Seychelles

Location

Victoria
Seychelles
4° 37' 59.988" S, 55° 27' 0" E

Capital Based Focal Point:

Department of Environment Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources

Capital City: 
Victoria
Languages: 
French, English, Seychellois Creole
Category: Social
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Net enrollment ratio in primary education 93.90000000000001 94 94.90000000000001 99.5 MDG Database
Seats held by women in national parliament, percentage 23.5 23.5 23.5 29.4 29.4 29.4 29.4 29.4 23.5 23.5 23.5 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above) 91.84 91.84 World Bank
Category: Land
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Agricultural land (1000 Ha) 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 FAO
Forest area (sq km) 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 World Bank
Forest area (% of land area) 86.95999999999999 86.95999999999999 86.95999999999999 86.95999999999999 86.95999999999999 86.95999999999999 86.95999999999999 86.95999999999999 World Bank
Category: Tourism
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
International tourism receipts (% of total exports) 225 221 247 258 256 269 323 Development Data Group, The World Bank. 2008. 2008 World Development Indicators Online. Washington, DC: The World Bank. Available at: http://go.worldbank.org/U0FSM7AQ40.
Category: Demographics
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Country population 81,131 81,202 83,700 82,800 82,500 82,900 84,600 85,032 86,956 87,972.10000000000582 World Bank
Population annual growth 0.892659 0.0874745 3.02991 -1.08109 0.362977 0.483677 2.02992 0.509339 2.23746 1.16171 World Bank
Maternal mortality ratio (modeled estimate, per 100,000 live births) World Bank
Category: Indices
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
HDI - Human Development Index UNDP International Human Development Indicators - Calculated based on data from UNDESA (2009d), Barro and Lee (2010), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2010b), World Bank (2010b) and IMF(2010a).
Category: Economy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
GNI per capita, PPP (current international $) 15,340 15,690 14,540 14,710 14,940 16,560 18,160 19,960 18,890 16,790 World Bank
ODA received as % of GNI 3.1 2.19 1.22 1.53 1.56 1.75 1.48 1.04 1.58 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Workers remittances (current US$) 2,000,000 2,000,000 5,000,000 6,800,000 12,110,000 13,960,000 11,189,000 12,000,000 UN Data
Category: Energy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Electric power consumption (kWh) World Bank
Combustible renewables and waste (metric tons of oil equivalent) World Bank
Fossil fuel energy consumption (% of total) World Bank
Category: Climate Change and Sea-level Rise
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), thousand metric tons of CO2 (CDIAC) 565 642 543 557 774 697 744 623 MDG Database (CDIAC Data)
Category: Freshwater
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Improved water source (% of population with access) World Bank
Category: Biodiversity
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 0.92 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

In 2000, the Seychelles submitted its National Adaptation Programme of Action to the UNFCCC.

About 85% of human settlement and infrastructure in the Seychelles is located along the coast. A rise in sea level would result in the displacement of a large proportion of the population. This is complicated by the granatic slopes of the Seychelles being prone to landslides and erosion due to coastal flooding that is projected to increase with the effects of climate change. Coastline recession will also adversely affect infrastructure and biodiversity. Sea-level rise threatens the quantity and quality of water resources, as well as the viability of several low-lying coral islands and land clays that are at risk of disappearing. These effects of climate change and sea-level rise will have a strong economic impact, particularly on the tourism sector. The degradation of coral reefs would effectively destroy vital habitats for a wide variety of coastal and marine organisms, with dire socio-economic consequences both in the tourism and fishing sectors. The Seychelles is also an important destination for migratory birds and other species, whose migratory patterns could be seriously affected by changes in climate, sea level and fish stocks.

Initial national communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Prepared for the Conference of Parties (UNFCCC)

Natural and Environmental Disasters

In 2010, the Seychelles produced a report for the UNISDR on its progress towards implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action 2009-2010. 

The geographic location of the Seychelles means that the country is not in the direct line of tropical storms, but trade winds from May to October result in drier conditions, producing droughts which result in severe water shortages that affect agriculture and all other sectors of the economy. The effects of climate change and sea surface temperature rise may have the ability to spawn tropical cyclones, and may increase the occurrence of extreme events in the Seychelles. A feeder-band within an active convergence zone passing over Mahe can bring in winds gusting in excess of 50 knots (100 km/hr), with torrential rains causing flash floods. Storm tides and extreme wave action pose the greatest threat to tourism activities in low-lying coastal areas. Intense conventional storms can be localized, but the resulting flood wave can move rapidly down valleys resulting in coastal flooding and landslides. The interim Report on the Hyogo Programme of Action highlights the priority of ensuring that disaster risk reduction is implemented at both the national and local level, as well as the importance of a strong institutional basis for this implementation.

National progress report on the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (2009-2011) – interim (ISDR, 2010)
Initial national communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Prepared for the Conference of Parties (UNFCCC)

Waste Management

A regional initiative by UNEP-GEF called “Addressing land-based activities in the Western Indian Ocean” (WIO-Lab) has been implemented in the Seychelles. The institutional frameworks at the national level include the Environment Protection Act (EPA) 1994 and the Ministry of Environment.

Although the population growth rate of the Seychelles is relatively stable, the capacity of the Government in sectors such as housing and infrastructure, potable water and sanitation services, and solid waste management is currently stretched. One key challenge facing the urban planners of the Seychelles is raising sufficient capital to provide centralized services such as sewerage and solid waste management.  Initiatives such as composting to reduce solid waste and the banning of non-biodegradable plastic bags have been undertaken in the Seychelles. The need to turn waste into a resource due to land restrictions has also been recognized.

Human Settlement Country Profile: Seychelles 2004 (UNDESA)
AIMS Regional Synthesis report for the Five-Year Review of the Mauritius Strategy for Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of SIDS (MSI+5)

Coastal and Marine Resources

In 2010, the Seychelles presented their Third National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Seychelles has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 1.3 million square kilometres, compared with a terrestrial area of 453 square kilometres. However, marine biodiversity is not studied to the same degree as terrestrial biodiversity, despite the natural resource asset it provides the country. Given that fishing and tourism are two key economic sectors of the Seychelles, there is a strong reliance on coastal and marine resources for livelihoods and national income. Because of its exceptionally large EEZ, the Seychelles is a world leader in the transshipment of tuna fish and its products. Considerable income is generated by foreign fishing vessel licensing, and by supplies and services for those ships. The fishing sector is also the country’s largest employer. Artisanal fishing is comprised of boats that range from offshore fishing along reef areas to larger vessels that range 200 miles from land.

Coastal and marine areas in the Seychelles are vulnerable to human-generated sources of pollution. Polluted runoff, sediment and waste detrimentally affect the ecological function of the Seychelles wetlands, primarily due to development pressure and over-exploitation of wood production. A wetlands unit exists within the Department of Environment to oversee the maintenance of wetlands and the EIA section ensures protection of designated wetlands from development.

Third National Report to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD);
Initial national communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Prepared for the Conference of Parties (UNFCCC)

Freshwater Resources

In 2010, the Seychelles presented their Third National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Despite the plentiful rainfall the islands receive annually, 98% is lost through run-off and evapo-transpiration, primarily due to the steepness and length of the catchments. Only 2% is left as infiltration to feed the streams and groundwater. Because of the high run-off and seasonality of the rainfall, the country experiences water shortages during the dry months of the year. The Seychelles has a per capita (including tourists) water consumption of 140 liters/day (l/d) with an increasing demand in the domestic, tourism, industrial and commercial, and government sectors. During drought times, the facilities at the two main dams, La Gogue and Rochon, are inadequate to meet the demand, resulting in the need for water rationing.

Inland water biodiversity is of high importance in the Seychelles due primarily to the need to maintain catchment areas. Rivers are protected under the State Land and River Reserves Act. Planning requirements dictate the placing of soak-aways not less than 16 meters from a water course. These measures are aimed at protecting inland water from pollution in order to reduce the loss of inland water biodiversity. Due to topography, costs, and the importance of conservation, possibilities for construction of adequate dams and other water capture infrastructure are limited.

Third National Report to the Convention of Biological Diversity (NBSAP)

Land Resources

In 2010, the Seychelles presented their Third National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Additionally, the Seychelles Government is preparing a Land Use Plan. Sustainable development is pursued through a 10-year National Environmental Management Plan, with a new one covering 2011-2020 currently being formulated.

Development pressure is a significant threat to biodiversity in the Seychelles, with tension between agricultural, conservation and development use of land. In view of the limited availability of land in the country, technologies are being explored to maximize productivity of existing agricultural land, rather than allocating more virgin land to agriculture. Currently, 47% of land is under conservation (mainly the medium-to-high altitude forests), which is intended to reduce the impact of agriculture on biodiversity in accordance with the strategic plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), although availability of financial resources is a significant constraint. Agriculture in the Seychelles is not industrialized to a great extent. The country relies on imports for most of its produce, but is placing a greater emphasis on increasing local food production and security.

A Sustainable Land Management Project is being developed to prevent and mitigate the negative impact of threats to mountain biodiversity. The project includes the development of guidelines, protocols and toolkits capturing best practices in sustainable land management, fire prevention and control, and land risk zoning included in a Land Use Plan. A mountainous terrain and low soil-fertility severely constrains agricultural productivity and results in little consumptive use of mountain biodiversity. Agriculture and forestry account for about 4% of GDP. It has been estimated that the Seychelles has a total of 6000 hectares of potential agricultural land of which only about 600 hectares are under arable agriculture. Woody plants are harvested on a commercial basis from forested areas, regulated by the Department of Environment.

Third National Report to the Convention of Biological Diversity (NBSAP)
Human Settlement Country Profile: Seychelles (UNDESA)

Energy Resources

Recently, the National Assembly passed the Seychelles Energy Commission Act 2010. At the regional level, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is preparing a SADC Renewable Energy Strategy and Action Plan (2011) to address energy use in the region. The country is also initiating the development of a new Energy Policy which will address issues of alternative energy sources to reduce the Seychelles’ absolute dependence on imported fuel.

Like other oil-importing countries, the Seychelles is vulnerable to oil price fluctuations. An energy policy has been in place since 1999, with a focus on exploring economically viable and financially sustainable forms of energy. Due to increases in tourism and fisheries development, the energy demand increased from 58,000 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) in 1988 to 102,000 toe in 1994. The energy sector is dominated by the importation of petroleum products, which makes up about 95% of the primary energy supply. The transport sector is the largest consumer of petroleum products after electricity generation. Importation of fuel costs 10% of GDP and can be higher during periods of high oil prices. However, the re-export of fuel to foreign vessels and aircraft, which accounts for 60% to 75 % of the total amount of imported petroleum, has so far been a profitable market. The Seychelles Petroleum Company (SEPEC) is the sole importer of petroleum products. The Seychelles Government has used taxes, tariffs, subsidies and public awareness programs to promote a reduction in energy consumption in residential, commercial and institutional buildings, as well as in the transport and energy supply sectors.

Initial national communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Prepared for the Conference of Parties (UNFCCC)
WSSD Country Profile: Seychelles 2002

Tourism Resources

The Seychelles Government has released Strategy 2017: Creating Our Nation’s Wealth Together, a strategy that aims to double the country’s GDP by 2017, highlighting the importance of tourism in achieving this. The Seychelles Eco-Tourism Strategy for the 21st Century (SETS-21) was introduced in 2003 and is currently being implemented.

The tourism sector is the largest contributor to GDP, but, like the other important sector of fisheries, it is heavily reliant on the quality of the environment to support it. Before independence in 1976, the Seychelles was operating at the subsistence level. Since then, incomes have risen roughly by a factor of 10. This primarily is due to the tourism industry, which provides 70% of the foreign exchange and contributes about 17% to GNP. Most tourists are from Europe (France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Ireland); the average stay is 9.7 nights. Tourism is expected to increase over the next decade, and presents the country with an excellent growth opportunity. Seychelles specializes in high-endtourism, but will also target a broader clientele, offering new discovery tours in eco-tourism and Creole living. However, any increase in tourism also increases the pressure on the environment through infrastructure development, pollution and increased human traffic.

Initial national communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Prepared for the Conference of Parties (UNFCCC)

Biodiversity Resources

In 2010, the Seychelles presented their Third National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity. All sustainable development policy in the Seychelles is guided by the National Environmental Management Plan. The previous Plan covered 2000-2010, and a new management plan is currently being formulated.

Since the establishment of the first permanent human settlement in 1770, the native forests of the Seychelles have undergone dramatic structural changes. Many of these changes are due to anthropogenic causes, such as exploitation of forest resources leading to habitat destruction, forest fires, invasive alien species, over-exploitation of certain species (ex. Coco de Mer, Lodoicea maldivica) and unsustainable agricultural practices. There is limited unsustainable consumption of terrestrial biological resources in the Seychelles, and so there is a lack of clear measures integrated in national plans and strategies. The targets that exist relate to marine resources, which are especially at risk of overexploitation.

The Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) is mandated with the monitoring of fisheries and has in place specific species management controls such as quotas, permits and seasonal restrictions for the harvesting of such species as sea cucumber and lobster. Added to this, the SFA has introduced selective harvesting of sooty tern eggs, and created non-harvesting areas.

Development is increasingly being carried out in the mountains as coastal areas become increasingly scarce and expensive. The Government has been implementing a no-development policy above the 50 m contour line on the island of Praslin (the second largest granitic island), which effectively preserves forest biodiversity. Overall, the Seychelles currently has 47% of its total land area under legal protection. There are approximately 250 indigenous floral species, of which 54 (or almost 21%) are now considered threatened. The richest area of endemic species is the mountain mists forests (>500m above sea level), with 85% of native species found in this area.

Third National Report to the Convention of Biological Diversity (NBSAP)
Country Strategies: 
Title Programme Name Programme Description Year
UNFCCC Nat Comm - Seychelles Initial national communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Prepared for the Conference of Parties Strategy Description 2000
NBSAP - Seychelles Third National Report to the Convention of Biological Diversity Strategy Description 2010
NSDS - Seychelles
Bill | 18 Jul 2013
17-19 July 2013 | Baie Lazare, Seychelles Highlights for Wednesday, 17 July 2013 The AIMS (Atlantic, Indian, Mediterranean and South China Sea) Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) convened on Wednesday, 17 July, in Baie Lazare, Seychelles. After opening remarks from Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy, Seychelles, Amb. Marlene Moses, Chair, Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Wu Hongbo, UN Under-...
Bill | 05 Nov 2012
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) around the world face unique challenges in the context of sustainable development, including vulnerabilities to climate change such as a rise in sea-levels. “If we don’t address climate change, islands may not exist,” said the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, in an exclusive interview with DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development. Discussing different challenges that SIDS face to implement...
Bill | 05 Nov 2012
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) around the world face unique challenges in the context of sustainable development, including vulnerabilities to climate change such as a rise in sea-levels. “If we don’t address climate change, islands may not exist,” said the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, in an exclusive interview with DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development. Discussing different challenges that SIDS face to implement...
External Resources: 
Title Programme Description Year
SeyGov: Seychelles main government portal
State House: Office of the President of the Republic of the Seychelles
Central Bank of Seychelles
Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA)
Seychelles Investment Bureau