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JOURNAL INFORMATION


Seychelles Research Journal is published twice a year, in February and August. The aim of this online, open access journal is to demonstrate the vibrancy of research in and about Seychelles. Boundaries are drawn loosely to include comparable issues elsewhere in the western Indian Ocean and in small island states further afield.

Information on how to submit proposed articles and on the refereeing process is explained elsewhere in the website. New proposals are always encouraged.

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Editor:                                                                     Emeritus Professor Dennis Hardy

Deputy Editor/Web Design:                               Jane Woolfenden

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Marketing Consultant:                                        Guy Morel

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International Advisers:

  • Dr Ashton Berry, Bird International, UK
  • Dr Pascal Nadal, Diocesan Service of Catholic Education, Mauritius
  • Dr Jivanta Schöttli, Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore
  • Dr Erika Techera, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Kris Valaydon, Founding Editor, Island Studies

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Sponsors:

Publication would not be  possible without  the generous support of our sponsors:

  • H Savy Insurance
  • Kannus
  • STC

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This is a publication of the University of Seychelles http://www.unisey.ac.sc

The views and opinions represented in this publication are not necessarily those of the institutions to which the authors are affiliated and, additionally, should not be attributed to the publisher.

©2020 – Seychelles Research Journal, The University of Seychelles

Cover photograph © Jane Woolfenden

ISSN 1659-7435


CONTENTS


♦EDITORIAL

Read the editorial here: Editorial-SRJ-2-(1) 


♦AN INTERVIEW WITH…

Jérôme Harlay talks to Gérard Rocamora, founding chairman of the Island Biodiversity and Conservation Centre at UniSey and a co-founder of the Island Conservation Society.   ♦ Page 3 ♦

Read the interview here: An_ Interview_ with_ Gérard_ Rocamora-SRJ-2-(1)


♦ARTICLES

Forest Rehabilitation and Assessment of Important Elements of the Ecosystem Services of the Val d’Endor Watershed on the Island of Mahé, Seychelles – Linking Research with Education   ♦ Page 12 ♦

Karl Fleischmann

Healthy watersheds provide many high-quality ecosystem services including reduced drinking-water treatment and infrastructure costs, nutrient cycling, carbon storage, erosion/sedimentation control, increased biodiversity, reduced vulnerability to invasive species as well as increased resilience in the face of climate-change threats. These goods and services are essential to our social, environmental and economic wellbeing. However, they are frequently undervalued when making land-use decisions.  

In this work, we evaluate some of these ongoing ecosystem services by undertaking an integrated assessment of water and forest ecosystem at Val d’Endor, Mahé, in order to showcase important components of ecosystem services and how they are compromised by human activities such as farming, land use and housing. The value of potable water resources is a topical issue in many parts of Seychelles and the study area at Val d’Endor is no exception, with many waterways providing high quality water to communities, landowners, and commercial enterprises. This study has been performed in a joint venture between researchers and students of the Federal Institute of Technology (TdLab), Zürich, and the University of Seychelles, in collaboration with the Seychelles’ GoS/UNDP/GEF coordination unit. The carrying out of this work demonstrates how research and education can be linked successfully. 

Read the full article here: Forest_Rehabilitation_and_Assessment_of_Important_Elements_of_Ecosystem_Services_of_Val-d’Endor_Watershed_on_island_of_Mahe_Seychelles-K_Fleischmann-SRJ-2-(1)

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A Strategic Approach towards 100% Renewable Energy in Seychelles   ♦ Page 46 ♦

Stefan Wehner, Björn Dransfeld and Michel Köhler

The energy systems of Seychelles and other Small Island Developing States rely highly on fossil fuels, which comes with high expenditure for fuel imports. The potential for using renewable energies in Seychelles to overcome this dependence is significant, but which has, so far,  been utilized only to a limited extent. This unfavourable situation and the island’s vulnerability towards the adverse impacts of anthropogenic climate change raises the economic rationale for a transition towards renewable energy deployment. The article summarizes how, under a comprehensive energy and financial strategy, the transition can be facilitated. Seychelles has set some renewable energy targets for the future and the government has articulated a long-term strategy to achieve a 100% supply of domestic energy supply through renewable energies by 2035 under the Seychelles’ 100% Renewable Energy Strategy (SeyRES 100). To achieve this ambitious target, a well-coordinated national energy roadmap is required in order to trigger national action and mobilize international support for an initial phase of the sector transformation. It defines policy measures, technology requirements, finance mechanisms and capacity development necessities for the successful implementation of renewable energies.

Read the full article here: A_Strategic_Approach_towards_100%_Renewable_Energy_in_Seychelles-S_Wehner-B_Dransfeld-M_Köhler-SRJ-2-(1)

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Exploring the Potential of the Seychelles Pension Fund to Finance the Renewable Energy Transition    Page 62 ♦

Michel Köhler

A successful transition of the Seychelles’ energy system towards 100% renewables by 2035 will require a substantial mobilization of private capital. This article assesses the potential of the Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF) to cover the required energy infrastructure investments. It reveals that SPF’s existing institutional set-up and operational structure could mobilize up to USD 60 million of cumulated capital volume for the energy transition by 2030. Under consideration of adjusted contribution rates or benefit payments that would stabilize SPF’s operation in the long term, up to USD 170 million could be allocated. This would equalize more than 40% of the total energy transition investments. A qualitative discussion of related impacts suggests that such SPF investments could address potential conflicts around the energy transition through enabling economic participation and democratization of infrastructure assets. While stable and attractive revenues could reduce investment risks, protect national energy infrastructure and sustain SPF’s operation, a diversification of current real estate investments might also create distributional drawbacks. As precondition for enhanced SPF engagement, the Fund’s operational staff requires more capacity and the Government has to provide a comprehensive enabling environment before substantial investment decisions can be taken.

Read the full article here: Exploring_the_Potential_of_Seychelles_Pension_Fund_to_Finance_Renewable_Energy_Transition-M_Köhler-SRJ-2-(1)

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A Million Cans of Tuna a Day: Where next for Seychelles’ ‘Blue Economy’?    Page 83 ♦

Indra Persaud

Coastal countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are key advocates of the Blue Economy, with Seychelles’ efforts to place the Blue Economy on the international agenda, recognised by the UN. Seemingly offering an approach to sustainable development more suited to SIDS, the Seychelles government has wholeheartedly embraced the narrative of the Blue Economy. This article looks at Seychelles’ efforts to explore the multi-sectoral potentials of the Blue Economy, which range from finance, fishing, shipping, maritime transport, tourism, energy, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and genetic resource industries. While Seychelles remains heavily dependent on the ‘blue industries’ of fisheries and tourism, many Seychellois remain dubious about the future prospects of the Blue Economy. This article uses two case studies to help illustrate some of the tensions. As part of the government’s attempt to manage their 1.3million km2 Indian Ocean Exclusive Economic Zone, the Seychelles Maritime Spatial Plan (MSP) has been pitched as a tool for avoiding conflicts in the use of maritime space and resources. Balancing the needs of local and international conservationists, artisanal fishers, foreign purse seiners and a range of other stakeholders has, however, proven problematic. Similarly, closer to shore, controversy over the development of Baie Ternay, constitutes the article’s second case study. The inclusive ownership of Seychelles’ blue ‘development space’ remains a challenge. The two case studies highlight some of these challenges.

Read the full article here: A_million_cans_of_tuna_a_day-Where_ next_for_Seychelles’_‘Blue_Economy’-Indra_Persaud-SRJ-2-(1)

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Descriptivity of Graphic Verbs in Seychellois Creole    Page 98 ♦

Olga Klymenko

This paper addresses the general question of semantic volume of lexical units. One thematic group of Seychellois Creole verbs is used to analyse meaning components which characterize the denoted action participants and to explore some functional repercussions of the observed lexically encoded event detalization. The paper consists of an introduction, two main sections, and a conclusion. The first section gives some insights into the relevant aspects of the verb theory. It explains why the meaning of verbs is special and what approaches can be applied to analyse it. It also specifies those facets of the verb meaning which were analysed in the current study, and defines the lexical group with which the analysis was carried out. The second section presents a classification of Seychellois Creole Graphic Verbs based on specificity of action participants encoded in their definitions. Section three explores the implications of the verb descriptivity in two functional dimensions: syntactic realization of the verb arguments and their semantic development. The concluding section summarizes the results of the study and identifies the ways of their engagement for further analysis.

Read the full article here: Descriptivity_of_Graphic_Verbs_in_Seychellois_Creole_Seychelles-Olga_Klymenko-SRJ-2-(1)

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The Epidemiology and Impact of Chronic Rhinosinusitis upon Populations in Seychelles: An analysis of data from primary health facilities across Mahé, Praslin and La Digue    Page 109 ♦

Hans Manee

Chronic rhinosinusitis has become increasingly recognized as a potential major health problem given increases in prevalence and limitations to diagnosis and treatment that are resulting in excess morbidity, and could be contributing to premature mortality given the likely but unclear association with respiratory tract infections and pneumonia. Most studies have reported the prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis to vary between 5-10%, but the epidemiology and impact of the disease upon populations in Seychelles has never been ascertained. Therefore, this research aimed to address this knowledge gap by conducting a mixed methods study comprising a prospective epidemiological evaluation of chronic rhinosinusitis cases and qualitative interviewing of affected individuals. Epidemiological data was collected from physician-retained records at primary health centres across the most populous islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue between March 2015-19. Cases of physician-diagnosed chronic rhinosinusitis were ascertained against formal European clinical criteria and analysed using standard epidemiological calculations to derive incidence and prevalence data. For the qualitative component, English-speaking subjects attending health centres in Victoria, Mahé were recruited purposively and interviewed using a semi-structured approach with the responses being analysed thematically. The incidence of chronic rhinosinusitis varied between 1.0-3.3% and the prevalence demonstrated a progressive increase over time from 4.6% in 2015 to 7.5% in 2019. The peak incidence and prevalence were observed for children aged 5-10 years and adults aged 31-50 years and the combined presence of smoking history and allergic comorbidity conferred a 41% risk of chronic rhinosinusitis when compared to healthy counterparts. Thematic analysis derived two themes: impact upon self and impact upon others, which highlighted that chronic rhinosinusitis, mostly through its unpleasant symptoms of facial pain/discomfort, conferred a deleterious effect upon the emotional, psychological and psychiatric wellbeing of affected individuals and in some cases, their closest relations. Overall, this is the first study to elucidate the epidemiology and impact of chronic rhinosinusitis in Seychelles, which has significant implications for current clinical practice, guidelines and policy decisions that are detailed herein. Future research should explore the contribution of other risk factors upon chronic rhinosinusitis, such as obesity, in order to derive additional information to tailor practice and guideline recommendations.

Read the full article here: The_epidemiology_and_impact_of_chronic_rhinosinusitis_upon_populations_in_Seychelles-Hans_Manee-SRJ-2-(1)

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Seychelles: A Small Island State in a Troubled Sea    Page 137 ♦

Dennis Hardy

More than half a century ago, the Indian Ocean was the scene of a proposal by Sri Lanka for the United Nations to designate it as a zone of peace. The proposal was rejected by the main protagonists of the Cold War but a sense remained that this part of the world was less on the frontline of potential conflict than the other great seas. This was good news for Seychelles but, since then, tensions in the region have emerged on a number of fronts. India seeks to tighten its hold on what it sees as its own sphere of influence but is now matched by China’s growing presence; along the northern rim of the ocean, India and Pakistan are nuclear adversaries; Somalia is an unreliable neighbour; Islamic terrorism has become a latent threat; foreign powers are engaged in a race to build military bases on the Horn of Africa; and Chagos remains an unresolved issue. The Indian Ocean has become a troubled sea and small island states like Seychelles can do little to resist growing threats to their own security.

Read the full article here: Seychelles_A_Small_Island_State_in_a_Troubled_Sea-Dennis_Hardy-SRJ-2-(1)


♦RESEARCH NOTES

Blue Economy and Blue Bonds: An overview of the concepts and the pioneering case of Seychelles    Page 155 ♦

Stuart Laing

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Information Retrieval: Journey of research in relation to the multidimensional domain area of science    Page 165 ♦

A. Murugaiyan

Information_Retrieval_Journey_of_research_in_relation_to_the_multidimensional_domain_area_of_science-A_Murugaiyan-SRJ-2-(1)


♦BOOK REVIEW  

Schnepel, B. and Sen, T. (eds). (2019). Travelling Pasts: The politics of cultural heritage in the Indian Ocean world. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. €99.00; xi, 275 pp.   ♦ Page 171 ♦

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