9 groups helping to protect the Seychelles' pristine environment
(Seychelles News Agency) - Given the importance of the Seychelles' natural environment in attracting visitors to the island nation, a lot of emphasis has been placed on protecting the archipelago's natural wonders.
Over 50 percent of the nation's land area is protected, while marine parks and other conservation zones constitute around 1 percent.
With a vast Exclusive Economic Zone -- 1.3 million square kilometres -- Seychelles need as much help as it can get from other environmental organisations.
SNA looks at nine environmentally focused organisations.
1. Global Vision International (GVI)
This group runs high-impact volunteer and international education programs. It has two expedition bases in Seychelles -- one on Cap Ternay on the northwest coast of the main island Mahe, the other on Curieuse islands. Both are within National Marine Parks. GVI volunteers work on critical marine conservation projects and contribute towards various conservation-related surveys.
|(Global Vision International) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
2. Nature Seychelles
A leading environmental organisation in the country, Nature Seychelles manages the Cousin Island Special Reserve, one of the oldest marine protected areas in Seychelles. The island has been transformed into a thriving indigenous forest which benefits several endemic bird species and recognised as an important site for hawksbill turtles.
|(Nature Seychelles) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
3. Island Conservation Society (ICS)
ICS manages the Aride Island Special Nature Reserve which has more breeding seabirds with more species in Seychelles. It is responsible for the conservation management on Alphonse, Desroches, Farquhar and Silhouette. ICS advises, and wherever necessary manages, environmental and conservation issues on outer islands under the lease of the Islands Development Company (IDC).
|(Richard Jeanne) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
4. Seychelles Island Foundation (SIF)
SIF -- a public trust established by the government -- manages and protects two world heritage sites of Seychelles: Aldabra and Vallée de Mai. Aldabra is the world’s largest raised coral atoll and a refuge for many endangered species while Vallée de Mai on Praslin, the second-most populated island – is where the world’s largest nut -- the coco-de-mer -- grows naturally.
|(Rebecca Filippin/SIF) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
5. Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S)
S4S seeks to promote sustainable “green” living in Seychelles in collaboration with citizens, the government and other partners. The ‘green lifestyle’ means combining the Seychelles' traditional Creole practices from the past that were in harmony with nature with modern technological innovations that help makes our lives easier without harming the environment.
|(Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
6. Terrestrial Restoration Action Society of Seychelles (TRASS)
TRASS brings together a cohort of volunteers from Praslin with the intent of transforming the hilltops into green forests using endemic and native plants. It was launched after a study in 2009, which evaluated the extent of soil degradation on the island and highlighted some of the most affected areas on Praslin.
Most projects are undertaken during the north-east monsoon, in the archipelago’s wettest season which provides ideal conditions to help the saplings and cuttings establish strong roots in the red soil.
|(Romano Laurence / Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
7. The Green Islands Foundation (GIF)
GIF is dedicated to the mainstreaming of sustainable development. It is helping the North Island and Denis Island teams in implementing their rehabilitation programmes to protect endemic species.
GIF is starting a new fisheries project in which it wants to investigate and propose ways to reduce the Seychelles artisanal fishery’s impact on globally threatened species.
|(North Island) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
8. Wildlife Clubs Seychelles
Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles are made up of young people to respond to the growing need for environmental education support to schools and communities engaged in wildlife conservation. It provides opportunities for students, leaders and others to learn about the environment, participate in environmental action and become a force for positive change.’
|(Louis Toussaint, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
9. Save Our Seas Foundation
Set up in 2003 and based in Switzerland, the foundation funds and supports research, conservation and education programmes. In Seychelles it has a biological field station based on D’Arros Island in the Amirantes Group which conducts research on D’Arros Island and St Joseph and the waters around them. It also has a Marine Explorers Programme for young people during the school holidays and a Youth Ocean Ambassadorship programme developed to mentor future leaders in ocean conservation.
|(Sonja Betschart/Drone Adventures) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|