Seychelles Sustainability Issues

The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Seychelles:

  1. Poverty

In 2016, the World Bank reported an extreme poverty level of 1.1 percent in Seychelles, using the global mark of $1.90 per day. Additionally, moderate poverty was reported at 2.5 percent, using the global mark of $3.10 per day. This poverty rate puts Seychelles among the lowest in the world among nations that are not part of the 35-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  

While these numbers are very low, the poverty rate in Seychelles as reported by the government is vastly different from the World Bank data. A 2013 study by the Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics put the poverty rate at 39.3 percent. The large difference is due to using a national basic needs poverty line. This poverty line is SCR 3,945 per month, equivalent to roughly $300 per month or $10 per day.

 

  1. Waste Management

According to the Seychelles News Agency in August 2017, the 93,000 inhabitants of the archipelago generate about 48,000 tons of waste per year of which 90 percent ends up in landfills. Students of ETH Zurich and UniSey even investigated that in 2014 alone more than 75,000 tons of waste was generated on Mahé, the biggest Seychelles island, and dumped in the Providence landfill. They found out that the waste had almost doubled in the past decade, is still on the rise and will – by business as usual and without intervention – need seven to ten additional landfills by 2040.

 

  1. Water Crisis

The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 low-lying, granitic islands in the western Indian Ocean.The islands’ groundwater resources are extremely limited, and the terrain makes it even harder to procure fresh water. By 2030, the water demand on the main island of Mahé is expected to grow by 130 percent. Currently, Seychelles can only meet 60 percent of its residents’ water needs.

 

  1. Marine Pollution

The daily accumulation rates, composition, sizes and potential sources of marine litter collected on Cousine Island, Seychelles were investigated. In total, 9119 items of marine litter were collected during 40 surveys, which equated to 0.0082 items·m−1·d−1. Between 2003 and 2019 there was a significant increase in the amount of litter deposited, with the highest daily accumulation rate recorded in 2019 (0.0255 items·m−1·year−1). All specific litter types increased over time and also differed significantly in their accumulation rates, with polystyrene fragments/pieces (0.00249 items·m−1·d−1), plastic items (0.00135 items·m−1·d−1) and plastic bottles (0.0011 items·m−1·d−1) being the most commonly encountered. The majority of the litter found was ≤5 cm in size. Nearly all (>80%) litter collected was made of or contained some form of plastic. Recommendations for improved management of litter and the importance of establishing regular beach clean-ups within the Seychelles is the need of the hour.

 

  1. Gender Inequality

Gender Based Violence is a common problem in Seychelles and the majority of the affected are women. The most recent study shows that at least 54 percent of women have experienced some form of intimate domestic violence. Findings from the Seychelles attitudes survey from 2016 show that 79 percent of men believe that a woman should obey her husband. Furthermore, 35 percent think that a man should have the final say in family matters.