The main climate change threats facing Seychelles are similar to those threatening other small island developing states: changes in rainfall patterns leading to flooding, landslides on one hand and extended periods of drought on the other, increases in sea temperature, changes in acidity and damage to marine ecosystems, increases in storms and storm surges, and sea level rise during the longer term (NDC). A recent UNISDR report has revealed that most disasters occurring in Seychelles were related to storms, floods, rain and landslides, and recommended that future planning should focus on losses from flooding and landslides which also caused the greatest economic losses.
This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. It allows for a quick assessment of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.
The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.
Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards. Source (PDF)
Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.
Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals.
This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.
- Sea level is already affecting Seychelles, such as in May 2007 when very high tides combined resulted in flooding up to 50m inland causing damage to roads, public infrastructure. Sea level rise may lead to coastal erosion impacting infrastructure especially tourism and roads. Sea level change may also increase salinity of the soil and aquifers impacting food and water supply.
- Extreme rainfall has caused significant agricultural losses to crops in the last decade. Heavy rainfall during 1997-98 El Nino and 1998-00 La Nina events caused widespread flooding with significant losses to the economy. The government reported that Fisheries alone accounted for 45% of the total losses followed by agriculture and tourism. Increases in rainfall intensity may also result in greater surface runoff and reduced water capture in existing storage facilities and could also pose health risks.
- Short, intense rain events are known to trigger landslides such as in Jan 2013 when Pointe Au Sel in the southeast of the island reported 184mm of rain in a 24-hour period - nearly half the amount of rain expected in the entire month of January. Landslides and rock falls cause damage to transport infrastructure and houses and are expected to worsen.
- Seychelles has received assistance from the regional European Union funded Islands Project and other sources to support an improvement in disaster preparedness and communication with the public and the private sector;
- A Cuban research team and Japan-funded study have assisted Seychelles with disaster and risk modelling related to climate change;
- Climate change adaptation needs to be mainstreamed into planning process for all new developments, with associated improvements in the building codes and their rigorous enforcement;
- A critical role is that of the Department of Risk and Disaster Management which needs upgrading in capacity with enhanced mapping underpinned with commensurate internet bandwidth;
- The Department should be linked in real time to Seychelles Meteorological Service to assist in understanding risks and hazards, improving emergency response system, whilst engaging directly with, and empowering, communities and islands to plan, mitigate risks and respond (NDC).