Oceans 5 supports an innovative project to develop a “debt for nature swap” that will establish large marine protected areas and a permanent trust fund for the people of the Seychelles.
The Seychelles is an archipelago nation of 115 islands in the Western Indian Ocean. Tourism and tuna are the foundation of its ocean-based economy. Climate change presents fundamental challenges to the islands and its people. Protecting the ecological integrity and resilience of the Seychelles is a top priority of the government and civil society.
The Nature Conservancy and the Seychelles-based Island Conservation Society are working closely with the government of President James Michel to protect and enhance the ocean resources of the Seychelles. If successful, this project will create the second largest marine reserve in the Indian Ocean and establish a trust fund for projects designed to enhance resilience to climate change. It will also substantially reduce the debt obligations of the government.
Funding from Oceans 5 will be used to engage civil society and to develop science-based strategies for marine conservation. Oceans 5 expects to provide funds for two years beginning in 2014 to support the project.