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20k trees to be planted as Seychelles joins Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative

Praslin, Seychelles | March 14, 2016, Monday @ 14:31 in Environment » CONSERVATION | By: Sharon Meriton-Jean and Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4555
20k trees to be planted as Seychelles joins Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative

Seychelles is joining other Commonwealth member countries to plant 20, 000 trees over the next two years. (Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles will plant 20,000 trees over the next two years as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative, says the Seychelles Ministry of Environment.

“The initiative is designed to create a network of forest conservation programmes throughout the 53 nations of the Commonwealth,” said the Principal Secretary of Climate Change and Energy Department, Wills Agricole to SNA on Saturday. 

Agricole says sites on Mahe, the most populated island of Seychelles, and other islands have been identified as potential sites for reforestation.

As part of the initiative and to coincide with Commonwealth Day on Monday, 200 endemic and indigenous plants were planted at La Hauteur, a mountain on Praslin, the second-most populated island of Seychelles that has repeatedly been affected by forest fires.

Participants of the initiative to plant 200 endemic and indigenous plants on Praslin, on Saturday. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Over the years, several trees have been planted on the site overlooking Baie Ste Anne, one of the two districts on Praslin, by the Terrestrial Restoration Society of Seychelles (TRASS), a non-profit organisation on the island.

“This initiative will greatly help our cause on the island as it is targeting river sources as well as areas where trees do not grow as easily due to high erosion such as La Hauteur,” says Victorin Laboudallon, the chair of TRASS.

Laboudallon says TRASS has been working hard to put greenery on the 45 percent of land estimated to be barren on Praslin since 2009.

“These participants are not only doing something for Seychelles but they are joining other nations in marking Her Majesty’s service and dedication to the Commonwealth through this initiative,” says the British High Commissioner for Seychelles, Caron Rohsler.

Rohsler says the initiative encourages voluntary participation in environmental work which in turn will benefit the community.

“Every tree that is planted over the next two years will surely bring benefits to each of those countries that will participate in the initiative”.

The Commonwealth is an intergovernmental organisation bringing together 53 nations, mostly former British colonies and Seychelles joined in 1976. 

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Tags: Commonwealth, Canopy Initiative, Terrestrial Restoration Society of Seychelles, Praslin

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