Press release

World bodies recognise Seychelles a leader in innovative finance for climate action and sustainable development

October 7, 2016

Seychelles’ pioneering work to develop innovative financing to build climate and fiscal resilience, sustainable development and a blue economy, and to respond to natural disasters were recognised at several events in Washington DC, the US capital, this week.

Seychelles ambassador for climate change and small island developing state (SIDS) issues, Ronny Jumeau, took part in events at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research NGO, and the Wilson Center, one of the world’s top think tanks, over 4-5 October.

On 4 September Amb Jumeau joined seven SIDS ambassadors from the United Nations in New York at a day of briefings by top IMF and the World Bank officials. The discussions were on what these institutions are doing to help small island countries to build resilience to climate change and natural disasters so as to better implement the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change which will come into force on 4 November.

Officials told Mr Jumeau the lead Seychelles has taken with various international institutions to develop innovative sustainable financing to help SIDS tackle climate change, fund sustainable development and respond to natural disasters was “ground breaking and forward looking” for not only small islands, but small states in general and other developing countries interested in unlocking and adding value to their ocean assets and resources.

A September report by the World Bank entitled “World Bank Group Engagement with Small States: Taking Stock”, identified these mechanisms as Seychelles’ debt swap with the Paris Club and South Africa for ocean conservation, resilience and sustainability, the blue bonds it is discussing with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other institutions to fund sustainable fishing practices, and a new World Bank facility that will provide Seychelles with immediate access to funds in the event of a natural disaster.

The measures Seychelles has taken to recover from the 2008 economic crisis are also mentioned.

At the World Resources Institute, Mr Jumeau discussed prospects for setting up an international partnership to help developing countries implement the pledges they made under the Paris Agreement to take domestic action against climate change (known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs).

The WRI, a non-governmental global research organisation which seeks to create equity and prosperity through the sustainable management of natural resources, invited Mr Jumeau for an initial discussion on the initiative because of Seychelles’ “leadership on so many critical fronts for climate action and sustainable trajectories”.

In his final event, Amb Jumeau was invited to deliver keynote opening remarks alongside Grenada’s ambassador to Washington and a representative of the White House responsible for climate issues at an event organised by the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program on “Developing Climate Resilience: An Island Perspective”.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, as it is formally called, has been voted one of the top five think tanks on global issues in the US and among the ten best in the world.

Mr Jumeau spoke on the innovative financing Seychelles is developing to fund climate resilience in SIDS. Once again this and the work the country and other SIDS are doing to develop their blue or ocean economies were highlighted by speakers from the World Bank and the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), which Seychelles co-chairs along with Palau, Grenada and the British Virgin Islands.

Ambassador Jumeau was later interviewed by Global Capital, which specialises in news, data and analysis on finance and capital markets.