Book Chapter in the “African Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation” co-authored by Dr. Daniel Etongo

Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in the Seychelles

As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Seychelles is quite vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and adaptation is considered a national priority. Despite efforts to enhance its adaptive capacity, a number of barriers still hamper the adaptation process such as fragile institutions and inadequate governance to climate change, financial and human resource capacity constraints, and limited scientific knowledge and understanding of how climate change affects the country. A key barrier to climate change adaptation in the Seychelles is called “remote” or “legacy” barriers – linked to land use decisions made five decades ago during which wetlands were reclaimed for property development. Therefore, 80% of Seychelles’ critical infrastructures are located on the coastline and are exposed to floods, erosion, and sea level rise. Additionally, the pros and cons of hard and soft adaptation interventions in the Seychelles ranging from rock armoring, retaining wall, groynes to ecosystem-based adaptation actions such as timber piling, beach nourishment, dune management, rainwater harvesting, and mangrove and coral restoration are assessed with recommendations on the way forward. In other words, this chapter provides some examples of actions and strategies that may assist the island nations to improve on adaptation actions. An example that addresses partly the financial constrain is the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) that provide funding for medium- and large-scale project in the Seychelles since 2015.

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