets for the updated NDC,â she said.
âThe NDC also identifies concrete and targeted actions to meet these obligations. And provides space to bring together planned and ongoing activities of existing national strategies as well as plans for the achievement of goals.
Local communities and most of Seychelles’ urban and infrastructure areas are concentrated next to the shore; therefore, the country’s economic activity is based on the sustainable management of marine resources.
âThe main challenge of the blue economy is the lack of understanding between the use of ocean resources, resilience to climate change and sustainable development. There is a need to educate local communities on why it is not as usual anymore, âsaid Pouponneau. âThis education will go hand in hand with financial incentives to help local communities use ocean resources sustainably. “