MINISTER PAYET APPLAUDS SEYCHELLES ISLAND FOUNDATION AND NATURE SEYCHELLES
(Posted 02nd February 2014)
The Seychelles celebrated their annual Protected Areas Day on Friday and the Minister for Environment and Energy Rolph Payet paid tribute to the country’s unique record as the world’s leading conservation nation.
Just over half of the Seychelles’ terrestrial landmass is protected by law as national parks and bird sanctuaries while a significant section of the ocean is protected as marine parks, compared to an average of just about 15 percent globally.
The Minister, in a statement received overnight, singled out a number of parastatal bodies and NGO’s involved in conservation projects, such as the Seychelles Island Foundation, the Seychelles National Park Authority, the Island Conservation Society and Nature Seychelles, among many others, which sole purpose is the protection of the environment and maintaining bio diversity. Few abroad know that on the main island of Mahe the Morne National Park is open for visitors who come to hike, or visit the Mission Lodge which is a cultural landmark in the Seychelles and expected to be recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The Vallee’ de Mai on the second largest island of Praslin, home to the Seychelles’ prized Coco de Mer palms, already a World Heritage Site for over 30 years now, remains the most visited attraction across the islands while the distant Aldrabra Atoll is the Seychelles’ second World Heritage Site, also managed by the Seychelles Island Foundation on behalf of the government and people of the archipelago.
Entire islands have been declared protected areas for their unique flora and fauna and while some are also home to a single and often rather small luxury resort, it is the work put in by the resorts, and the money generated by them, which helps to maintain them in their original natural state.
New resort developments today require the strictest adherence to global best practice in the mitigation of their impact on the area and there are now examples of for instance mangrove forests to thrive within resorts like the Constance Ephelia Resort, after they receive constant care, increased protection and have benefitted from re-planting of mangroves in parts where previously the much sought after hardwoods have been ‘harvested’, often cut illegally.
Seychelles, truly Another World.