Marine science: WIOMSA elects first female president from Seychelles
Jeremie is the first Seychellois woman to assume the presidency of the WIOMSA board. (Marie-May Jeremie)
Seychellois scientist Marie-May Jeremie is the first woman from Seychelles to be elected as the president of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA).
Jeremie, the current chief executive of the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT), was elected by the WIOMSA 8th board of trustees at the association's 44th board meeting on February 2.
"I am extremely proud and humbled by this new appointment. WIOMSA is a prestigious organisation that is known globally for its efforts in Africa and the region. I am only the second Seychellois to be appointed at the head of this organisation, and the first Seychellois woman to do so," Jeremie told SNA on Monday.
While Jeremie is the first Seychellois woman to assume the presidency of the WIOMSA board, Seychelles heads the board for the second time. Dr Nirmal Jivan Shah, who was a founding member of the association, was the president from 2009 to 2013.
On Thursday, Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan sent a message to Jeremie, saying “I wish to congratulate you on your nomination which represents a moment of pride for Seychelles. Your hard work and dedication have paid-off as you continue to lead and impart your knowledge and experiences in your field.”
He added that this achievement is “without a doubt also a source of inspiration for other Seychellois to strive for greater achievements on similar international platforms. On behalf of the country, we are proud of what you have been able to achieve and we wish you well in this new and important role as the President of WIOMSA.”
|Jeremie was elected by the WIOMSA 8th board of trustees at the association's 44th board meeting on February 2. (Marie-May) Jeremie Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
Founded in 1994 in Zanzibar, Tanzania, WIOMSA promotes educational, scientific and technological development of all aspects of marine sciences in the Western Indian Ocean region.
Jeremie said she will bring to WIOMSA her expertise in environmental policy and ocean governance, which she intends to use to push for more robust and significant study in this area.
"I aspire to bring an interdisciplinary approach to WIOMSA, one that will be focused on bridging the science-to-policy interface in ensuring that countries in the western Indian Ocean region, particularly the small island states, build their own scientific and research capabilities to steer ocean governance," she said.
Jeremie said that Seychelles and the other island states in the western Indian Ocean have traditionally not benefited as much through the WIOMSA platforms.
"It will, therefore, be my aim to help identify talents, and bring opportunities to build capacity for meaningful research in the region," added the newly elected WIOMSA president.
Dr Nina Wambiji was elected as the vice president of the association. She is the assistant director of marine fisheries at the Kenya Fisheries and Marine Research Institute.
Dr Blandina Lugendo, who currently serves as the Dean of the School of Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Technology (SoAF) at the University of Dar es Salaam, was elected as treasurer.
Updated 4.43 pm.