Biodiversity protection key to Seychelles’ future

ST. JOSEPH ATOLL TURNED INTO A NATURE RESERVE

(Posted 28th July 2014)

Seychelles, already a global conservation leader with over half of its land across the archipelago protected as marine, nature and bird reserves, has now added the St. Joseph Atoll and part of D’Arros Island to the ever growing list of such places.

Information received over the weekend speaks of a formal announcement being made by the Ministry of Environment and Energy that part of D’Arros will become a Ramsar site according to wishes by the owners of the island, the Save Our Seas Foundation, which acquired the entire island two years ago.

Minister Professor Rolph Payet, who holds the Environment docket, was quoted to have expressed his delight over the latest addition to the protected areas list across the Seychelles: ‘Our outer islands remain part of our unique biodiversity heritage and together with Aldabra will lay the ground for a network of protected areas within the outer islands of the Seychelles. Protected areas will also benefit Seychelles economically in terms of providing important refuge for fish and other marine life’.

It was learned earlier in the year that the Seychelles government was in the process to also take a fresh look at the vast ocean spaces it controls with the aim to introduce special conservation zones alongside areas open for commercial fishing and exploration for oil, gas and other resources on and under the seabed.

The Seychelles archipelago is made up of some 115 islands with some of them over 1.000 kilometres distant from the main island of Mahe and closer to Madagascar than to the capital Victoria. For more information click on www.seychelles.travel where links to various conservation NGO’s can also be found.

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