"When you live on an island, climate change is a reality that you wake to face every day." H.E. James A. Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles and GLISPA Co-Chair
- More than 30 million people in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) islands and East African coastal communities rely on the coastal environment for goods and services and as a source of livelihoods and income
- The economic value of ecosystem goods and services is estimated to be over US$25 billion annually
- Tourism is the largest source of income directly linked to the coastal and marine environment, the region attracts over 20 million tourists that inject US$6 billion+ into economies annually
- Fisheries play an important role in WIO national economies providing from 5.0% to 99.1% of national agricultural exports as well as sources of employment, income and animal protein
The natural resources that fuel the WIO regions economic activity are under pressure from issues such as overfishing, overdevelopment, pollution and environmental degradation. Climate change is exacerbating these problems and present mounting challenges to the sustainable development of the region. In 1998, coral bleaching at an unprecedented scale caused widespread coral mortality across most of the western Indian Ocean, altering the goods and services provided by these reefs . There is urgent need for governments and stakeholders to come together and take action to combat climate change, conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable livelihoods to build resilience.
Mobilizing Action at all levels
The President of the Republic of Seychelles is challenging all the countries that share the western Indian Ocean's vast, resource rich waters and coasts to come together and commit to actions based on a shared 25 year vision. The WIO-CC will work to mobilize the high level engagement necessary to catalyze resources and commitment to action in those jurisdictions that pledge to take part.
By 2032, in the face of climate change threats, the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge will be a strong and vocal partnership of WIO island and coastal countries and stakeholders, working together to build and implement climate-resilient development options and strategies to achieve a balance between enhanced coastal livelihoods and economies and effective conservation of biodiversity, ultimately contributing to greater levels of social security among coastal communities.
1. Seychelles will formally invite the countries of the Western Indian Ocean and East Africa to join the Challenge
2. Early country leaders will establish the vision of the WIO
3. Leaders will determine how they will achieve that vision in their jurisdictions
Ministry of Environment and Energy
Government of the Republic of Seychelles