Seychelles and the Sustainable Development Goals
I was at the first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 where Sustainable Development was hailed by the world community as the silver bullet to solve society’s ills. But somehow Sustainable Development emerged as a construct with a largely terrestrial focus. I also attended the second Earth Summit, Rio+10, in South Africa where the movement to set up Green Economies mysteriously avoided speaking substantively about the oceans, despite our best efforts. Small Island Developing States (SIDS), sitting on small pieces of land seemingly “sea-locked” within large ocean territories, struggled with this concept of the Green Economy. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were launched in 2001 compounded the problem as they were implemented largely using a land-based optic.
Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah, Chief Executive of Nature Seychelles said these words at the end of President’s James Michel’s State Visit to India last week. Shah was part of the President’s delegation in the whirlwind tour to New Delhi and Mumbai as the country’s Special Envoy for Environment and Climate Change. “Seychelles and India have a common front yard- the Indian Ocean. So it’s a no-brainer that we should seek more than just good neighborly ties with this scientifically advanced and economically dynamic nation,” he stated.
Professor Jane Lubchenco, the first ever US Oceans Envoy and Ambassador Sharon Villarosa together with 3 members of their staff, paid a visit to Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers Project and Cousin Island Special Reserve last week. The delegation was accompanied by Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah, Nature Seychelles CEO and travelled from Mahe to Praslin where they met with Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team then to Cousin Island Special Reserve for an island tour.