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Seychelles Islands Foundation starts community "give back campaign"

Victoria, Seychelles | May 14, 2024, Tuesday @ 15:06 in Environment » GENERAL | By: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3394
Seychelles Islands Foundation starts community "give back campaign"

The Vallee de Mai Reserve consists of a well-preserved palm forest. (Gerard Larose)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) aims to foster closer relationships with the communities located around two of the reserves it manages in a "give back campaign."

The announcement was made in a press conference on Monday and the chief executive of SIF, Frauke Fleischer-Dogley, said, "A subject that has always come up, was the relationship between Vallee de Mai and the Praslinois."

The Vallee de Mai Reserve consists of a well-preserved palm forest, and the flagship species is the island's endemic coco de mer with five other endemic palms. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 and is managed by SIF, a public trust mandated to protect and manage the UNESCO World Heritage properties of the island nation.

The two sites are the Vallee de Mai and the Aldabra Atoll and SIF also manages the Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve on Praslin, the second most populated island of Seychelles.

One of the events of the "Give back campaign" of SIF was a donation of SCR 100,000 ($7,203) worth of equipment to the hospital on Praslin.

"This was our first gesture to the Praslinois and this is when we decided that this should not be a one-off but a continuous thing," said the CEO.

Among the other activities of the campaign will be creating a fund to give back to Praslin residents as part of the celebration 130th anniversary of the Fond Ferdinand. 

"Next year will be 130 years since the government at the time bought the property with the aim of protecting coco de mer. [...] SIF wants to talk about it both internationally and nationally to show the importance of the site," said Fleischer-Dogley

SIF is planning to open Fond Ferndinand's doors to the public with more information.

The CEO revealed that as there are apple tree forests on the site it comes with a lot of culture and "we want to turn it into something that resembles Domaine Val de Pres."

Domaine de Val des Pres, located at St Roch Au Cap on the main island of Mahe, is a re-creation of a traditional Creole village to promote the culture and provide a platform for local artisans to sell their work.

The Fond Ferdinand concept is to also help artisans on Praslin to have a platform to display their works.

"We are very excited, as this aligns with the government's view on cottage industry and will also bring in a new product that will make a difference on Praslin, " said Fleischer-Dogley.

At the SIF's last annual general meeting, it was decided that the organisation should have a policy in place that clearly outlines how much it will donate annually and what criteria to follow when deciding how to give back.

At the moment, the Foundation is giving back through sponsoring prizes in schools such as the winners at the Seychelles Maritime Academy.

Finally, it was also revealed that work will begin in earnest on the Aldabra House project since its new locations at Providence have been agreed upon.

"We want to bring a taste of Aldabra on Mahe for tourists and Seychellois alike who cannot visit the atoll," explained SIF board of trustees chairperson, Bernard Georges.

Aldabra House project was cancelled in August 2019 following a proposed widening of the road at Providence in the designated area designated for the project. 

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Tags: Seychelles Islands Foundation, Vallee de Mai, Aldabra atoll, Fond Ferdinand

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