A six-year United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project, to be implemented in Mauritius and Seychelles, was launched on Thursday, through video conference, in Ebène, Mauritius, the Mauritian Government Information Services (GIS) has reported.
According to the Seychelles Minister of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Mr Flavien Joubert, who launched the project, the six-year project is being funded to the tune of US$9 million by the Adaptation Fund Board established under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Mr Joubert said the project comes at the right time to enable both countries to fight the consequences of climate change.
Each country will receive US$2.5 million for the establishment of coral farming and nursery facilities, and active restoration of degraded reefs.
It aims at reducing the impact of climate change on local communities and coral reef-dependent economic sectors in Mauritius and Seychelles by implementing coral reef restoration with thermal tolerant corals as adaptation to climate change.
From the Mauritian side, the Senior Chief Executive of the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Virendra Kumarsingh Daby, said that Mauritius will greatly gain from this project as the live coral cover remaining around the island is only 20%.
These benefits comprise infrastructural upgrade through the setting up of sea-based and land-based coral farms and restoration of ecosystem services through the rehabilitation of the Blue Bay Marine Park in Mauritius and the South East Marine Protected Area in Rodrigues.
Others are socio-economic advancement through the active participation of coastal communities throughout the project and capacity building of stakeholders through training in novel techniques and regular regional exchanges between experts.
For her part, the UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles, Ms Amanda K. Serumaga, said that the project will provide for the setting up of a Regional Scientific Advisory Committee, “a platform for knowledge management and sharing, training, and sensitisation, with a view to building regional capacity for sustainable reef restoration”.
Edited By: Vincent Obi