A $6.5 million USD project to address problems of water shortage and flooding in Seychelles was launched in the capital city of Vitoria, Seychelles News Agency reported last week. The 6-year project titled Ecosystem Based Adaptation to Climate Change (or EBA project) is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and will be implemented by the Seychelles government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the GOS-UNDP-GEF programme coordination unit. The EBA project is the largest ever environmental project in Seychelles. It will support climate change adaptation measures on Seychelles’ 2 most populated islands, Mahé and Praslin.
The EBA project will be implemented at the ecosystem level and will address issues such as conflicting water uses, the impact of development on water-related services, efficient utilization of water from catchment areas, flooding, and saltwater intrusion. Flooding on Mahé and Praslin is due to a combination of sea level rise and changing rainfall patterns, with short, intense precipitation events in the wet season; extended periods of drought characterize the dry season. Adaptation measures will include watershed rehabilitation, as the islands topography limits the water storage capacity, and coastal rehabilitation to protect coastal areas from flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge.
The climate adaptation project is one of three projects, with a total $10 million USD in funding, currently approved for Seychelles. Agreements for all three were signed last week at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The second project, with a five-year time frame and $1.7 million in funding, will support biodiversity conservation and create new protected areas on outer islands. The third project has a budget of $1.77 million and a three-year time-frame, and is focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
(Image: aerial view of Seychelles. Photo credit: Jamie Oliver, 2005 on Flickr)