Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 721–733 | Cite as

Assessing climate change readiness in Seychelles: implications for ecosystem-based adaptation mainstreaming and marine spatial planning

  • Ahmed KhanEmail author
  • Vincent Amelie
Original Article


The high financial costs and institutional constraints of adapting to climate change necessitate joint planning with other development and environmental priorities, especially in Small Island Developing States. In response, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is gaining recognition as a cost-effective and synergistic approach for enhancing livelihoods through nature’s services, building community resilience, and integrating marine spatial planning. Using Seychelles in the West Indian Ocean as a case study, we assess the readiness for climate change as a tool to implement and mainstream EbA across various spatial scales. Our assessment highlights certain governance mechanisms and policy processes that could contribute to joint adaptation and economic planning and in achieving multiple objectives. These include leadership, institutional mechanisms, science–policy nexus, decision-making structures, stakeholder involvement, and technological innovation. These readiness factors as well as knowledge gaps on future risks provide lessons for other SIDS in their climate change and integrated coastal management initiatives. As such, the needs to strengthen local governing capacity, secure sustainable funding, and promote adaptation research for long-term monitoring and cross-scale linkages are warranted.


Climate change, ecosystem-based adaptation Adaptation readiness Marine governance Seychelles West Indian Ocean 



The authors are grateful for technical inputs from consultative stakeholder meetings during a GEF-SCCF project inception workshop in Seychelles on the theme “Enhancing capacity, knowledge and technology support to build climate resilience of vulnerable developing countries” in September 2012. The administrative support from Alain De Cormamond of the Climate Change Affairs Adaptation and Information in Seychelles and field support from Petra de Abreu (C4 EcoSolutions) and Ole Vestergaard (UNEP) are greatly appreciated. We also thank participants at the international EbA workshop held in Beijing in China in October 2013, especially Elvina Hoarau and Nimhan Senaratne and other presenters at the coastal session. UNEP-IEMP colleagues provided useful comments on various versions of this paper. Thanks to Erasme Mbanzamihigo for timely inputs for Fig. 1, Elyn Albert for Fig. 2, and Ling Ge for Fig. 4. The first author acknowledges funding from the CAS Young International Scientist Fellowship during his UNEP-IEMP tenure (Grant no. 2012 Y1ZA0010). Two anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments and suggestions that improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Nations Environment Programme- International Ecosystem Management PartnershipInstitute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Business & School of EnvironmentSaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.Department of Environment, Climate and Environmental Service DivisionMinistry of Environment and EnergyVictoriaSeychelles

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