Seychelles coastal resilience initiative

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Did you know that a major share of infrastructure, population and economic activities in Seychelles is located in a small strip of coastal zone that is vulnerable to climate risks?  

Seychelles’ coastline is currently being eroded and has in the past, been affected by the 2004 tsunami, and several tropical storms.  As these hazards continue to threaten a large share of the infrastructure and economic activities on the islands, critical infrastructure such as main access roads, urban areas and tourism facilities have been put at risk. 

Furthermore, repeated coral bleaching events have caused a loss of about 90% of coral cover on Seychelles’ reefs since the 1990s. Coral mortality has changed the shape of reefs, leading to more waves reaching the shore and increased erosion of beaches, processes that are enhanced by sea-level rise. In the absence of a coastal planning framework, ad hoc solutions were applied to manage these risks. In several places across the archipelago, rock armoring was placed on the beaches to prevent erosion, leading to a drop in scenic beach quality and a loss of tourism revenue. 

So how has The World Bank helped?

Together with the Seychelles Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate, we developed the country’s first Coastal Management Plan (CMP), which was officially endorsed by the Cabinet on May 30, 2019. In the plan, a holistic set of priorities for coastal management including monitoring and research, coastal protection infrastructure, nature-based solutions, risk-based spatial planning, and capacity needs are listed. 

Furthermore, we’ve also been leading a study on the climate resilience of Seychelles’ Solid Waste Management infrastructure. The efforts are in line with the wider Blue Economy dialogue which started with the issuance of the world’s first sovereign Blue Bond, the proceeds from which will support the expansions of Marine protected areas and the development of the blue economy. 

Seychelles also signed the first loan with a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option in Africa (Cat DDO), an instrument that provides much-needed financial relief in case of a disaster. 

Authors

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez

Former Regional Director, Africa, Sustainable Development Practice Group

Brenden Jongman

Disaster Risk Management Specialist Urban, Resilience and Land Global Practice

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