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Welcome to the University of Seychelles


November 30, 2023

Empowering youth through innovative opportunities to promote synergies between climate change adaptation and mitigation

The policy vision of the Government of Seychelles climate change policy states “a sustainable climate resilient and low-carbon Seychelles.” This vision recognizes the importance of transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources to achieve sustainable growth while concomitantly achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. However, the current oil-dependent electricity supply is incompatible with this goal. The government is accelerating progress towards energy transition through Seychelles’ 100% Renewable Energy Strategy (SeyRES 100) to address this. This strategy aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 through mitigation and adaptation actions to reaffirm the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) commitment.

In 2020, Dr Daniel Etongo, a researcher with the James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute (BERI-UniSey) and senior lecturer with the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Seychelles, submitted a proposal to the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project’s primary goal was to explore innovative opportunities for promoting synergies between climate change adaptation and mitigation in Seychelles by engaging youths, using innovative tasks in climate change mitigation and adaptation within the context of sustainable development and environmental protection through livelihood improvement and the creation of green jobs.

A component of the project was to promote agroforestry among 120 smallholder farmers. In collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, a total of 633 fruit tree seedlings were provided to farmers on Mahe and Praslin, which were planted at the edges/boundaries of their farmlands for climate change mitigation and sustainable food production in the Seychelles. Additionally, 30 tree seedlings were provided by the University of Seychelles to the Anse Boileau Secondary School, 15 to the Ministry of Education, and 15 to Double Tree by Hilton Seychelles. These fruit trees included Mango, Jackfruit, Avocado, Sour Orange, Malay Apple, among others. This initiative contributes to food security and increases carbon habitats, a climate change mitigation option. In addition, as the effects of climate change impact farms, for example, farmers in Anse Royale are affected by flooding while those at Hermitage (Anse Boileau) and Val Dendor (Baie Lazare) are confronted with water scarcity, the project addressed the differential effects of climate change on smallholder farmers in different regions.

Furthermore, the University of Seychelles installed a 15kw photovoltaic (PV) system comprising 56 panels. The newly installed PV is expected to provide the University of Seychelles with a monthly savings of SCR 10,000 over twenty-four years. During the installation by Seychelles Energy Solutions, seven youths benefitted from hands-on demonstrations on the installation of the PV system, which contributed to their learning and skill development, raising awareness regarding the ease of utilization of the system. The project also aimed to identify the factors that influence the acceptance of photovoltaic systems in Seychelles, especially at the household level, and develop strategies to promote PV installations in households and increase the ratio of renewable energy generation in Seychelles. The project also included some scientific studies that address the topic of renewable energy and climate-smart agriculture. An example is a scientific study on “Determinants of household adoption of solar energy technology in Seychelles within the context of 100% access to electricity. ” The findings of this study will be relevant to the Seychelles Energy Commission (SEC) on how to promote the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy technologies among householders in Seychelles.

One of the project’s objectives was to promote environmental sustainability in the hospitality industry, and local Seychellois-owned startups since the Seychelles economy is primarily driven by the tourism sector, which has a significant environmental footprint. The youths worked on strategies to reduce the tourism industry’s ecological footprint. As a result, a partnership between the University of Seychelles and the Hilton Northolme Hotel was formed. Some sustainable strategic actions developed were using a sand timer to limit shower time, Hilton’s “no meat day” policy, monthly talks/workshops with the guests, and the observation of Earth Hour. Additionally, the youths participated in hands-on practical workshops to support innovative youth-led experimental initiatives and show ways to tackle large-scale ecosystem degradation. They explored using organic fibers harnessed from invasive or exotic plants for producing weaving products, organic wrapping materials, paper replacement, and fibers for the textile industry. These tasks also contributed to the progress of an ongoing project on ecosystem-based adaptation at the University of Seychelles.

The final step of this project is to facilitate an engagement workshop with the youths. The workshop aims to equip the next generation of environmentally-conscious young leaders with the skills, knowledge, confidence, and networks to positively tackle local climate action-related causes in their communities.

It is commendable that the University of Seychelles is committed to helping the country achieve a fair and fast energy transition by investing in technologies that allow the country to substitute fossil fuels. As a small island developing state, the country is inherently vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. As such, it has continued prioritizing efforts to improve its resilience. The efforts towards achieving the 2030 agenda require a shift from the traditional way of doing things. However, seeing the University of Seychelles taking concrete steps towards achieving the national goal is inspiring.


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