Korea-Africa Summit: Seychelles makes urgent plea for support to African nations' response to climate change 

General |Author: Betymie Bonnelame | June 6, 2024, Thursday @ 11:10| 2543 views

Ramkalawan made the statement at a Business Summit at the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit in Seoul. (State House)

The Seychelles' President, Wavel Ramkalawan, in his capacity as the chairperson of the African Island States Climate Commission, made an urgent plea to all partners and stakeholders to join forces to support the African nations' response to climate change.

According to State House, Ramkalawan made the statement at a Business Summit at the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit in Seoul, South Korea on Wednesday.

As the head of a small island developing state (SIDS), Ramkalawan shared the perspective of Seychelles not only being affected by climate change but the existential threat it poses to its survival.

"As we convene here, I bring with me the urgent message of Seychelles, a Small Island Developing State in the Indian Ocean, facing the profound challenges of climate change. The climate crisis is not a distant threat but a stark reality that is being felt across the world. Island states feel it the most," he said.

"In Seychelles, rising sea levels encroach upon our shores threatening our critical infrastructures, while extreme weather events disrupt our communities and endanger our way of life. The recent Global Stocktake that took place in Dubai late last year, serves as a glaring reminder that there is a blatant gap in emissions reduction with current commitments falling short to the levels required to limit warming to 1.5 degrees (Celsius). Yet, in the face of adversity, Seychelles remains steadfast in our commitment to sustainable development and climate action," Ramkalawan elaborated.

He added that the African continent is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, while already feeling the effects.

As the chairperson of the African Island States Climate Commission, he said that Africa also has immense potential when it comes to renewable energy resources.

"By embracing the transition to carbon-free energy, African nations can leapfrog over the fossil fuel era and build a more sustainable and prosperous future. COP28 called for tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030. Thanks to rapid advances in technology, the cost of renewable energy has plummeted in recent years while energy storage technologies are rapidly improving. Thus, making the transition to these carbon-free energy technologies is achievable," said Ramkalawan.

He called on the delegates present "particularly the business leaders, to join us in this endeavour. You will not only contribute to our collective fight against climate change but also unlock new markets and opportunities for growth. We need to safeguard our planet for future generations. A future of shared Growth, Sustainability, and Solidarity. Seychelles stands ready to build such a future together with you."

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the Summit, Ramkalawan held bilateral talks with the President of the South Korea, Yoon Suk-Yeol, on Wednesday in which the two leaders  expressed their fervent hope that bilateral cooperation is heightened for the mutual benefit of both nations.

Ramkalawan (left) held bilateral talks with the President of the South Korea, Yoon Suk-Yeol. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY 

“Seychelles is very pleased with the excellent relations with the Republic of Korea, which are continuously being reinforced through our active engagements on both bilateral and multilateral fronts,” said Ramkalawan.

He added that the recent accreditation of Jung Kang, Ambassador of  South  Korea to Seychelles in March, will play a key role in maintaining and building upon the existing relations between the two countries.

“My government and I remain devoted to working closely alongside your government to forge new pathways of cooperation. I invite Korean investors to consider the possibilities that exist in Seychelles, specially in the technology and fisheries sectors," said Ramkalawan.

On his side, President Yeol explained that there were various fields where the two countries could explore for potential collaboration including fisheries and the Blue Economy, which are two sectors of great importance for Seychelles.

He praised Seychelles for being the first country to launch the sovereign blue bonds and expressed his wish to cooperate further with Seychelles in the Blue Economy and Fisheries.

Tags: African Island States Climate Commission, 2024 Korea-Africa Summit, Blue Economy


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