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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

Guest Editor:                                                            Kelly Hoareau

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.

©2019 – Seychelles Research Journal, The University of Seychelles

Cover photograph © Jane Woolfenden

ISSN 1659-7435


CONTENTS


♦EDITORIAL

Read the editorial here: Editorial


♦THEME EDITORIAL

Read the theme editorial here: Theme Editorial


♦ARTICLES

Achieving Blue Economy Goals    Page 5 ♦

Erika Techera

The Indian Ocean has a growing regional economy, is critical to global maritime trade and is home to significant natural assets that facilitate activities such as fishing, tourism and energy production. These features have led to a common focus amongst Indian Ocean States on the economic growth and development potential of the maritime and oceanic environment, and the rapid adoption of strategies focused on the Blue Economy. Undoubtedly, there is regional potential for ‘blue growth’ and to derive sustainable wealth from the oceans, but this is not guaranteed. Without efficient and effective management of ocean-based undertakings, there is a risk of unsustainable environmental impacts. Law has a critical role to play in addressing these concerns, yet the region as a whole has received relatively little legal research attention. Without a regionally coherent approach to oceans governance, the ecological costs may become unsustainable, given the cumulative nature of the impacts and interconnectedness of ocean areas. This paper explores the focus on Blue Economy goals in the Indian Ocean, examines the role that law can play in supporting them, and highlights key areas for future research to identify tangible options for reform, in order to transform the legal landscape to achieve these Blue Economy goals.

Read the full article here: Achieving Blue Economy Goals – Erika Techera

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The Identity of the Coastal State    Page 15 ♦

Patrick H.G. Vrancken

After sketching the background of the sovereignty dispute between the United Kingdom and Mauritius over the Chagos Archipelago, this contribution outlines the relevant elements of the Arbitration Award made in 2015 and the Advisory Opinion expressed in February 2019. With reference to those two judicial pronouncements, the contribution then engages with the issue of whether a dispute over the identity of a coastal State is a dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the consequences for Indian Ocean governance.

Read the full article here: The Identity of the Coastal State – Patrick H.G. Vrancken

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Ocean Organizations: Making Sense of a Myriad    Page 25 ♦

 Dennis Hardy

This paper is written from the perspective of an outsider looking in. Although the author is a non-specialist, like many people he is drawn to the subject by its obvious importance and interest. There is a growing realization that action must be taken to reverse the present erosion of the inherent qualities of the sea and to promote the cause of sustainability. As a result there is now a profusion of organizations dedicated to one aspect or another of the desired renaissance. This is encouraging but, because of the sheer number and the complexity of acronyms, it is also confusing to a wider audience. The purpose of this paper is simply to try to make the picture a little clearer. To do this, a system of classification is offered, distinguishing, on the one hand, between the different levels at which ocean organizations operate and, on the other, pointing to different priorities: a distinction between scale and purpose.

Read the full article here: Ocean Organizations – Making Sense of a Myriad – Dennis Hardy

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Climate Change Adaptation in Seychelles    Page 43 ♦

Daniel Etongo

Applying a qualitative approach based on policy documents and participant observation in climate-related workshops, this study assesses the actors/sectors, actions, and barriers in the adaptation landscape in Seychelles and proposes strategies for improvement. Results indicate a diversity of actors/sectors compared to twenty years ago with the government having a leading role. Adaptation actions taken include policy development and revision, institutional set-up, hard and soft engineering approaches, human resources development, research, education and outreach. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) has gained importance during the last decade with projects such as coral and mangrove restoration, rainwater harvesting, tree planting and watershed management, etc. Several barriers constrain the adaptation process in Seychelles despite efforts to reduce its vulnerability. Chief among these barriers include: (i) institutional and governance issues, (ii) inadequate knowledge and scientific understanding, (iii) financial, and (iv) human resources capacity. Many of the barriers reported in this study matched up easily with the phases within the adaptation cycle. Promoting synergies between adaptation and mitigation, policy coherence with national strategies in Seychelles climate change policy, institutional collaboration to build capacity and avoid duplication of projects and conflicts, eradication of invasive species from EbA project sites, and reframing development goals to catalyze climate finance are some strategies for improvement.

Read the full article here: Climate Change Adaptation in Seychelles – Daniel Etongo

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Capacity Building for Climate Resilience in Seychelles    Page 67 ♦

 Michele P. Martin

The impacts of climate change have already begun to be felt in Seychelles: coastal erosion, warming ocean temperatures and changing rainfall patterns are beginning to take their toll on the islands’ ecology, economy and communities.  The actions required to adequately tackle climate change are complex, multi-layered and multi-sectoral, but all are contingent upon successful capacity building to ensure that the population has the knowledge and skills needed to plan and implement successful actions to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. This article focuses on capacity-building activities implemented through the GCCA+ program, and begins to explore areas and criteria for future programs to build national capacity for climate action.

Read the full article here: Capacity Building for Climate Resilience in Seychelles – Michele P. Martin

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Aquaculture in the Seychelles    Page 83 ♦

Nuette Gordon

It is well established that global fish resources are under immense pressure due to a growing human population and demand for food security. Aquaculture, and especially marine aquaculture, has and is being hailed as the solution to both reducing pressure on wild caught fisheries, and ensuring food security worldwide. Within the Western Indian Ocean some progress within aquaculture development has been made. Several factors, however, such as sound regulatory frameworks, lack of investment, market access, lack of knowledge and skills, and high operational costs, have prevented most enterprises from progressing beyond the experimental phase. These challenges have hindered progress in the development of aquaculture in Seychelles. However, strong government backing, and through the Blue Economy platform, support has been garnered for the development of a Mariculture Master Plan that provides a strategic plan towards developing the sector. Inroads have been made through the formulation of policies and regulations, skills development and training, and engagement with key stakeholders and the public. The completion of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and the granting of environmental authorisation has ensured that the construction of a brood stock, acclimation and quarantine facility has started. The success of this facility could influence the drive and ultimate realization of the sector in Seychelles. Consequently, research and development must remain the focus during this initial phase, together with procedural development and skilled training. Aquaculture development in Seychelles will be a long term process and will require a champion to ensure that support is maintained over the lifetime of the project from government, investors and the public in general. The momentum that has been created must be maintained through continued research, engagement and the active pursuit of investment and markets.

Read the full article here: Aquaculture in the Seychelles – Nuette Gordon

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Transdisciplinary Pathways for Sustainability Transformations    Page 102 ♦

P. Krutli, D. Neff and M. Stauffacher

To understand and promote sustainable development in Seychelles, the Transdisciplinarity Lab at ETH Zurich, in collaboration with the University of Seychelles and the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, initiated a sustainability learning lab in Seychelles (SLLS). The three partners decided to start their joint activities with transdisciplinary case studies (tdCS) on solid waste management, which represents a significant challenge for Seychelles. Master’s and bachelor’s theses, internships and local courses complemented the tdCS activities.

In its four years of operation, the SLLS involved more than 100 students and researchers. More than 1,300 locals participated in the various activities as interview partners, experts, workshop participants, survey participants, etc. The primary focus of these activities was on solid waste management. Five scientific reports and articles reflect the major outputs of these activities. First policy changes can be observed.

Different Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements constitute the formal backbone of the collaboration. However, organizational responsibility is still imbalanced between ETH and its local partners, and the long-term engagement of ETH Zurich is crucial for providing the necessary capacity and personnel resources.

Our sustainability learning lab, a platform to analyse, test, implement and monitor sustainable solutions, is now well underway and is focused on various future activities in sustainability-related fields, such as conservation, transport, agriculture, tourism and planning.

Read the full article here: Transdisciplinary Pathways for Sustainability Transformations – P. Krutli, D. Nef and M. Stauffacher

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The Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean: A Literature Review    Page 121 ♦

Malshini Senaratne and Andrew Zimbroff

Read the full article here: The Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean – A literature review – Malshini Senaratne, Andrew Zimbroff


♦RESEARCH NOTES

The One Ocean Hub: Transforming Ocean Governance    Page 146 ♦

E. Morgera, J. Pitt, D. McGarry and K. Hoareau

The One Ocean Hub, Transforming Ocean Governance – E. Morgera, J. Pitt, D. McGarry, K. Hoareau

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Maritime Security and the Capacity Building Challenge: Introducing the SafeSeas Best Practice Toolkit    Page 149 ♦

Christain Bueger

Maritime Security and the Capacity Building Challenge – Introducing the SafeSeas Best Practice Toolkit – Christian Bueger

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Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan Initiative    Page 157 ♦

J. Smith, H. Sims, W. Cosgrove, A. de Comarmond, W. Agricole and R. Tingey

Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan Initiative – J. Smith, H. Sims, W. Cosgrove, A. de Comarmond, W. Agricole, R. Tingey

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The Nekton First Descent Expedition    Page 162 ♦

Jerome Harlay and Rowana Walton

The Nekton First Descent Expedition – Jerome Harlay and Rowana Walton

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The Use of Aldabra and its Protected Waters by Marine Mammals    Page 166 ♦

J. Appoo, C. Sanchez, A. Burt, H. Richards, J. van de Crommenacker, J. Currie and F. Fleischer-Dogley

The Use of Aldabra and its Protected Waters by Marine Mammals -Jennifer Appoo et al.

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Spiny Lobster Life Cycle    Page 180 ♦

Léo Barrett

Spiny Lobster Life Cycle – Leo Barrett

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Open Cities Africa Seychelles – A community mapping approach    Page 189 ♦

Michael Wagner

Open Cities Africa Seychelles – A community mapping approach – Michael Wagner

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Benefits of Promoting Local Culture for Sustainable Tourism    Page 207 ♦

Audrey Bonvin Dechoux

Benefits of Promoting Local Culture for Sustainable Tourism – Audrey Bonvin Dechoux


♦CONFERENCE REPORTS     Pages 211 – 217♦

IGC2-BBNJ      

New York, 27 March – 5 April 2019

IGC2-BBNJ, New York, March-April 2019, Conference Report

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The Economist World Ocean Summit

Abu Dhabi, 5 – 7 March 2019

The Economist World Ocean Summit, Abu Dhabi, March 2019