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Seychelles Nobel prize winner receives honorary doctorate

London, UK and Victoria, Seychelles | March 11, 2016, Friday @ 11:00 in National » GENERAL | By: Betymie Bonnelame and Sharon Uranie | Views: 4036
Seychelles Nobel prize winner receives honorary doctorate

Rolph Payet receiving his honorary doctorate degree from the University of London’s Chancellor, HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, during the graduation ceremony for the University of London’s international programme at the Barbican Centre in London, on Tuesday. (University of London)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychellois Rolph Payet, a globally recognized figure on small island states issues including climate change, has received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of London.

He received his award from the University of London’s Chancellor, HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, during the graduation ceremony for the University of London’s international programme, said the university in a statement to the press on Tuesday.

The ceremony held at the Barbican Centre in London, also saw the graduation of hundreds of students from over 80 countries who have followed University of London International Programmes, including a group from the Seychelles.  

Rolph Payet (centre) pictured with a group of Seychellois students who also received their degrees after completing their studies as part of the University of London's International programme, offered at the University of Seychelles. Also pictured is the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board who received her Masters degree in Finance after following her course long distance. (Sherin Naiken) Photo License: CC-BY

Payet says he feels honoured that his contribution to his homeland, the African region and globally have once again been recognised.

“I feel this is award is in recognition to the work I am doing and also to what I have achieved before,” said Payet in an emailed response to SNA.

“HRH Princess Anne visited the Seychelles and attended the inauguration of the University of Seychelles [in November 2010]. So it made it very special as I found myself down memory lane to the inauguration of our very own university,” he added.

The award is bestowed to a person who is outstanding in his or her field, commands international or national recognition and has given exceptional service to the university.

Payet is a pioneer of environment development, climate change in his country and is an expert on international policy.   

Mary Stiasny Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the university said “academic, environmental scientist, diplomat, politician and leader – locally, regionally and on the world stage, Dr. Rolph Payet is an inspiration to us all.’

In 2007, Payet shared in the IPCC Nobel Peace Prize as one of the authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Two years later he was instrumental in founding the University of Seychelles (UniSey) and became its first vice-chancellor.

Stiasny says Payet maintains his relationship with UniSey and continues to provide support materials to students studying the Environmental Science degree.

“Last year, there were seven students; this year 15. His dream of building a platform for training the environmental scientists of the future is being realised,” she added.

Formerly, the minister of environment and energy of the Seychelles’ archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, Payet was appointed the Executive Secretary of UN’s Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention in October 2014.

“My work is always challenging as I seek to place chemicals and waste issues at the centre of the sustainable development agenda - the SDG's. The growing challenge is mobilising adequate resources to support implementation of the sound management of chemicals and wastes in developing and emerging economies,” Payet said to SNA, adding that over the past year he has been actively involved in increasing the visibility of chemicals and wastes issues at the global level. 

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Tags: University of London, University of Seychelles, Rolph Payet, honorary doctorate, climate change, small island states, Princess Royal, Princess Anne, UN’s Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention

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