Reports from the Field: Role of BIOFIN in Policy and Institutional Review


Bertrand Rassool is BIOFIN Lead Expert in Seychelles. In this Reports from the Field, He shares the current achievements of BIOFIN in Seychelles. He also explained the future plans of BIOFIN-Seychelles. 

What has been the role of BIOFIN’s Policy and Institutional Review in Seychelles?
BIOFIN has already been instrumental in identifying a number of policy and institutional weaknesses relative to biodiversity conservation in Seychelles. The findings have been addressed in a number of workshops involving the main stakeholders including the very active environmental NGO community. These issues are also regularly addressed at the high level BIOFIN Steering Committee that meets quarterly. The BIOFIN Steering Committee comprises of secretaries from Finance, Environment, Blue Economy, Fisheries and Agricultural ministries and representatives of numerous environmental NGOs.

What have been the finance related activities of BIOFIN in Seychelles? 
The BIOFIN team of consultants have met individually with each and every major stakeholder to gather data on past expenditure (2006 -2014) on biodiversity conservation. This data would prove very useful, as it will serve as a baseline in order to determine future expenditures.

In parallel, the BIOFIN team has been carrying out the costing of Seychelles' second National Biodiversity and Strategic Action Plan (NBSAP) 2015-2020,which was recently approved by the Government of Seychelles. These two financial exercises should allow the BIOFIN team to establish the finance gap between the NBSAP 2015-2020 and the Business As Usual Scenario.

What is next for BIOFIN in Seychelles?
Once a finance gap is determined, the BIOFIN team in Seychelles aims to draw up a Resource Mobilization strategy/Finance Plan in the first half of the year 2016 followed by the implementation of this Finance Plan in 2016 - 2017. The ultimate aim of BIOFIN is to identify all possible sources of financing for biodiversity conservation by all stakeholders with a special attention to be given to NGOs and private sector. BIOFIN aims to mobilise additional resources, along side adopting a strategy to use the existing resources more cost effectively and efficiently. 

BIOFIN Seychelles is planning to host number of workshops in the upcoming years on the following themes. 

  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Sustainable Fisheries and Agriculture
  • Biosecurity legislation enforcement
  • These workshops would especially target the chief private sector organisations and operators with the objective of creating greater awareness for biodiversity conservation and making the business case for the private sector to take on increased ownership of biodiversity.

Please share some insights on the recent visit of Deutsche welle TV to cover the BIOFIN activities?
Seychelles was selected as one of the three BIOFIN Pilot countries by Deutsche Welle TV to be showcased on one of their popular environment programmes. The DW Filming Team visited Seychelles from 11th -18th October 2015 to coincide with the most recent BIOFIN Workshop of 13th October 2015. The DW Team interviewed key personalities and covered terrestrial and marine conservation on Mahe, Praslin and North Island. The DW film was broadcast on 9th November. Click here to view the film.