Seychelles

this country consists of 115 islands spread over 250,966 sq. mi. (650,000 sq. km.) of ocean and has a land area of 176 sq. mi. (451 sq. km.), with a population of 87,000 (2006 est.) and a population density of 458 people per sq. mi. (178 people per sq. km.). With 18 percent of the land forested, 2 percent is arable, and 13 percent is used for meadows and pasture.

The entire electricity production of the country comes from fossil fuels, and the country, largely because of this and a burgeoning luxury tourist industry, has a relatively high level of per capita carbon dioxide emissions. Although it was 1.6 metric tons per person in 1990, it has risen steadily, reaching 2.6 metric tons in 1996, and then, with a massive rise in tourist numbers, rose to 5.5 metric tons per person in 1997, rising again to 6.9 metric tons in 2003. All the carbon dioxide emissions of the country come from liquid fuels, with most of this resulting from little availability of public transport and heavy use of gasoline-operated generators.

The rising water levels and temperatures in the Indian Ocean are likely to have dramatic effects on Seychelles. The former might lead to the loss of some of the smaller islands in the Seychelles, and the latter has led to some coral bleaching, affecting some of the coral reefs around the Seychelles, along with its marine life. As a result, many of them are heavily protected, with the government keen on promoting ecotourism and with money from tourists being invested in environmental protection. This has been particularly true of Cousine Island in the Seychelles, where there have been serious attempts to protect the turtles breeding there and prevent soil erosion.

In 1990, the Seychelles drew up a 10-year environmental management plan, being the first African country to do this. The Seychelles government of France-Albert René took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, and in the following year ratified the Vienna Convention. The government signed Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on March 20, 1998, which was then ratified on July 22, 2002, with it entering into force on February 16, 2005.

SEE ALSO: Climate Change, Effects; Floods; Tourism.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Jan Dodd, Mauritius, Réunion & Seychelles (Lonely Planet, 2004); Jacques Hodoul, Seychelles Industrial Development Policy 1989-1993 (Ministry for National Development, Victoria, 1988); "Seychelles—Climate and Atmosphere," http://earthtrends.wri.org (cited October 2007); Geordie Torr, "Green Island," Geographical (v.777/6, June 2005).

Robin S. Corfield Independent Scholar

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