World Seagrass Day

General

Sovereign wealth benefits of seagrass to Seychelles

Seagrass, herbier marins, nayasi bahari, ??–different languages, different ways of saying the same word. Over the last few years Seychelles have finally been able get an official creole seychellois name for it, instead of sharing the same name as algae (gomon in creole). Anything greenish and slimy is fair game to be called gomon in creole, hence the confusion. Zerb lanmer it is now. The scientific facts has been established about seagrass in Seychelles waters, namely the 12 species of seagrass, its role in the marine ecosystems, its mapping exercises in the inner and outer islands of its territory; of approximate total of 142,100 hectares according to field map surveys done by University of Oxford (2022).

Seagrass in a sustainable blue economy

Small island developing states (Sids) like Seychelles now have the opportunity of a generation in being able to monetize their natural resources without having to extract and destroy to create another value out of it. This is thanks to the international capital markets that have opened up for some years now, with various types of innovative securities. They are forms of climate financing that bring much needed capital to Sids and its communities without them having to increase their sovereign debt which is hampering these island nations in their sustainable economic transitions.

Sids community & biodiversity carbon credits

Coastal blue carbon ecosystems are valued at over $190 billion (Bertram et al 2021). Seagrass, which have a higher carbon sequestration than mangroves, is the next group of high quality blue carbon credits. On the voluntary carbon markets, blue carbon have pricing at 2.5x to normal carbon credits being sold between buyers and suppliers. By 2030, they are projected to have a factor of 15. The potential for Sids to bring their sovereign seagrass carbon potential as part of the blue economy model onto the carbon markets and other innovative securities is transformational.

On this day March 1, World Seagrass Day, protecting seagrass ecosystems, artisanal fishermen’s continuous use of the meadows, and scientific research on the species have never been easier to enable these activities and at the same time earn the sovereign Sids a sizeable return by simply protecting the meadows. The time to act is now, not tomorrow.

Happy World Seagrass Day!

Source: Seychelles Nation