Resilience and vulnerability within coral reef dependent communities in Seychelles

Small island developing states are often characterised by a high dependency on marine resources, necessitating the careful and appropriate management of marine activities to ensure that these are used in a sustainable manner. Seychelles is a prime example of this, with the economy largely dependent on coastal and marine tourism whilst nearshore fisheries provide essential nutrition requirements to the local population. However, effective management of marine resources is hampered by many factors including limited environmental data, shortages of qualified staff and physical resources along with the impacts of inappropriate land development on nearshore reefs and associated fisheries.

This project, led by Dr Julian Clifton in partnership with coral reef experts from the University of Essex (UK) involves a twin track approach designed to explore resilience and vulnerability in nearshore coral reefs and coastal user groups which are dependent on these ecosystems. Data has been collected which sheds new light on reef responses to changing environmental conditions, whilst strategies to facilitate greater resilience to the impacts of climate change within user groups have been identified through social surveys. This research will continue to facilitate the improvement of marine resource conservation and management in Seychelles whilst also providing examples of good practice for other tropical small island developing states faced with similar problems of climate change and resource stability.

Collaborator/s

  • University of Essex, UK
  • Earthwatch Ltd.
  • Seychelles National Park Authority, Seychelles
  • Mitsubishi Corporation, UK