Seychelles banned use of plastic bags, cups and cutlery long back (Pic. Africanews)

VICTORIA – President DANNY FAURE of SEYCHELLES has shocked the leaders of the Group of SEVEN nations with photographs of the damage to the ALDABRA atoll by plastic pollution and other types of litter from the rest of the world.

ALDABRA is said to be the world’s SECOND-largest coral atoll situated in the ALDABRA Group of islands in the INDIAN Ocean that form part of the Outer Islands of the SEYCHELLES, with a distance of ONE-THOUSAND-120 kilometres.

A statement from State House says President FAURE has addressed delegates from small islands developing states at the GROUP of SEVEN Summit in CANADA.

He says SEYCHELLES and other small island nations already have enough of a challenge managing their own waste, and do not need to take on the rest of the world’s trash.

ALDABRA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in SEYCHELLES, is a remote atoll, a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands formed of coral, and a clean-up project was launched last month.

The national news agency, SNA, says the scheme will conclude with an expedition to be led by the Queen’s College from the UNITED KINGDOM to remove tonnes of ocean trash.

It quotes President FAURE as saying the islands need help to handle the vast and increasing amounts of marine litter washing up on and polluting their beaches and coasts from way beyond their shores.

The SNA says the Group of SEVEN leaders, CANADA, FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, JAPAN, the UNITED KINGDOM and the UNITED STATES, have agreed the SEYCHELLES Leader has graphically made his point.

Their roundtable included FOUR island leaders from HAITI, JAMAICA, the MARSHALL Islands and SEYCHELLES to discuss the challenges of small islands developing states.

Canadian Prime Minister JUSTIN TRUDEAU invited President FAURE to a special session on oceans at the Group of SEVEN Summit since CANADA holds the presidency for 2018.

The SNA says the session has been held under the theme: Healthy, Productive and Resilient Oceans and Seas, Coasts and Communities.

President FAURE has further spoken about his national innovative financing for the blue economy and ocean sustainability.

When his country graduated to a high-income country in 2015, instead of complaining about losing grant funding, he said the island nation turned to pioneering new innovative sources of financing.

The national news agency says the sources included a FIRST-of-its-kind debt swap for ocean conservation and climate adaptation and the forthcoming and equally novel blue bonds, which fund the development of sustainable fisheries.

However, President FAURE says such new sources of finance will not be enough to meet the small island nations’ sustainable development and climate action obligations under the 2030 Agenda, the PARIS Agreement and the SAMOA Pathway.

He has called on the Group of SEVEN and multilateral partners to agree on a specific resilience index that takes into consideration the unique vulnerabilities to external shocks, be they climate change or economic, of small island states.

President FAURE says islands can no longer afford to see themselves as dots lost in a sea of blue, but as sentinels, the guardians of TWO THIRDS of the Blue Planet, and they must act accordingly.

The SEYCHELLES Head of State has further called on Prime Minister TRUDEAU and CANADA to play a prominent and proactive role in high seas negotiations that begin this SEPTEMBER at the UNITED NATIONS in NEW YORK./Sabanews/cam

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