In 2015 James Michel, former President of the Republic of Seychelles, called for the development of a ‘blue economy’ in the Indian Ocean, which emphasises the economic potential of the seas while protecting maritime resources.
At the launch of the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting for Malta in November 2014, The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr Kamalesh Sharma, noted: “The fact that a country is small does not mean that it cannot add global value”. Seychelles has indeed illustrated this point on a number of occasions, not least through its efforts in advocating for more decisive action on the mitigation of climate change. It has consistently championed the principles of sustainable development and the protection of biodiversity since the launching of Agenda 21 at the Earth Summit of 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA), the Johannesburg 2002 Plan of Implementation, the 2005 Mauritius Strategy, and more recently at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.
For over two decades, small island developing states (SIDS), including Seychelles, have underscored the urgency for global efforts to address the issue of climate change. This was further reiterated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 when it was confirmed that anthropogenic factors were largely responsible for the increasing levels of global warming and that SIDS would be among the worst affected by this. Consequently we called for urgent action at the UN SIDS Conference in Samoa in September 2014, and in the same month at the UN Climate Summit in New York we once again appealed for world leaders to take decisive action…
*Statistics within article correct at original publication date of CHOGM Report 2015.
Former President of the Republic of Seychelles