Foreword

Amanda Serumaga
Resident Representative
UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles

Foreword

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seychelles registered impressive progress in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling the economy to rebound strongly from the severe contraction in 2020. This enabled early recovery of the tourism sector and progress in the restoration of the macroeconomic stability accompanied by the commitment from the new Government to implement a structural reform agenda. 

During the first week of January 2021, the first cases of COVID-19 cases in the community surged by more than 36%, with the first fatality recorded on 3rd January. In response to the resurgence, Seychelles began its vaccination campaign on the 10th of January. By the end of January 2021, nearly 30,000 individuals (~30% of the population) had received at least one dose of vaccine and as of 31 December 2021, 78,263 persons had been fully vaccinated, representing nearly 80 percent of the total population. 

In parallel to the vaccination campaign, the Government also indicated their ambitions to open the country for tourism and to rescind the social welfare measures in place by April 2021, to boost economic recovery. By March 2021, the country had fully opened for tourism but by May 2021, despite the high rate of vaccinations, a surge of infections prompted the authorities to impose new sanitary restrictions and extend school closures again. Tourism remained open, except for visitors from South-East Asia, and later restrictions on Southern Africa. Consequently, the pandemic resurgence worsened the country’s debt to a GDP ratio estimated at 81.2 by the end of 2021, undoing a decade of fiscal discipline and macroeconomic reforms. Furthermore, the overall impact on supply chains resulted in vulnerable households struggling to meet the cost of living. 

Amidst these challenges, the Government has set out an ambitious agenda to steer the economy towards a sustainable path of recovery by implementing several interventions. Critical to this agenda is a comprehensive public sector reform aimed at enhancing the efficiency of public institutions and reducing resource wastage. There is also commitment to promote the private sector as part of the economic diversification agenda. Achieving these aims requires strengthening platforms for engagement, and articulation of priority areas that can leverage private capital of public-private partnerships. The Government is also advancing a digitalization agenda aimed at establishing efficiency in the public and private sector to reduce the cost of doing business. 

Alongside the objective to deliver on economic recovery is growing discourse on the climate related vulnerabilities of Seychelles as a Small Island Developing State that could impede progress across various sectors. As Seychelles prepared for COP26, the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan, voiced his concern, requesting that partners move to action on the promises made under the Paris Agreement. 

The United Nations Development Programme, while constrained in its capacity to engage in programming under challenging working conditions, invested in supporting the economic recovery agenda in Seychelles. We aimed to diversify our portfolio beyond climate mitigation and adaptation to include public sector transformation for digitalisation and strengthening private sector engagement. We remain committed to continued collaboration with the Government of Seychelles to support development programming.

Amanda Serumaga
Resident Representative
UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seychelles registered impressive progress in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling the economy to rebound strongly from the severe contraction in 2020. This enabled early recovery of the tourism sector and progress in the restoration of the macroeconomic stability accompanied by the commitment from the new Government to implement a structural reform agenda. 

During the first week of January 2021, the first cases of COVID-19 cases in the community surged by more than 36%, with the first fatality recorded on 3rd January. In response to the resurgence, Seychelles began its vaccination campaign on the 10th of January. By the end of January 2021, nearly 30,000 individuals (~30% of the population) had received at least one dose of vaccine and as of 31 December 2021, 78,263 persons had been fully vaccinated, representing nearly 80 percent of the total population. 

In parallel to the vaccination campaign, the Government also indicated their ambitions to open the country for tourism and to rescind the social welfare measures in place by April 2021, to boost economic recovery. By March 2021, the country had fully opened for tourism but by May 2021, despite the high rate of vaccinations, a surge of infections prompted the authorities to impose new sanitary restrictions and extend school closures again. Tourism remained open, except for visitors from South-East Asia, and later restrictions on Southern Africa. Consequently, the pandemic resurgence worsened the country’s debt to a GDP ratio estimated at 81.2 by the end of 2021, undoing a decade of fiscal discipline and macroeconomic reforms. Furthermore, the overall impact on supply chains resulted in vulnerable households struggling to meet the cost of living. 

Amidst these challenges, the Government has set out an ambitious agenda to steer the economy towards a sustainable path of recovery by implementing several interventions. Critical to this agenda is a comprehensive public sector reform aimed at enhancing the efficiency of public institutions and reducing resource wastage. There is also commitment to promote the private sector as part of the economic diversification agenda. Achieving these aims requires strengthening platforms for engagement, and articulation of priority areas that can leverage private capital of public-private partnerships. The Government is also advancing a digitalization agenda aimed at establishing efficiency in the public and private sector to reduce the cost of doing business. 

Alongside the objective to deliver on economic recovery is growing discourse on the climate related vulnerabilities of Seychelles as a Small Island Developing State that could impede progress across various sectors. As Seychelles prepared for COP26, the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan, voiced his concern, requesting that partners move to action on the promises made under the Paris Agreement. 

The United Nations Development Programme, while constrained in its capacity to engage in programming under challenging working conditions, invested in supporting the economic recovery agenda in Seychelles. We aimed to diversify our portfolio beyond climate mitigation and adaptation to include public sector transformation for digitalisation and strengthening private sector engagement. We remain committed to continued collaboration with the Government of Seychelles to support development programming.

Key Results/Highlights

2021 was a year that tested the national health systems and the efficacy of vaccines, and impacted business continuity in the Seychelles. There was also need to support economic recovery despite continued disruptions caused by COVID-19 and its variants. The UNDP played a key supporting role working with the Government of Seychelles to address priorities and to amplify advocacy around SIDS vulnerabilities caused by climate change and the unprecedented external shocks brought about by the pandemic. 

The Government, elected in October 2020, began extensive restructuring of public institutions. These changes made it imperative for the UNDP to remain agile and engage at the highest level to strengthen continued partnership and buy-in for existing programmatic interventions. 

Despite disruptions and challenges brought on by COVID-19, the UNDP over-saw the successful completion of several projects and supported the Government in raising its ambitions to tackle climate change at COP26 through the Climate Promise Initiative. As countries prepared for climate change negotiations in Glasgow, the Seychelles continued to prioritize adaptation and mitigation techniques towards securing resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems through a mix of hard engineering solutions and nature-based solutions. Building on the 30 percent designation of the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as Marine Protected Areas, interventions on Coral Reef restoration began in designated marine parks. 

The Country Office initiated high level engagements to expand its programme beyond the environment portfolio to facilitate the country’s socio-economic transformation agenda and set the stage for the new Country Programme Document (CPD) 2024 – 2028 cycle. The UNDP started the implementation of a digitalization project with the aim to achieve two main results in line with the UNDP Digital Strategy. First, e-procurement systems will be established to ease government processes and enhance transparency. Second, the UNDP began work towards supporting business continuity in ministries and departments to enable the public sector to continue providing public services in times of crises. 

The preparation of a discussion paper on strategies for private sector engagement followed a widely consultative process that involved Government and private sector. Based on the recommendations of this highly acclaimed paper, a partnership has been established to develop an SDG Investor Map for Seychelles in order to attract private sector in priority areas of government. In addition, the Tax Inspectors Without Borders initiative was launched with the aim to enhance domestic resource mobilization efforts in the country and thereby reduce the debt burden by increasing domestic tax recovery.

 

Towards Agenda 2030

The UNDP Seychelles Office also continued its programmatic delivery on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), with emphasis on SDG 13 – Climate Action, SDG 14 – Life below Water and SDG 15 – Life on Land. The implementation of programmes also integrated gender analysis and dynamics, ensuring equal participation and benefit for men and women. 

The update and mainstreaming of gender in the NDCs, along with the development of the Citizens Charter for Climate Action, promotes the mainstreaming of additional SDGs such as SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG 5 – Gender Equality; and SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy. The NDC reviewed various sectors and their impacts, and identified partnerships, aligned with SDG17 – Partnerships for the Goals.

The UNDP also launched its Accelerator Lab in April 2021 and recently recruited UN Community volunteers to undertake a mapping exercise and bring together innovators and their grassroots innovations from within the community. They will also help identify potential areas for integrated policy and programme support for the coming year. The UNDP Country Office in Seychelles also partnered with the Government to attract private capital to investment in areas with high acceleration potential for the SDGs, through the SDG Investor Map. This engagement will be completed in the first half of 2022.

 

Towards Agenda 2030

The UNDP Seychelles Office also continued its programmatic delivery on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), with emphasis on SDG 13 – Climate Action, SDG 14 – Life below Water and SDG 15 – Life on Land. The implementation of programmes also integrated gender analysis and dynamics, ensuring equal participation and benefit for men and women. 

The update and mainstreaming of gender in the NDCs, along with the development of the Citizens Charter for Climate Action, promotes the mainstreaming of additional SDGs such as SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG 5 – Gender Equality; and SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy. The NDC reviewed various sectors and their impacts, and identified partnerships, aligned with SDG17 – Partnerships for the Goals.

The UNDP also launched its Accelerator Lab in April 2021 and recently recruited UN Community volunteers to undertake a mapping exercise and bring together innovators and their grassroots innovations from within the community. They will also help identify potential areas for integrated policy and programme support for the coming year. The UNDP Country Office in Seychelles also partnered with the Government to attract private capital to investment in areas with high acceleration potential for the SDGs, through the SDG Investor Map. This engagement will be completed in the first half of 2022.

Signature Solutions

Signature Solutions are integrated responses to development challenges against which we align our resources and expertise, to make real impact.

The Country Programme Results

Inclusive development, gender equality and social protection, and public sector efficiency

The Country Programme Results

In preparation for COP26, the UNDP facilitated the Government of Seychelles to submit its updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to combat the impacts of climate change through coastal adaptation, and to build on the momentum as champions of the Blue Economy with an enormous potential towards climate action and economic recovery. At programme level, through the implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation and the building of coastal community resilience through hard engineering, the UNDP has also continued to bring innovative adaptation approaches to support the community. 

Investment in coral restoration in the national marine parks has also been sustained. In addition, support was provided to develop a project to prioritize the Blue Economy as a pillar for economic recovery, while the farming community was supported to address issues of drought and food security by utilising an integrated whole-island approach building on lessons learned from nature-based solutions.

Besides the investments in the environment sector, the Country Office expanded its programming to include other socioeconomic development issues such as emerging priorities brought about by COVID-19. First, consultations with the private sector, Government ministries and departments were held to consider the role of the private sector in the diversification of the economy. The resulting discussion paper provided pertinent recommendations that informed the scope of UNDP engagement in 2022. Second, the UNDP supported efforts to expand fiscal space through domestic resource mobilization by launching the Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) initiative, aimed at recovering lost tax revenues from the private sector. Government restructuring plans to move towards a cashless economy and to support the implementation of the national digital strategy has set the stage for a transition to e-governance systems and to business continuity schemes during crises.

Enabling public institutions to develop, monitor and evaluate policies programmes and legislation relevant to poverty reduction

Enabling public institutions to develop, monitor and evaluate policies programmes and legislation relevant to poverty reduction

The UNDP remains a committed development partner and is well positioned to support national priorities towards sustainable and inclusive growth and addressing vulnerabilities. The Country Office funded and prepared a discussion paper on empowering the private sector to drive diversification and economic recovery in a post pandemic scenario, exploring forward and backward linkages of sectors that would provide meaningful employment and build resilience to external shocks. 

The UNDP also initiated discussions with various government departments to further elaborate on policy measures for meaningful development of the private sector and embed digital solutions as a means towards inclusive development, poverty reduction and overall resilience of the economy. The Ministry of Investment, Entrepreneurship and Industry welcomed the support of UNDP in creating the SDG Investor Map and diversification investment opportunities to assist with long term recovery.

The contribution of the UNDP team, including the Senior Economist, was vital to drive the socio-economic impact assessment of COVID-19 in the Seychelles, and to explore the emergence of the private sector as a major driver of the country’s economic recovery. This work assisted in identifying gaps and new opportunities, and to enhance the performance of national actors in supporting inclusive growth, reducing inequalities, and alleviating poverty.

Private Sector Development

Within the context of expanding support to private sector development, the UNDP undertook extensive online consultations with actors in the public and private sector on mechanisms for empowering the private sector to diversify the economy of Seychelles. This engagement attracted the participation of more than 5 Ministers and several CEOs of public and private institutions, including major banks. The deliberations have shaped UNDP’s workstream for 2022, which includes supporting the preparation of the country’s SDG investor map to attract private capital.

Improving public services and other government functions though digitalization

The UNDP supported the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism to achieve business continuity through digital solutions. It provided equipment to facilitate remote working and digital archiving, and launched the tender to conduct a feasibility analysis for the establishment of e-procurement systems. Through these strategic initiatives, the UNDP was able to support the business continuity of key ministries and further explored the priorities of Government in transitioning towards a e-government.

Partnerships​

As there was extensive government restructuring in 2021, engagement at the highest level was imperative. The UNDP Country Office renewed its commitment to the Government through a multidisciplinary mission and built on partnerships to enhance capacities and coordination towards recovery. Continued engagement with the Government in a changing national context has been key to ensure that the momentum is maintained and key outputs are achieved. In 2021, the UNDP in Seychelles built on the prior engagement with the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment and reinforced the partnership by ensuring programmatic interventions were in line with national priorities.

List of partners:

  1. Government of Seychelles
  2. European Union (EU)
  3. Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  4. GEF Small Grants Programme
  5. World Bank
  6. UNFCCC
  7. The German Cooperation
  8.  Qatar Fund for Development
  9. University of Seychelles
  1. Seychelles Energy Commission
  2. SeyCCAT
  3. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  4. Seychelles Parks and Garden Authority (SPGA)
  5. Nature Seychelles
  6. Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles (MCSS)
  7. The Agricultural Producers Association of Seychelles
  8. The Association of Fish Processors and Exporters
  1. The Fishing Boat Owners Association
  2. The Seychelles Bankers Association
  3. ABSA Bank
  4. Bank Al Salam
  5. Bank Al Habib
  6. Bank of Baroda
  7. Bank of Ceylon
  8. Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB)

List of partners:

  1. Government of Seychelles
  2. European Union (EU)
  3. Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  4. GEF Small Grants Programme
  5. World Bank
  6. UNFCCC
  7. The German Cooperation
  8. Qatar Fund for Development
  9. University of Seychelles
  10. Seychelles Energy Commission
  11. SeyCCAT
  12. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  13. Seychelles Parks and Garden Authority (SPGA)
  14. Nature Seychelles
  15. Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles (MCSS)
  16. The Agricultural Producers Association of Seychelles
  17. The Association of Fish Processors and Exporters
  18. The Fishing Boat Owners Association
  19. The Seychelles Bankers Association
  20. ABSA Bank
  21. Bank Al Salam
  22. Bank Al Habib
  23. Bank of Baroda
  24. Bank of Ceylon
  25. Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB)

Programme Delivery and Resource Mobilization

The resources allocated to achieve intended outputs are largely from vertical funds and focus primarily on climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation and protected areas management. These resources enable the Government to pioneer and champion these issues on a global platform, strengthening the position of Seychelles as an environmental leader and giving credence to its commitment towards environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and climate action. 

In 2021, the UNDP Country Office mobilized an additional USD 500,000 under the COVID 2.0 facility to support economic recovery through digitalization in the country. This has enabled the UNDP to strengthen its positioning with the newly elected Government as a key development partner who provides support in emerging priority areas looking beyond the environment and climate change.

The UNDP was also able to secure USD 12,000 to conduct a research paper on engaging and empowering the private sector in Seychelles to support economic diversification and recovery. This was impactful as it enabled UNDP to broaden its partnership base with the private sector and several ministries. 

Furthermore, a Regional Project on Chemicals and Waste, with an allocation of USD 2.5M, has been approved by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and will be ready for implementation in 2022

Operations

COVID-19 disrupted business continuity in 2020 and well into 2021. The initial half of the year was met with restrictions of movement and limitations on in-person meetings and workshops due to high rates of community infection. Thus, in 2021, the UNDP continued to engage with a wide range of stakeholders online. 

The Country Office continued to pursue efficiency and acceleration of programme delivery through the use of global and regional Long Term Agreements (LTAs) to procure time-sensitive services such as HACT financial audits, micro and macro assessments and spot checks. The Country Office also used rosters to enable fast-tracking of international consultants procurement, which enabled accelerated delivery and project implementation.

In 2021, the UNDP continued to use e-solutions such as DocuSign by default, which ensured business continuity and saw a reduction in time and cost previously required for paper-based business transactions. With continued restrictions of movement in 2021, the UNDP provided for teleworking, allowing staff to effectively work from home, support programme implementation, and successfully deliver the development results. 

The UNDP has provided guidance and support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment Programme Coordination Unit, liaised with different stakeholders in conducting site visits, and engaged with Government at critical junctures to ensure that project implementation was not disrupted. This contributed to the overall national vision of the country towards reducing climate risks

Communications

Communication was enhanced and greatly improved the visibility of the UNDP especially on social media platforms with the support of the Communications team, and the multi-country office produced its Annual Report for both Mauritius and Seychelles. The Private Sector Policy paper was also published and widely disseminated to national stakeholders. Blog posts and improvements on the country office website continued in 2021. 

In December 2021, the UNDP Resident Representative along with a multidisciplinary team and the Communications team from Mauritius conducted a 2-week mission to Seychelles and met with government counterparts including the H.E. the President of the Republic of Seychelles. The visit was widely covered in the national media and provided greater accountability for and visibility to UNDP programming support in country.

UNDP Staff 2021 ​

Front Row (sitting), from left to right: Sameer Khudaroo, Head of Finance; Stéphane Bellerose, Communication Specialist; Renooka Beejan, Head of Socio-Economic Development Unit; Manisha Teelokee, Project Assistant; Sharon Sunassee, Communication Assistant; Medaavi Gopaul, UN Volunteer; Rachna Ramsurn, Project Manager, CRRP; Melany Poorun-Sooprayen, Head of Exploration, Accelerator Lab; Ayooshee Dookhee, Head of Solutions Mapping, Accelerator Lab; Grishta Beegun, Finance Assistant; Shabbir Esmael, UN Volunteer; Marille Benoit, Programme Assistant, Seychelles; Congyi Dai, UN Volunteer; Sevika Varaden, Finance and Procurement Assistant, CRRP; Jean-Yan Norbert, Communication Assistant; Irvan Chengadu, UN Volunteer.

Middle Row, from left to right: Farzina Lowtun-Boolakee, Gender Monitoring and Evaluation Officer; Tony Muhumuza, Senior Economist; Angelique Lache, Receptionist; Amanda Serumaga, UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles; Oksana Vovk, Programme and Operations Specialist, Seychelles; Rudhi Kinnoo, Administrative Clerk; Sameer Kaudeer, IAS Project Officer; Anirood Meeheelaul, Project Manager, JSB; Seewajee Pandoo, Project Manager, IAS; Erwyn Veerapen, IT Support Assistant; Shakil Beedassy, GCF Coordinator; Sajiid Mooniaruck, Projetc Manager, GCF; Avinash Meetoo, Head of Experimentation, Accelerator Lab; Veronique Nibourette, Project Manager, JMA; Parmananda Ragen; Project Manager, Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Kavish Soorjee, Driver; Kamini Beedasee, Project Assistant, IAS; Fatuma Musa, International Operations Manager.

Top Row, from left to right: Wendie Lambin, Project Assistant, E€OFISH; Sumayya Mauthoor, Project Officer; Martine Chung How, Human Resource Assistant; Ayesha Aumeeruddy, Project Assistant, CRRP; Raksha Ramloll, Project Assistant, E€OFISH; Vichittra Purdassee, Project Manager, GCF; Patricia Li Yuk Fung, Finance Assistant; Anishta Heeramun, Project Manager, PPG; Deepa Seeburn, Procurement Assistant; Chandrima Imrit, Programme Assistant, UNDP-GEF-SGP; Nishi Sewsurn, Executive Associate.

1. Keeping people out of poverty

Solution 1 involves tackling inequality of opportunities by investing in the enhanced capabilities people need to move above the poverty line and keep move forward. Solution 1 cuts across all work done to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals.

2. Governance for peaceful, just, and inclusive societies

Solution 2 is helping countries address emerging complexities by “future-proofing” governance systems through anticipatory approaches and better management of risk. Effective governance is an essential foundation of the three directions of change. It helps to manage the risks and impacts of impacts of structural transformations. It helps to guarantee the empowerment and inclusion that ensure that no one is left behind. It contributes to resilience, helping to prevent reversals of development gains and relapse into conflict or crisis.

3. Crisis prevention and increased resilience

Through solution 3, the UNDP supports countries and communities in building resilience to diverse shocks and crises, including conflict, climate change, disasters and epidemics. By implementing solution 3, the UNDP focus on capacities to address root causes of conflict, reduce disaster risk, mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts, recover from crisis, and build sustainable peace.

4. Environment – Nature-based solutions for development

In advancing its programmatic support to the Government of Seychelles, the UNDP continued to leverage Signature Solution 4 on nature-based solutions for development. The focus on nature-based solutions for development was instrumental in guiding innovative approaches for coral restoration and ecosystem restoration. The UNDP supported the development of a project to explore the Blue Economy as the main pillar for economic growth and diversification strategy using nature-based approaches.

5. Clean, affordable energy

Through Solution 5, the UNDP helps countries transition away from the use of fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable energy sources.

6. Women’s empowerment and Gender Equality

Solution 6 aims at confronting the structural obstacles to gender equality and strengthening women’s economic empowerment and leadership. The Country Office supported the Government of Seychelles in mainstreaming gender in development policies and in ensuring enhanced participation of women in areas such as the NDCs, the Blue Economy, alternative livelihoods and nature-based approaches.

Inclusive and sustainable solutions adopted towards energy efficiency

The UNDP Climate Promise Initiative worked with various stakeholders to articulate climate ambitions in both mitigation and adaptation. In addition to renewing commitments with the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, the UNDP also worked with the European Union, the World Bank, the University of Seychelles, SeyCCAT, and the Seychelles Energy Commission, amongst others. Discussions with various departments enabled the identification of emerging opportunities to support energy efficiency and the transition towards renewables in the long term. Furthermore, the UNDP also partnered with the Commonwealth and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative to host an investor roundtable discussion on unlocking clean and affordable electricity for all under COP26. Through the Climate Investment Platform, the UNDP mobilized ~ USD 100,000 to support the Seychelles develop an enabling environment to mobilize climate financing under two projects. The first, PV democratization 2.0 project, is expected to commence in 2022.

Inclusive and sustainable solutions adopted towards energy efficiency

The UNDP Climate Promise Initiative worked with various stakeholders to articulate climate ambitions in both mitigation and adaptation. In addition to renewing commitments with the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, the UNDP also worked with the European Union, the World Bank, the University of Seychelles, SeyCCAT, and the Seychelles Energy Commission, amongst others. Discussions with various departments enabled the identification of emerging opportunities to support energy efficiency and the transition towards renewables in the long term. Furthermore, the UNDP also partnered with the Commonwealth and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative to host an investor roundtable discussion on unlocking clean and affordable electricity for all under COP26. Through the Climate Investment Platform, the UNDP mobilized ~ USD 100,000 to support the Seychelles develop an enabling environment to mobilize climate financing under two projects. The first, PV democratization 2.0 project, is expected to commence in 2022.

NDC Review Process​

The UNDP supported the Government of Seychelles to review and update of its NDCs ahead of COP26 through the establishment of a multi-sectoral and multi-agency platform consisting of the World Bank, the European Union and representatives from academia and public institutions.  The Country Office also provided the recommendations for the MRV framework. The UNDP liaised with the Seychelles Energy Commission to review emerging priorities and ensure that the legal environment would enable Seychelles to achieve the mitigation targets outlined in the NDCs. Furthermore, the NDCs identified new and emerging sectors for adaptation and mitigation actions for which support towards developing sector action plans has been envisaged for the coming year. The NDC document was submitted to UNFCCC and widely disseminated ahead of COP26 through social media platforms.

NDC Review Process​

The UNDP supported the Government of Seychelles to review and update of its NDCs ahead of COP26 through the establishment of a multi-sectoral and multi-agency platform consisting of the World Bank, the European Union and representatives from academia and public institutions.

The Country Office also provided the recommendations for the MRV framework. The UNDP liaised with the Seychelles Energy Commission to review emerging priorities and ensure that the legal environment would enable Seychelles to achieve the mitigation targets outlined in the NDCs. Furthermore, the NDCs identified new and emerging sectors for adaptation and mitigation actions for which support towards developing sector action plans has been envisaged for the coming year. The NDC document was submitted to UNFCCC and widely disseminated ahead of COP26 through social media platforms.

Scaled up Climate change adaptation and mitigation actions across sectors

The UNDP has been a key partner in advancing nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches, and applying lessons learned to a whole-island ridge to reef approach. The Seychelles continued to deliver on its climate action initiatives largely through Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) methods and hard engineering to build community resilience. An Integrated Shoreline Management Plan for Anse Royale aimed at sustainable planning and development is underway. Ahead of COP26, Seychelles also successfully piloted several soft and hard engineering adaptation techniques to mitigate coastal flooding, saltwater contamination, drought and coastal erosion on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue islands. The Protected Area Finance project resulted in the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority applying digital solutions in the form of e-ticketing and online payment platforms.   The Ridge to Reef project supported legislative and poli cy reviews of various environmental laws including a review of the Agro-forestry policy for the management of invasive species and reducing the risk of forest degradation. The project is building on lessons learned and making sure that the necessary legal and enabling frameworks are in place to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources through a review of the legislation.  In its final year of implementation, the EbA project made further strides in the restoration of degraded wetlands at North East Point. The project completed additional water retention areas in the farming community of Val D’Endorre to ensure resilience against floods and drought during seasonal changes.

Scaled up Climate change adaptation and mitigation actions across sectors

The UNDP has been a key partner in advancing nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches, and applying lessons learned to a whole-island ridge to reef approach. The Seychelles continued to deliver on its climate action initiatives largely through Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) methods and hard engineering to build community resilience. An Integrated Shoreline Management Plan for Anse Royale aimed at sustainable planning and development is underway. Ahead of COP26, Seychelles also successfully piloted several soft and hard engineering adaptation techniques to mitigate coastal flooding, saltwater contamination, drought and coastal erosion on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue islands. The Protected Area Finance project resulted in the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority applying digital solutions in the form of e-ticketing and online payment platforms.   The Ridge to Reef project supported legislative and poli cy reviews of various environmental laws including a review of the Agro-forestry policy for the management of invasive species and reducing the risk of forest degradation. The project is building on lessons learned and making sure that the necessary legal and enabling frameworks are in place to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources through a review of the legislation.  In its final year of implementation, the EbA project made further strides in the restoration of degraded wetlands at North East Point. The project completed additional water retention areas in the farming community of Val D’Endorre to ensure resilience against floods and drought during seasonal changes.

Increasing women’s access to alternative livelihood opportunities in flood-prone communities

Women are well represented in consultative workshops and meetings relating to environment, climate action and conservation. The Ridge to Reef and Coral Restoration projects have GEN Markers and increasingly report on gender engagement. Both projects have increasingly focused on capacity building and training of communities, and will support nature-based solutions and alternate livelihoods for women. Under the EbA Project, women continue to play a leading role in the management of watershed committees, with 4 out of 5 committees having women as chairpersons. The Ridge to Reef project and the Coral Reef Restoration project also have a strong gender reporting focus. As noted under the Ridge to Reef project, an increasing number of women are engaged in services related to habitat mapping, conducting surveys, and monitoring biodiversity sites. It is also to be noted that 67 percent of the Project team within the Ridge to Reef project are women; and for coral restoration, more women are being trained in restoration techniques and nearly 50 percent of the teams involved in research and restoration are female.

Increasing women’s access to alternative livelihood opportunities in flood-prone communities

Women are well represented in consultative workshops and meetings relating to environment, climate action and conservation. The Ridge to Reef and Coral Restoration projects have GEN Markers and increasingly report on gender engagement. Both projects have increasingly focused on capacity building and training of communities, and will support nature-based solutions and alternate livelihoods for women. Under the EbA Project, women continue to play a leading role in the management of watershed committees, with 4 out of 5 committees having women as chairpersons. The Ridge to Reef project and the Coral Reef Restoration project also have a strong gender reporting focus. As noted under the Ridge to Reef project, an increasing number of women are engaged in services related to habitat mapping, conducting surveys, and monitoring biodiversity sites. It is also to be noted that 67 percent of the Project team within the Ridge to Reef project are women; and for coral restoration, more women are being trained in restoration techniques and nearly 50 percent of the teams involved in research and restoration are female.

Coral Restoration​

The Project Management Team of the ‘Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to meet a Changing Climate Future’ project conducted site visits at coral restoration sites and nurseries in 2021. Coral restoration works are being carried out by three local activity partners: the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority, Nature Seychelles and the Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles. Around 5000 coral nubbins have been planted at two nursery sites near Cousin Island, 3 nursery sites set up around Curieuse Island while 3 other nursery sites – with 9 nursery plants – are monitored in the Ste Anne Marine Park, which includes Moyenne and Cerf Island.

Coral Restoration​

The Project Management Team of the ‘Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to meet a Changing Climate Future’ project conducted site visits at coral restoration sites and nurseries in 2021. Coral restoration works are being carried out by three local activity partners: the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority, Nature Seychelles and the Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles. Around 5000 coral nubbins have been planted at two nursery sites near Cousin Island, 3 nursery sites set up around Curieuse Island while 3 other nursery sites – with 9 nursery plants – are monitored in the Ste Anne Marine Park, which includes Moyenne and Cerf Island.

Solutions adopted to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy

The GCF project on “Transformation to a Low Carbon Economy” provided technical and financial support to the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA) in developing (i) the national grid code for Renewable Energy (RE), (ii) standards to regulate the importation and manufacture of RET goods in Mauritius and (iii) regulations and standards for accreditation of operators. These codes, guidelines, regulations and standards will form the basis of an enabling and safe environment for investment in RE technologies and projects in the country. Through the GCF project, a total of 106 MW solar PV have been installed for intermittent renewable energy; Automatic Generation Control (AGC) has been installed at 2 generating power stations and 14 MW of Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) have been installed on 4 sites of the island.

Solutions adopted to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy

The GCF project on “Transformation to a Low Carbon Economy” provided technical and financial support to the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA) in developing (i) the national grid code for Renewable Energy (RE), (ii) standards to regulate the importation and manufacture of RET goods in Mauritius and (iii) regulations and standards for accreditation of operators. These codes, guidelines, regulations and standards will form the basis of an enabling and safe environment for investment in RE technologies and projects in the country. Through the GCF project, a total of 106 MW solar PV have been installed for intermittent renewable energy; Automatic Generation Control (AGC) has been installed at 2 generating power stations and 14 MW of Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) have been installed on 4 sites of the island.

Women’s empowerment in the field of Renewable Energy

The UNDP is supporting MARENA, together with the British High Commission, in the training of young professionals and graduates, particularly women in the field of renewable energy. The UNDP also supported 22 awareness sessions on RE throughout the country between 2019-2021, aiming to better inform women entrepreneurs on the possibilities of setting up a business venture in the RE sector or incorporating a source of RE in their household or in their small business. A cost-sharing agreement has also been signed with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government in December 2021, for the delivery of technical training targeting 40 women.

Women’s empowerment in the field of Renewable Energy

The UNDP is supporting MARENA, together with the British High Commission, in the training of young professionals and graduates, particularly women in the field of renewable energy. The UNDP also supported 22 awareness sessions on RE throughout the country between 2019-2021, aiming to better inform women entrepreneurs on the possibilities of setting up a business venture in the RE sector or incorporating a source of RE in their household or in their small business. A cost-sharing agreement has also been signed with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government in December 2021, for the delivery of technical training targeting 40 women.

Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone in the Republic of Mauritius

The GEF-UNDP funded ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone in the Republic of Mauritius’ Project is in its final year of implementation. So far, the project successfully installed an online server at the Department of Continental Shelf, Maritime Zone Administration and Exploration. The first set of Environmental Sensitive Areas maps has already been uploaded and is available to all government stakeholders. A Geographical Information System unit has also been set up at the South East Marine Protected Area in Rodrigues, to enhance the mapping and analysis skills of the authorities. Management and operational plans have been developed to assist biodiversity conservation and management of protected areas and Ramsar sites. The project ensured that a participatory approach was used, by partnering with 4 NGOs to implement four sustainable alternative livelihood projects to the benefit of communities impacted by the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). 

Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone in the Republic of Mauritius

The GEF-UNDP funded ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Management of the Coastal Zone in the Republic of Mauritius’ Project is in its final year of implementation. So far, the project successfully installed an online server at the Department of Continental Shelf, Maritime Zone Administration and Exploration. The first set of Environmental Sensitive Areas maps has already been uploaded and is available to all government stakeholders. A Geographical Information System unit has also been set up at the South East Marine Protected Area in Rodrigues, to enhance the mapping and analysis skills of the authorities. Management and operational plans have been developed to assist biodiversity conservation and management of protected areas and Ramsar sites. The project ensured that a participatory approach was used, by partnering with 4 NGOs to implement four sustainable alternative livelihood projects to the benefit of communities impacted by the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). 

Supporting the Economic Empowerment of the Artisanal Fishing Community of the Republic of Mauritius

The “Supporting the economic empowerment of the artisanal fishing community of the Republic of Mauritius” (E€OFISH) project forms part of a wider regional E€OFISH Programme financed by the European Union. It is implemented using a participatory approach which includes consultations and focus group discussions with the fisher community about their concerns during project implementation. A gender and youth action plan are being developed to strengthen women and youth participation in the implementation phase. The project has embarked on the procurement of single buoy Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) to be deployed in the open sea, aiming to enable artisanal fishers to shift from fishing in the lagoon to deeper off-lagoon waters. Doing so will reduce exacerbated pressure occurring on the overexploited marine resources in shallow waters and improve the ecosystem.

Supporting the Economic Empowerment of the Artisanal Fishing Community of the Republic of Mauritius

The “Supporting the economic empowerment of the artisanal fishing community of the Republic of Mauritius” (E€OFISH) project forms part of a wider regional E€OFISH Programme financed by the European Union. It is implemented using a participatory approach which includes consultations and focus group discussions with the fisher community about their concerns during project implementation. A gender and youth action plan are being developed to strengthen women and youth participation in the implementation phase. The project has embarked on the procurement of single buoy Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) to be deployed in the open sea, aiming to enable artisanal fishers to shift from fishing in the lagoon to deeper off-lagoon waters. Doing so will reduce exacerbated pressure occurring on the overexploited marine resources in shallow waters and improve the ecosystem.

Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Prevention, Control and Management project

The GEF-UNDP ‘Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Prevention, Control and Management project’ aims to minimize and eventually nullify the negative impacts of invasive alien species on the biodiversity, health, agriculture and economy of the Republic of Mauritius. Since the recruitment of the project team in February 2021, several project activities have been initiated, through partnerships with relevant institutions. The project has launched the procurement of equipment for front-liners regarding the control of IAS and a service provider has been hired for the update and review of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan 2010 -2019. A gender-sensitive institutional framework is also being developed.

Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Prevention, Control and Management project

The GEF-UNDP ‘Mainstreaming Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Prevention, Control and Management project’ aims to minimize and eventually nullify the negative impacts of invasive alien species on the biodiversity, health, agriculture and economy of the Republic of Mauritius. Since the recruitment of the project team in February 2021, several project activities have been initiated, through partnerships with relevant institutions. The project has launched the procurement of equipment for front-liners regarding the control of IAS and a service provider has been hired for the update and review of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan 2010 -2019. A gender-sensitive institutional framework is also being developed.

Coral Reef Restoration

Under the UNDP-Adaptation Fund ‘Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to meet a Changing Climate Future’ project, marine and oceanographic equipment were procured to conduct pattern analysis, surveys and coral reef monitoring in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Seychelles. were recruited for technical assistance, capacity-building and guidance on the assessment of genetic connectivity of coral species. The project also partnered with 2 NGOs to carry out coral restoration related activities, including awareness campaigns, training of local community, and setting up and maintenance of ocean nurseries

Coral Reef Restoration

Under the UNDP-Adaptation Fund ‘Restoring Marine Ecosystem Services by Rehabilitating Coral Reefs to meet a Changing Climate Future’ project, marine and oceanographic equipment were procured to conduct pattern analysis, surveys and coral reef monitoring in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Seychelles. were recruited for technical assistance, capacity-building and guidance on the assessment of genetic connectivity of coral species. The project also partnered with 2 NGOs to carry out coral restoration related activities, including awareness campaigns, training of local community, and setting up and maintenance of ocean nurseries

Partnerships​

Under the various projects, new partnerships were built especially with agencies such as Land Transport, Health, Private landowners, Environment, District Administrators, Farmers, Schools and others to ensure necessary buy-in to achieve the benefits for the community as a whole. 

The UNDP also established strong partnerships with the private sector during extensive consultations on empowering the private sector to diversify the Seychelles economy. 

Networking with the European Union (EU), the World Bank, the Adaptation Fund (AF), ADB and other bilateral donors and national agencies has improved the understanding of partners working in the climate action space. The UNDP worked with the World Bank and the EU under the Climate Promise Initiative to support the update and revision of Seychelles Nationally Determined Contributions for COP26. 

Through the Regional Coral Reef Restoration Project, the UNDP has strengthened its partnership with the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority (SPGA), Nature Seychelles and the Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles (MCSS), the leading environmental agencies in the country. Through this project, the UNDP extends collaboration between Seychelles and Mauritius at both private and public levels. 

The UNDP partnered with the private sector and engaged with high level officials from the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning, the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Investment and others on potential opportunities to aid in economic recovery and diversification. The work done by the UNDP Country Office on the Socioeconomic Impact Assessment was used as a reference document by the African Development Bank to inform their projections for economic recovery in Seychelles. 

In December, the UNDP organized high level meetings with various ministries to showcase its portfolio of activities demonstrating its value addition to the country’s development space and identify new opportunities for collaboration.