the challenge of sustainable land use in seychelles l.
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The Challenge of Sustainable land Use in Seychelles. Didier Dogley, Director General Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources Department of Environment 2005 . Contents. Problem Scenario Approaches to solve the problem Other measures and tools Results/ Impacts

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The Challenge of Sustainable land Use in Seychelles

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the challenge of sustainable land use in seychelles

The Challenge of Sustainable land Use in Seychelles

Didier Dogley,

Director General

Ministry of Environment & Natural ResourcesDepartment of Environment


  • Problem Scenario
  • Approaches to solve the problem
    • Other measures and tools
  • Results/ Impacts
  • Strengths and shortcomings of the process
  • Conclusion
problem scenario
Problem Scenario
  • Seychelles islands are granitic or sand cays. Main Granitic island are characterized by a narrow coastal strip and a central massive with steep slopes
  • Most economic and other form of Development located on these narrow coastal strips
  • 90% of the 80 000 population live on Mahé and about 40% of which live on a belt of 7km by 3 km
  • Population density of greater Victoria is 450 persons/km²
  • Overall the current national population density is 178 persons/km²
  • Land is subject to severe competition amongst potential conflicting uses
  • The Division responsible for physical planning is increasingly under strain brought about by increased economic activities and development
this has lead to the following detrimental actions
This has lead to the following detrimental actions
  • Difficulty to enforce regulations due to lack of manpower and resources
  • Indiscriminate and uncontrolled lighting of fire and felling of trees to clear land for development
  • Construction on sensitive or in high risk areas including hillsides, sand dunes and beaches
  • Filling of wetlands and marshes
  • Application of agricultural practices which are detrimental to soil conservation
  • Resulted in increased forest fires, coastal and hillside erosion, land degradation, including conflicts between various development sectors
approaches to solve the problem
Approaches to solve the problem
  • Legislations and Regulations:

- More than 100 pieces of legislation and regulations

- Enforcement of existing laws and regulation - vital to success

  • Town and Country Planning Act, 1972(currently being reviewed)
  • Environment Protection Act, 1994- Environment Impact Assessment Class1 and Class 2 for different types of development and approval from DoE.
  • Breadfruit and other Trees (Protection) Act, 1917 (currently being reviewed) require authorization from DOE for lopping and felling of trees.
  • Stateland and Rivers Reserves Act, 1991
  • National Park and Nature Conservancy Act, 1992
  • Lighting of Fire Act- requires authorization from DoE for burning purposes
other measures and tools
Other measures and Tools
  • Plans and Strategies
  • 5 years National Development Plans
  • The National Land Use Plan (PAT)
  • Environment Management Plans of Seychelles 1990-2000 and 2000-2010
  • Various projects have been set up to improve both planning processes and management in Coastal Zones
  • 500 hectares of land has been reclaimed from the sea during the last 25 years.
Maps of Sensitive zones- applies to both environmentally sensitive zones and areas prone to risks.
  • Territorial Management Plan of Seychelles (reviewed)- limit development to certain specific areas e.g. no construction in areas above 400m altitude.
  • Redirecting economic activities and growth in underdeveloped areas
  • Centralise System of Geographical Information System- use of aerial photos and arc view computer programme in planning processes.
  • Sustained Awareness and Education Campaign by the DoE- using various forms of media.
  • Disaster Coordination Secretariat and Contingency Plans- clear division of labour and responsibilities
  • Promote the use of quarry construction materials- reduce the use of beach sand.
results impacts
Results/ Impacts
  • Significantly reduced the number of forest fires and related negative impact on environment.
  • A marked reduction in construction in sensitive areas and high risk areas.
  • Less damages to infrastructure and property by natural disasters such as land slides, tree fall and storms.
  • More high class tourism development redirected to underdeveloped areas including outer coral islands.
  • An increase in participation and advocacy by civil society in reaforestation and environmental protection initiatives.
  • Application of best practices in the farming sector.
strengths and shortcomings of the process
Strengths and shortcomings of the Process
  • Strengths:
  • Seychelles has a distinguished history for its environmental protection efforts
  • Policies and strategies are already in place although they may require to be reviewed from time to time.
  • Infrastructure and related institutions exists and are man by adequately trained personnel
  • Policy makers and local population understand and are aware of the need for proper physical planning and the fragility and vulnerability of both the island state ecosystems and the economy.
  • Sufficient funds are available to implement the core activities of the agencies responsible for physical planning and land Use
  • Scarcity of land still remains a major challenge especially for construction of social housing.
  • Limited number of human resources
  • Requires high input of human, technological and monetary resources
  • Laws still fragmented and needs to be harmonise.
  • National Territorial Plan needs to be reviewed
  • Planning application process still too cumbersome and needs streamlining.
  • Present Physical planning system is to a certain extent sustainable
  • It relies mostly on input from annual government budget allocations and fees paid by developers.
  • However enforcement of legislation will continue to require political will and support.
  • More qualified manpower will be required during economic boom periods
  • Donor financial support will be required to improve use of upgraded versions of new technologies e.g. GIS and the harmonization of existing legislations.