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Develop a marine spatial plan for Seychelles' Exclusive Economic Zone
by Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (Government)
The Seychelles Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Initiative is a process focused on planning for and management of the sustainable and long-term use and health of the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The EEZ encompasses 1,374,000 km2 of ocean and 115 islands. The MSP Initiative is a Government-led process, with planning and facilitation managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and TNC Canada in partnership with Government of Seychelles UNDP GEF Programme Coordinating Unit (PCU). Funding for the MSP is being provided to Government of Seychelles and The Nature Conservancy through a number of private grants, and the MSP is connected to the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust, SeyCCAT.

Seychelles is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Indian Ocean, and the MSP is a significant commitment by Seychelles to reaching SDG Goal 14 and its components. The Seychelles MSP began in 2014 and will be completed in 2020.The MSP Initiative is an integrated, multi-sector process that is using an ecosystem-based framework to improve ocean management in Seychelles and address three main objectives: expand marine protected areas from 0.04 percent to 30 percent of the EEZ (from 550 km to 400,000 km2), to develop the Blue Economy, and to address climate change adaptation. The process includes input from all major sectors including commercial fishing, tourism and marine charters, biodiversity conservation, renewable energy, port authority, maritime safety, and non-renewable resources in order to develop a comprehensive marine plan and zoning design for existing and future uses of the ocean in Seychelles. The MSP will be implemented and be regulatory upon completion by developing a new Seychelles MSP Policy, an implementation plan, governance and legal frameworks supported by management plans, legislation and regulations.

The marine spatial plan aims to improve vital parts of life in the Seychellescare of marine resources for conservation and sustainable uses; integrated decision-making for development and permitting; security for local livelihoods; and planning for future generations.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): Plastic pollution
  • Coastal clean-ups:
  • Management of ship-based pollution and/or port waste management
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
  • By 2020, Seychelles will complete an integrated marine spatial plan to expand marine protected areas to 30% of the EEZ, address climate change adaptation and support development of the Blue Economy.
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Coastal carbon sinks/blue carbon
  • CO2 emission reductions (energy efficiency, renewable energy, etc.)
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
  • By 2020, Seychelles will develop a marine spatial plan that will include zoning that incorporates blue carbon and supports Seychelles' national targets for reducing CO2 emissions and increasing renewable energy.
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Reduction and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
  • Reduction of fisheries by-catch and product waste/losses
  • Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
  • By 2020, Seychelles will identify 15% of the exclusive zone (~200,000 km2) for medium biodiversity and sustainable use zones, improving fisheries management.
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
  • By 2020, Seychelles will conserve 30% of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international laws, and based on best available scientific and socio-economic information, local knowledge and stakeholder participation and input.
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
Type of commitment
  • information relating to harmful subsidies
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
  • Economic benefits from marine renewable energy
  • Economic benefits from marine biotechnology
  • By 2020, Seychelles will complete a marine spatial plan that will assess the socio-economic benefit of the plan to marine sectors.
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
  • By 2017, Seychelles will have a coastal and marine spatial data catalogue and Marine Spatial Plan Atlas to share knowledge about the marine biodiversity and economic resource use.
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Legal/policy/institutional measures
  • Access to coastal fishing grounds
  • Access and capacity building for eco-labelling and traceability systems
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
  • By 2020, Seychelles will complete a Marine Spatial Plan Policy and Legislation to support expanded marine protected areas, sustainable use zones and economic development within the Seychelles EEZ.
December 2020
Phase 2: 200,000 km2 of marine protected areas in High Biodiversity and Medium Biodiversity - Sustainable Use Zones, plus remaining EEZ in Multiple Use Economic Zones
December 2020
Seychelles National Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Policy and Legislation
December 2020
Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) Implementation Plan and Governance Arrangements
June 2018
Phase 1: 200,000 km2 of marine protected areas identified for High Biodiversity and Medium Biodiversity - Sustainable Use Zones
In-kind contribution
$400,000 per year financing from The Nature Conservancy
Staff / Technical expertise
MSP Executive Committee (16 members); MSP Steering Committee (22 members); Technical Working Groups (40+ members); government staff; NGOs, marine sectors
Other, please specify
Partnership and synergies with ongoing GOS-UNDP-GEF, World Bank projects, EU projects, and others
Staff / Technical expertise
The Nature Conservancy staff and consultants
Basic information
Time-frame: February 2014 - December 2020
Office of the Vice-President (government), Department of Blue Economy (government), Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (government), Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (government), Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine (government), Seychelles Fishing Authority (government), Seychelles National Park Authority (government), Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (government), Seychelles Coast Guard (government), PetroSeychelles (government), Island Development Corporation (government), The Nature Conservancy (NGO partner), TNC Canada (NGO partner), Government of Seychelles - United Nations Development Programme - Global Environment Facility (government NGO), and many others.
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Alain de Comarmond, Principal Secretary Environment, adecommarmond@gov.sc, +248 4670512
Mont Fleuri, Mah, Seychelles
Other SDGs
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