UNEP strongly supports Seychelles' Blue Economy, says Executive Director
23 June 2015 | Foreign Affairs
The Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mr. Achim Steiner paid a courtesy call on President James Michel at State House this morning. He was accompanied by the Executive Secretary for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention, Professor Rolph Payet and Press Secretary to the Executive Director UN Environment Programme, Mr. Adam Hodge.
The President welcomed Mr. Steiner to Seychelles, who is here for the Conference of Parties (COP 8) of the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern Africa region. He expressed his wish that the meeting is successful, with outcomes that will be acceptable to all parties.
"It a pleasure to have you with us and we are looking forward to having a fruitful exchange. It will be an opportunity for you to see yourself what we are trying to do here in Seychelles, of course we still have a lot of improvements to make, it is not always easy to try and establish the proper balance between development and the management of the environment. But, we try to do the best that we can and we need a lot of support also, in terms of capacity building, training expertise as we try to innovate and plan our strategy on how we can move forward," said President Michel.
The President and Mr. Steiner discussed issues of mutual interest and areas of cooperation in renewable energy and the Blue Economy concept. Mr. Steiner also briefed the President on the objectives of the Convention.
President Michel thanked Mr. Steiner for all the support UNEP has given to Seychelles, especially in promoting the Blue Economy concept and soliciting funding for small projects.
Speaking to the national media, Mr. Steiner said that UNEP is ready to collaborate and help the Seychelles government in developing the Blue Economy concept in all its aspects.
"UNEP strongly supports and is committed to accompany the Seychelles in its move towards the Blue Economy to both develop the sustainability part of it but to also look at the future opportunity for jobs, renewable energy, fisheries, and tourism. The challenge of sustainability is one that the Seychelles has embraced and this is also the heart of the mission of the United Nations Environment Programme. So, we are not only historical partners but we are even more excited and keen partners for the future," said Mr. Steiner.
Also present at the meeting was the Principal Secretary for Environment, Mr. Alain Decommarmond and the President's Diplomatic Adviser, Ambassador Callixte d'Offay.