Seychelles supports initiative to implement anti poaching strategy at SADC Council of Ministers
Minister Wallace Cosgrow headed the Seychelles' delegation at the SADC Council of Ministers' meeting that was held in Gaborone, Botswana from the 14th to 15th March 2016.
In her opening statement at the Council of Ministers' meeting, the Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr. Stergomena Tax highlighted some of the key achievements and progress made in the implementation of the SADC 2015/2016 plan and budget, as well as the decisions taken at its last meeting in August 2015 which included the on-going costed action plan of the Industrialization Strategy and Road map, the continued implementation of the Regional Agricultural and Food Security framework, the development of the Blue Economy Strategy and the Women Empowerment Programme, amongst others. The Executive Secretary also commended the Seychelles Government for the organization of a credible and peaceful Presidential Elections held in December 2016.
The work of the Council consisted of reviewing various on—going SADC programmes and projects and to evaluate their financial implications on the members, as well as approve the budget for SADC activities for the period 2016/2017.
One of the key decisions' approved by the Council concerns the timelines for the finalization of the indicative investment costs to implement the revised Regional Indicative Strategy Development Plan (RISDP) 2015-2020, which will be submitted to the next SADC Council that will take place in August 2016.
The principle objective of the RISDP is to deepen integration in the region with a view to accelerate poverty eradication and the attainment of other economic and non-economic goals. Seychelles reaffirmed its support for the initiatives proposed under the revised RISDP, especially the initiatives that support social economic sectors such as Natural Resources, Health and Education.
Amongst the different interventions made by the Seychelles delegation during the various meetings, the delegation reiterated and emphasized the need to ensure that industrial development and investment in regional infrastructure projects are being done in a coherent manner to ensure proper integration of Seychelles with the wider Eastern and Southern African region.
Additionally, Seychelles delegation strongly supported the proposal to implement the SADC Law Enforcement and Anti-poaching strategy and to establish a SADC Wildlife Crime Prevention and Coordination Unit. The unit will assist member states to undertake a combine approach in dealing with poaching and illicit activities that counteract efforts in the protection and preservation of the environment and natural resources of the Southern African region.
Minister Wallace Cosgrow was accompanied at the SADC Council and preceding meetings by Mrs Marise Berlouis, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation, Ambassador Claude Morel, High Commissioner in South Africa and Permanent Representative to SADC, Mr Kenneth Racombo and Ms. Sandra Isnard from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Transport, Ms. Cillia Mangroo from the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy and Ms. Susan Morel, from the Ministry Of Labour and Human Resources Development.