Solid waste management poses a significant challenge to Seychelles. As a small island state surrounded by the ocean, there is a scarcity of land and a lack of engineered landfills. The island generates about 80,000 tons of waste per year, though this number is expected to increase by 50 percent by 2030. Currently, the waste is disposed of in communal bins around the island and transferred to a landfill facility. However, the primary landfill on the main island of Mahe is expected to reach full capacity by 2025.
Facilitating the implementation of a circular economy is of critical importance to reduce the amount of waste flowing to the landfills. On World Environment Day the United Nations Secretary-General emphasised: “We must work as one – governments, companies, and consumers alike – to break our addiction to plastics, champion zero waste, and build a truly circular economy.”
The circular economy approach is key to operationalizing the Government of Seychelles Solid Waste Management Plan 2020-2035 and United Nations priorities to reduce both land and marine pollution. UNEP, UNDP, UNFPA and UNECA* are working together under the Joint SDG Fund to support the development of a circular economy roadmap and action plan and a financing strategy, and to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sector. Underpinned by the UN principle to leave no one behind, gender sensitive policies and strategies are integrated throughout the project’s circular economy initiatives.
On 13 July, the UNDP launched the SDG Investor Map, which addresses the need to mobilise private sector investment in critical waste management infrastructures. This market intelligence tool identifies concrete and emerging Investment Opportunity Areas to attract private capital to national development needs and policy priorities in five sectors with strong SDG positive impact. This will help to scale up the necessary investments in circular economy opportunities contributing to a reduction in the amount of solid waste being directed to the landfill.