National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) - Seychelles

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The Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) for Seychelles presents an analysis of the status of the coastal and marine resources. It identifies the status of the biophysical and human environment including challenges in the management of the coastal and marine environment. The Seychelles archipelago is made up of 115 islands which are located between latitudes 4–11°S and 45–56°E. In addition to open ocean waters, which constitute the bulk of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Seychelles is also characterized by a series of continental shelves with a total surface area of almost 50,000 km2 . The main critical ecosystems are coral reef, seagrass beds and mangrove forests. Coral reefs cover approximately 1,690 km2 of which only 40 km² are found within the inner islands. Eight species of seagrasses and a total of eight species of mangroves are found in Seychelles.

Seychelles is vulnerable to climate change. According to climate change scenarios, marked changes in the seasonal rainfall pattern are expected. Extreme climatic events are occurring more frequently due to global warming leading to relatively higher average rainfall during an intense El Nino and abnormally low rainfall during an intense La Nina. The most serious threat of global warming has been coral mortality resulting from bleaching which in the warming event of 1997/1998 which caused 90% mortality in the inner islands. There has been a notable increase in the mean sea level, with some instances of sea level anomaly exceeding +10cm, with an annual sea level anomaly of +0.146 cm per year.

The MEDA is a national contribution to the multinational Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses (TDA) -Strategic Action Programme (SAP) process, and was funded and supported by the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems Project (which is funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme).

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