Seychelles strengthens National Climate Commitments through its NDC

After being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the UK has agreed to host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the parties (COP 26) with the support of the government of Italy in Glasgow from the 1st until the 12th of November 2021. The COP will unite the world leaders together to tackle climate change. With intensive preparation underway before the event, Seychelles is now working on the submission of its ambitious NDC with more ambitious targets to accelerate progress to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In 2015, 184 countries submitted national climate commitments, known under the Paris Agreement as nationally determined contributions (NDCs). As the first round of NDCs was never intended to solve climate change in one fell swoop parties are now submitting their second NDCs. Although with a delay in time because of the pandemic, with all submissions that were supposed to happen in 2020, parties are now submitting their second round of NDCs.

“The NDCs work on a 5 year cycle and Seychelles will make sure that it enhances its climate ambition for the upcoming submission to showcase that as a small island nation we are at the frontline of climate change” said the Technical Advisor, Wills Agricole from the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the Bonzour Sesel programme. Seychelles’ updated NDC looks at the source of the problem itself with actions planned to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to mitigate climate change and communicate ways that will be taken to adapt to the climate change impacts to build resilience.

“Seychelles cannot do all of the work on its own and so requested technical assistance for its NDC revision from the NDC Partnership and various other partners to enhance its NDC targets and make sure that the NDC goals are realistic”. Said Mr. Agricole. In addition to the NDC partnership, Seychelles is counting on the support of the UNDP, World Bank, the European Union, IRENA, Stantec, GIZ, the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SEYCATT), the Nature Conservancy, Deltares, the University of Seychelles, and the PEW Charitable Trusts.

Under the “Climate Promise Initiative” by the UNDP which supports climate action in 118 countries worldwide including Seychelles, a validation meeting for the review of the NDC was held on 13th May 2021. The online event was held in the presence of members of the Government of Seychelles, academia, many project donors, and other national stakeholders.

Applause also rings out internationally as The Pew Charitable Trust praises Seychelles for its ambitious commitments to protect coastal wetlands within its updated NDC to the Paris Agreement. “As one of the first countries to commit to protecting 30% of its waters, Seychelles has a proud history of ocean leadership. We will not however rest on our laurels-our NDC ensures we will remain at the cutting edge of understanding and protecting our blue carbon ecosystems” said The Seychelles’ Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Flavien Joubert.

To many, COP 25 in Madrid ended in disarray with no progress that brought countries more in line with the 1.5 degrees target of the Paris Agreement. As countries now submit their NDCs, Seychelles remains hopeful that the level of ambition from parties will now enhance as we look forward to a successful COP 26 in Glasgow.