Seychelles National Report - Phase 1: Integrated Problem Analysis

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This Integrated Problem Analysis for Seychelles was conducted between December 2000 and August 2001. The exercise comprised of three phases. Phase 1 commenced with identification of hot spots, sensitive areas and overriding issues. A scaling exercise then prioritised 3 hot spots and 3 sensitive areas, and a scoping exercise that prioritised the relevant issues. Phase 2 focused on an assessment of environmental and social impacts, and Phase 3 on the analysis of causal chains for the three selected issues.

Phase 1: Scaling and Scoping

In Phase 1, a preliminary identification of hot spots and sensitive areas resulted in an agreed list of 6 hot spots and 6 sensitive areas (see Annex I and II). The identified hot spots included three from the main island of Mahe, two from the second island of Praslin, and one from the third island of La Digue. For the identified sensitive areas, three sites were situated on Mahe, one on Praslin, the Curieuse Marine Park and Ste. Pierre, and the Cosmoledo Atoll. The main overriding issues that were identified were: (i) pollution; (ii) habitat and community modification; and (iii) global change.

In the scaling exercise, 3 hot spots (the Coastal Plateau of La Digue; East Coast, Mahe; and Anse Volbert, Praslin) and 3 sensitive areas (Port Launay and Baie Ternay Marine Parks and adjacent areas; Cosmoledo Atoll; and Mahe Wetlands) were prioritised (see Annex II). The habitats and communities identified as suffering significant loss were, in order of priority: coral reef lagoons, coastal marshes, sandy foreshores, mangroves, sea grass meadows, fast flowing stony bottom rivers, and ocean fisheries.

In the scoping exercise, the issues affecting hot spots, sensitive areas and overriding issues were ranked in order according to perceived future changes (see Annex III, IV and V). The most critical issues identified were (i) modification of ecosystems or ecotones; (ii) sea level rise; (iii) loss of ecosystems or ecotones; (iv) coral bleaching; and (v) coastal erosion. Although pollution was initially identified as a major overriding issue, when considering perceived changes this was seen as an issue that is to a large extent being addressed at the national level, and therefore manageable. On the other hand, issues such as modification and/or loss of habitat, and those associated with global change (e.g. sea-level rise, coral bleaching and coastal erosion) were considered as posing more of a long-term threat.


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