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First-ever Seychelles Coral Festival draws attention to importance of protection

Victoria, Seychelles | April 29, 2024, Monday @ 12:40 in Environment » GENERAL | By: Alisa Uzice Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4747
First-ever Seychelles Coral Festival draws attention to importance of protection

The Aquaculture Department had a live display aquarium. (Seychelles News Agency) 

Photo license  

The first-ever Seychelles Coral Festival was held recently by the Seychelles Parks and Garden Authority (SPGA) to share information about corals and the different projects undertaken to protect them.

Shazelle Julie, assistant park officer for the SPGA, told SNA that the event was organised in collaboration with Absa Bank Seychelles, which will be adopting the Port Launay Marine Park. In addition, Absa Bank Seychelles wanted to promote the importance of coral through this festival.

"Corals are one of the biggest economic drives we have in Seychelles. Without them, we wouldn't have fish and we wouldn't have tourists. Many of us would be jobless. They also play an important part in the absorption of CO₂ (carbon dioxide)," she said.

The Aquaculture Department had a live display aquarium and several non-governmental organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS), the Seychelles Islands Foundation and Nature Seychelles were present for the festival. The NGOs were giving information on projects they are implementing and how the public can participate in conservation.

Representatives from the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) were also on the lookout for potential investors and shared information on possible investments in the Blue Economy in the country.  

The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) participated and advertised the Blue Grants Fund 8. The grant was launched recently and is still open for application from entrepreneurs and investors.

Most of the organisations had on display facts linked to conservation and corals. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

The Grants and Fundraising officer for SeyCAAT, Diana Renaud, told SNA this festival is the ideal place to promote the Blue Grants Fund 8.

"This is good for businesses who may have a product that doesn't harm corals or maybe a feasibility study is needed, they may apply under the criteria set for the fund, among which is that the project should aim to reduce risk and build resilience to climate change," said Renaud.

The request for proposals was opened on April 15 and will close on May 27.

Most of the stalls had interactive activities for people to participate and use facts linked to conservation and corals.

Alisha Belle, who took part, said that this festival is very important for promoting more awareness about corals and the crucial role they play in our environment.

"There's a lot of coral bleaching happening at the moment and this festival gets people thinking about these issues," she said.

A student from the School of Advanced Level Studies (SAL), Lishad Morgan, said, "What I found interesting is the information about how most people do not think about corals and how their actions may impact them. Such as people who are out on excursions, dropping their anchors without care, or even divers not being careful with their fins near the coral reefs. This started with previous generations but we have to protect what is left for our future generations."

The event also hosted several professionals in the scientific community in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. They held panel discussions about the importance of corals, and anyone could sit and listen.  

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Tags: Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, Absa Bank Seychelles, Seychelles Parks and Garden Authority, Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust

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