Seychelles, Initial National Communication. Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
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AbstractThe Republic of Seychelles acceded to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the 22nd September 1992, being the second country to do so. Likewise, the Seychelles was one of the earliest countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol on the 20th March 1998. The Initial National Communication to the UNFCCC by the Seychelles reflects our continued commitment to the process. Although the guidelines provided for the preparation of initial national communications by non-Annex I Parties do not place much emphasis on issues of vulnerability, adaptation and capacity building, my country is convinced that without sufficient attention given to these issues many small island states will not be able to cope with the impacts of climate change. The preparation of the National Communication enabled us to focus on issues that link climate change to sustainable development, which were not given much attention before. The process created awareness at all levels of government, local communities, NGOs and the private sector, making it a truly integrated and highly participatory engagement. Through the work of the National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) and the study teams, which involved broad participation, several studies and assessments were undertaken in order to ensure that this Communication reflects clearly our situation, constraints and circumstances. The Communication further reinforces our position as an insignificant emitter and a net sink of greenhouse gas. Nevertheless, we have also identified areas for mitigation, for which we are prepared to undertake consistent and meaningful actions. Whilst the world continues to debate about global climate change and its effects, small islands like the Seychelles are the most vulnerable, with increased potential loss of coastal infrastructure due to sea-level rise. The socio-economic implications are enormous. Amidst the range of uncertainties and the inability for science to provide all the immediate answers, it is important that we build upon two principles adopted in Rio (1992) and Kyoto (1997), respectively. The ‘the precautionary principle’, emphasises that all countries urgently need to identify areas where they can reduce GHG emissions through changes in policy and technology. Secondly, whilst it is clear that climate change will occur despite measures adopted in the Kyoto Protocol, there is an urgent need to ensure that developing nations, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS), can continue to develop and prosper in an equitable manner. Thus, SIDS need to be fully equipped, both financially and technically, to adapt to global climate change and sea-level rise, without re-directing its limited resources from sustainable development and the eradication of poverty, which is still imminent in many island states. It is, therefore, my sincere wish that this Communication has not only fulfilled our requirements under Article 12 of the Convention, but also provided a better understanding of the specific challenges faced and the efforts that have been made by my country in coping with the increasing threat of global climate change.
Publisher or UniversityMinistry of Environment and Transport, Republic of Seychelles