COP27 - President Wavel Ramkalawan delivers keynote address at the the High-level segment of The Great Blue Wall (GBW) - Accelerating and Scaling Up Ocean Action in the Western Indian Ocean

07 November 2022 | Foreign Affairs


Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen


Good Afternoon.

Seychelles is truly honoured to be hosting this Great Blue Wall event together with key, instrumental partners like UNECA, IUCN and UNFCCC COP27 High Level Climate Champions.

The commitments on this initiative were proudly announced at various important international fora, notably at the ‘One Ocean Summit’ in Brest and at the ‘Ocean Conference’ in Portugal.

Hence, today’s event is our opportunity to rekindle our efforts and re-engage with much zeal and commitment to push forward this agenda. 

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the Great Blue Wall Initiative is significantly deemed as the nexus of climate change adaptation, conservation, and the blue economy - it is the solution to further longevity and prosperity of a ‘Blue’ world.

I am pleased to see that the role of the ocean in addressing climate change is now being widely recognized, valued and considered during our negotiations and global interactions. Ocean-based mitigation and adaptation on a world-wide scale cannot materialize in the absence of global collaboration and partnerships.

We, advocates, promoters and leaders in this ‘blue’ space therefore have to take on this challenge and take on this responsibility in a collective manner. It is up to us to build this ‘great blue wall’ and to build resilience through common actions in the face of common threats, for after all, we all share the basic needs to feed our people, our families now and in the future. In order for this need to be effectively satisfied, it is imperative that our environmental integrity remains intact.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the Great Blue Wall Initiative takes our efforts up a notch by adopting an action-driven oriented and focused approach.

I am indeed excited to see how dedicated and passionate Heads of State and Government, together with instrumental partners, have come together today to change the tides and to be part of the solution.

Seychelles, being a large oceanic state truly values and supports initiatives that will advance SDG 14. We strive to ensure that our policies and development plans are centered on conserving and sustainably using our ocean and marine resources to ensure sustainable development. This is why we have greatly welcomed the Great Blue Wall initiative.

It is a known fact that aquatic resources, the likes of rivers, lakes, seas and oceans are the world’s biggest asset, for they cover about 71% of the earth’s surface. We cannot ignore the fact that it is us who depend on these resources, and now more than ever, we need to gear our efforts towards the protection and the sustainable use of these resources.

The Great Blue Wall initiative signifies an epitome of how a symbiotic relationship could exist between conservation and socio-economic development. This is the objective of Seychelles’ blue economy agenda.

The Great Blue Wall initiative represents a unique opportunity for us to move forth with our ambitions at an unprecedented speed. Now is the time with the support of our partners to lay the stepping stones, and create a wave, a transmissible momentum for ocean-targeted actions that could be embraced by the wider global community.

In this increasingly interconnected world that we live in, we are in dire need of global initiatives like the Great Blue Wall, which strives to create high level allegiance for the salvation of our global heritage.

Our commitment to this cause is unswerving, for we have learnt to appreciate the invaluable importance of partnership, without which we would not have made such headways with our blue economy endeavours and milestone projects such as the blue bonds, the debt swap, the marine spatial plan, and the Joint Management of an extended continental shelf that is practically the size of Germany.

Henceforth, as a supporter, a leader and an advocate of the Blue Economy, I today reiterate my full support for this visionary initiative, which is a unique and necessary approach for the region, for Africa and for the world.

I therefore take this opportunity to convey this plea to you partners and collaborators here today: for us to take this initiative a step further; to rally more support behind this initiative; to go beyond the narratives, and maximize our efforts to translate our vision into tangible actions.

On this last note, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all who have played an instrumental role to make this event happen. A special thanks goes to our strategic partners, especially IUCN and UNECA, who have demonstrated unwavering support from the outset.

Let us be reminded that regardless of our individual limitations, together we may achieve the seemingly unattainable!

So, let us together build this Great Blue Wall, let us create hope for the future, and leave behind a legacy that we can all be proud of!


Thank you.





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