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The archipelago in the Indian Ocean has committed to protecting 400,000 sq km (154,000 sq miles) of marine area, about 30% of its waters. Conservationists say it is a step in the right direction, but the bigger challenge will be for the government to effectively manage the vast network of marine protected areas (MPAs). A ‘debt-for-nature’ deal allowed the country to restructure its sovereign debt and leverage $21.6 million to fund the creation of the MPAs and adaptation to climate change. Seychelles hosts giant tortoises, nesting sites for turtles, and fragile coral reef ecosystems that the new MPAs aim to protect. Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean famous for its turquoise waters, giant tortoises and wondrous birds, has extended protection to 400,000 square kilometers (154,000 square miles) of its seas, an area twice the size of Great Britain. The move fulfills the country’s long-standing pledge to safeguard 30% of its marine waters. “Seychelles’ marine ecosystem is the foundation that the economy is built upon, with fisheries and tourism being the primary pillars of our economy,” President Danny Faure said on March 26 at the signing of a decree that created 13 new marine protected areas (MPAs). “The people […]

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