Seychelles Protected Areas Finance Project

Seychelles is located in the Western Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and the Horn of Africa. Its archipelago is made up of about 115 islands, which make up less than one percent of its ocean territory spreading across more than one million square kilometres in the Western Indian Ocean. Considered a global hotspot for biodiversity, the boulder-strewn, mountainous, granitic inner islands are the oldest mid-oceanic islands on Earth, and home to 97,000 inhabitants. The waters are rich in biodiversity and for more than 200 years its people have relied on the ocean for survival and prosperity.  However, years of over-exploitation of fish stocks and increasing impacts of climate change increased the vulnerability of the livelihoods of fishers and virtually all Seychellois living on the coast.

This realisation prompted the Government of the Seychelles to initiate a series of mutually-reinforcing responses to restore the sustainability of the fishery and the health of marine and coastal ecosystems, transitioning the country towards sustainable ocean management – a blue economic future. In 2012, the Government of Seychelles set a target of bringing 30 percent of its marine territory under protection by December 2020. However, effectively managing these expanded protected areas requires significant financial resources. In 2016, the Government of Seychelles, with support from the Global Environment Facility and United Nations Development Programme, initiated a Protected Areas Finance project to directly address this challenge.

The objective of the project is to improve the financial sustainability and strategic cohesion of the Seychelles protected area system, addressing financing gaps through the development of new and innovative financing mechanisms, while also dealing with emerging threats and risks to biodiversity in a shifting national economic environment.

For more information, download the project factsheet.

Detailed cases studies and technical reports are available on

Anse Major in Morne Seychellois National Park.©Dr.Andrew Rylance/GOS/UNDP/GEF