Dubai: An archipelago of 115 islands, Seychelles is a blue haven surrounded by nature’s prized possessions underwater and on land. Yet, even this nearly untouched piece of paradise in the Indian Ocean has been vulnerable to coral reef bleaching, overfishing and rising sea levels due to climate change. While the Seychelles Pavilion, situated in the Sustainability District of Expo 2020 Dubai, is about discovering the treasures endemic to the island country, visitors will also learn of the revolutionary solutions it has come up with to conserve its future.
Pioneering blue bonds for a blue economy
In the pavilion’s ‘Blue Zone’, the achievements and success stories of one of the world’s smallest countries will be highlighted, with Seychelles having made leaps in adopting a blue economy. To transition towards an economy that sustainably uses its blue resources, the country pioneered the world’s first sovereign blue bonds as a means to finance sustainable fisheries and marine projects.
Visitors will discover how this innovation, created by Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) and the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS), has been funding the expansion of protected marine areas, rebuilding of fish stocks and harvest control measures as part of the country’s blue economy initiatives.
A treasure hunt in paradise
The pavilion visitor experience is modelled after a treasure hunt with hidden clues waiting to be decoded about the natural beauty and history of the islands. Along the way, the audience will watch films on the lush landscape and teeming seas of Seychelles.
By allowing visitors to connect on a personal level through clues in the form of sight, smell and sound, the pavilion lays down the reasons for why the hidden treasure warrants our protection. An art installation of a fish will also highlight the pervasive issue of plastic pollution.
Celebrating Creole identity
On October 28, 2021, Seychelles will take up its national day slot at the world fair to spotlight its people’s Creole identity native to the islands. Cultural festivities on the day will include an authentic taste of the diverse archipelago, so make sure to come treasure hunting on an empty stomach.
- The writer is an intern with Gulf News.