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Seychelles Signs Historic Pact to End Deforestation By 2030 At UN Climate Summit

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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021
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Seychelles has signed a historic pact to halt and reverse loss and land degradation by 2030 at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow on Tuesday, said State House.

President Wavel Ramkalawan signed the pact together with other heads of states and governments at the event on Forests and Land Use.

More than 100 world leaders have signed the pact in a deal hailed by some observers as one of the “first major outcomes” from the COP26 Climate Summit.

The Summit included a video of Glasgow Leaders Declaration Fact Roadmap in which Ramkalawan was also featured stating the urgency of forest protection.

“Forests matter because they are the heart and lungs of our planet. Forty-seven per cent of our land territory is under protection, and we have recently committed to protect the seagrass meadows and mangrove forests in our efforts to survive climate change and protect our biodiversity. Seychelles supports and gives its full commitment to the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forest and Land Use,” he said.

In his address at the event, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hailed the new agreement signed by governments responsible for 85 per cent of the world’s forests, as an unprecedented step forward for efforts to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises.

Under the agreement, 12 countries, including the UK, have pledged to provide $12 billion of public funding between 2021 and 2025 to help developing countries in efforts to restore degraded land and tackle wildfires

On the sidelines of the Summit, Ramkalawan attended a round table discussion with fellow leaders in the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) on understanding island climate priorities at COP26.

Ramkalawan had the opportunity to meet and interact with the President of the United States, Joe Biden. The meeting was chaired by Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken with the purpose to discuss climate change, the priorities of Small Islands Developing States (SDS) and how the US government would assist.

During the meeting, Ramkalawan addressed the issue of direct assistance to SIDS through an easy, well worked out mechanism that would basically fast track such processes.

He also spoke on the adoption of a Vulnerability Index through which SIDS would be assessed based on the vulnerability of their situation instead of the hard-won economic gains, which can be destroyed overnight as it happened to the tourism industry with the COVID-19 pandemic.

AOSIS is an intergovernmental organisation of low-lying coastal and small island countries established in 1990.

During his participation at COP26, the head of state of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, met with other world leaders namely President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta; President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa; the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani; President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly — Abdulla Shahid.

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