The Republic of Seychelles, situated in the Western Indian Ocean, is a SmallIslandDevelopingState (SIDS) of 84,600 inhabitants, with a very high population density exceeding 500 hab/km2 on its main island, Mahé. The main pillars of the economy (tourism and fisheries) are intrinsically linked to the country’s pristine natural and physical island/marine environment. This makes Seychelles extremely vulnerable to climatic change and human-induced impacts, in particular urbanisation.
This Strategy Paper is based on the 2006 evaluation of EC-Seychelles cooperation and also results from a close dialogue with Government, civil society, EU member States and other partners. The overall objective of the EC-Seychelles cooperation under the 10th EDF, is to contribute to the sustainable economic and equitable social development of the Seychelles. The programming of 10th EDF funds remains oriented towards one focal area of intervention, namely the environment sector and, more specifically, the water and sanitation sub-sector. EC support will contribute to the sustainable delivery of water to the country at large.
Seychelles is made up of 115 islands scattered over an EEZ of 1.4 million km2. The archipelago is divided into two distinct groups of islands: a granite group of 43 islands and 72 low-lying, largely uninhabited, coralline islands. One of these coralline islands is the UNESCO world heritage site of Aldabra, the largest raised coral atoll in the world.
As a SIDS, Seychelles has the inherent vulnerabilities of SIDS, including small land area, limited natural resources and environmental vulnerability. The main engines of growth, tourism and fisheries, are inextricably linked to the quality of the natural and physical environment. Urbanisation is one of the main factors exerting pressure on Seychelles’ limited land resources and coastal environment. The lack of updated land use plans at national and local level is making environmental planning increasingly difficult. Coral reef degradation and marine pollution are on the increase due to land-based activities, sewage discharge and over-exploitation. Small-scale fishery, although marginal in terms of its contribution to GDP, remains of importance in terms of food security, employment and cultural identity.
The recipient country’s development strategy
National Development Plans (NDPs) have been Government’s main tool for fostering economic development and maintaining the social welfare system. During the elaboration phase of the NDP 2007-2011 it was deemed more realistic to develop a 10-year plan in light of the forecast economic targets. It is in this context that, in March 2007, Government published the “Strategy 2017: unlocking the potential of the Seychelles economy”. This document covers the NDP 2007-2011 and sets out, in summary form, the Government’s longer-term vision “to double the GDP of Seychelles by 2017 through focused fisheries and tourism expansion programmes, the development of financial services industry and the resultant growth of other economic sectors”. The core elements supporting this “private sector-led” growth strategy will be: enhancement of local participation, strengthening of national human resource capacity, securing the highest environmental standards as well as promotion of strategy national and international partnerships.
Seychelles ha benefited from EC instruments, including the fisheries Partnership Agreement and successive EDF Regional Indicative Programmes. Some assistance has also been received under horizontal private sector support programmes. However, the country has been less successful in mobilising funds from the EC-funded thematic budget lines, such as the Water Facility. In the past, the EIB has also been a key partner for the country’s economic development.
In line with the EC’s development policies defined in its Strategic Partnership for Africa and the European Consensus for Development, the general objective of the EC response strategy under the 10th EDF CSP is to contribute o the sustainable economic and equitable social development of the Seychelles. In view of the need to concentrate development efforts and given the relative size of the budget allocation, the Country Strategy for 2008-2013 will focus on one key strategic area (environment/ water and sanitation), and one non-focal area.
The implementation of the EC’s cooperation strategy with Seychelles will be financed from several financial instruments. The following is an indication of their mobilisation as currently envisaged.
10th EDF, A envelope, E5.9million: this envelope will cover long-term programmable development operations under the strategy, and in particular:
- Environment/water & sanitation, E5.0 million (85% of A allocation)
- Other programmes, covering Governance Capacity Building & E0.90 million (15% of A allocation)
10th EDF, B envelope, E400,000: this envelope will cover unforeseen needs such as emergency assistance where such assistance cannot be financed from the EU budget, contributions to internationally agreed debt relief initiatives and support to mitigate adverse effects of instability in export earnings.
Investment Facility: in addition to the financial instruments mentioned above, of which the A-envelope is the main programmable basis for the NIP, the 10th EDF also includes an Investment Facility, which is an instrument managed by the European Investment Bank. The Investment Facility is not part of the NIP.
Some specific activities may be supported by the Centre for the Development of Enterprise
(CDE) and the Centre for the Development of Agriculture (CTA).
- European Commission: IQSG - Interservice Quality Support Group