The Saint Ange Tourism Report Special Edition Issue 12 with Zilwa Publications

ALAIN ST. ANGE FORMALLY NOMINATED AS ‘ONE SEYCHELLES‘ CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

(Posted 17th September 2020)

Welcome to this Special Edition of our Saint Ange Tourism Report
There seems to be a bleak acceptance or resignation by many Seychellois that we cannot push through the ceiling that has been erected atop our heads, that we cannot succeed unless some higher authority wills it.

Perseverance is the telling of oneself that you can make it, against all odds, and pushing onwards even when others try to tear you down and trip you up. This applies across all journeys through life, whether it be a young child striving to make it through the school term with their chin up while being relentlessly bullied, a young mother trying to be the pillar of her family while struggling to make ends meet, or a politician elbowing his way into the arena between two entrenched and well-funded rivals.

With a month to go to the elections, insults, threats and callous mocking are de rigueur for a handful of bored voters from an opposing political camp. They tell us that we cannot make it in October. They tell us that we are kidding ourselves. To them, we say that if their chances of success next month were better than ours, their party would have won the Presidential election at least once during the past 30 years. But, their party has failed time and time again, until 2015 when frenzied amalgamations of opposition parties (something they will not have the benefit of in the upcoming elections) and a drastic rebranding of their political party tipped the scales in their favour. Their arrogance, under the circumstances, is misguided and unmerited.

While the red camp headed the Executive branch, and the green camp controlled the Legislative branch, both sides quickly proved that they were incapable of working together on anything during the honeymoon period of their "cohabitation", even when their interests aligned. Both Parties have had the requisite power to effect positive changes in the lives of Seychellois during the past four years, but little of substance has actually been achieved.

While LDS activists are quick to defend their MNAs by blaming their inaction on their "lack of power", excuses such as these hold little water since MNAs have the power to bring Private Member’s Bills (which they did to bring change for the offshore businesses). The public, whom these politicians were elected to serve, were left wondering why this discretionary power was never exercised in their favour?

People are angrier than ever and countless Seychellois are grappling with unemployment, substance addiction and poverty. Diehard voters from one main political camp are calling for ONE SEYCHELLES to bow out of the coming race, accusing us of diluting the opposition vote. They call for us to bow out, without calling for an end to the conditions that made our entry onto the political scene necessary. This makes them hypocritical.

In the lead up to the pivotal National elections, we may not get to choose what we inhale (the toxic racial slurs, abusive social media messages, threats to our security and safety) but we certainly get to choose what we will exhale (positivity, mindfulness and, when necessary, fire – because we did not come to the arena to play nice. We came to play fair). If the handful of individuals who troll our members, activists and candidates on a daily basis want to make an example out of us, we will gladly oblige.

It is hoped that we can be an example of courage, perseverance, and commitment.

An Avan, Seychelles.

Alain St.Ange
Editor

TIME TO UNITE
ICUS throws its support behind
ONE SEYCHELLES

The ICUS executive committee has taken time to reflect on the tremendous changes that is happening in the Seychelles political landscape currently especially with the arrival of a new forces on the scene.

We have indeed found it necessary to re-assess our position and align with the current flow in the best interests of the people of Seychelles, our members and in the spirit of Unity at a time of great division that is tearing our nation apart and destroying the very core fabric of our society. We have taken time to analyze all the different party manifestos and policies and we have come to the conclusions that ICUS vision and mission are of very similar template to those of "ONE SEYCHELLES Party" vision and mission.

In the spirit of unity, we have therefore decided to throw our full and firm support behind "One Seychelles" to bolster "the third force" to contest the coming Presidential and National Assembly elections. We endorse our unconditional support for the choice of Presidential and VicePresidential candidates of ONE SEYCHELLES.

ICUS is pleased to announce that Mr. Mike Chadstone has also agreed to stand as a candidate for the National Assembly for ONE SEYCHELLES party in a bid to offer a more democratic, balanced and diverse voice for the people of Seychelles in the next National Assembly. The Seychellois nation is a democracy loving people who toil and strive to maintain democracy at all costs and thus in this coming election, we are giving the people of Seychelles not only the choice but a real opportunity to make our people’s legislative institution the truly democratic representative authority that it should be for the welfare and best interests of all sections of the Seychellois society.

We surely cannot and should not roll back into a "One party state era", thus the necessity for each and every one of us to consider very carefully our votes to make this next National Assembly a Truly Democratic and balanced People’s Representative National Institution. We pray that the people of Seychelles have the maturity to understand the real values and virtues of democracy, the importance of divergent views, the importance to defend the voice of the people and particularly the minority and the responsibility placed upon each and every successful candidate to play an important role in our next National Assembly.

We are thus urging voters to make the choice of the best and most appropriate candidate without putting partisan politics aforehand of sanity but in the spirit of democracy, and credibility, that the role of a Member of the National Assembly is and should remain an important function of governance of our nation. We urge eligible voters participate fully in this democratic to elect only those people with excellent knowledge, skill, competence and ability to absorb, analyze, assess, contrast, compare, research and find the best ways to formulate the laws that will indeed affect the lives of all of us in our Country.

We should never allow the euphoric pre-election atmosphere to cloud their good judgement in their decision to elect appropriate candidates to represent our core values and our sovereignty and enact laws that seeks to make our people’s lives more bearable and promote peace, unity, dignity and respect for one another.

AFRICAN DIASPORA TOURISM SUPPORTS ALAIN ST ANGE FOR PRESIDENT OF SEYCHELLES

Having worked with Alain St, Ange in tourism development, Kitty J. Pope, publisher of African Diaspora Tourism is confident that St. Ange will be able to lead Seychelles in a positive direction.

She believes that St. Ange has the character of a true leader with integrity, and a keen desire to take Seychelles to the next level. She is not familiar with other candidates, but she can vouch for St. Ange’s competencies.

Supporting Alain St. Ange for President of Seychelles with Vice Presidential Candidate Peter Sinon, African Diaspora Tourism are trusting that the people of Seychelles will also support and vote for these two candidates.

Pope joins Nigerian media specialist Gbenga Oluboye of African Havens International along with Canadian media specialists Bea Broda and other international media sources in endorsing and congratulating St. Ange.

First paying nature trail on Mahe

The Seychelles News Agency has announced that the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) has introduced the first paying nature trail on Mahe under its management after reopening the Copolia trail after renovation works.

Visiting the Copolia trail will come with an entry fee of SRC100 ($6) for nonresidents over 12 years old after the authority searched for ways to increase income. In 2019, the authority became an autonomous organisation after years of receiving a budget from the government. Money collected from the entry fee will be used to maintain the trail and conservation work in the Morne Seychellois National Park.

The Copolia trail, located on the east side of the Morne Seychellois National Park, is 1.4 kilometres long and is of medium intensity. It takes the average person one hour to reach the top of the trail, which offers a scenic view of the capital, Victoria, and the east coast of the main island up to the country’s international airport. Along the trail, one comes across many endemic floras and faunas. In order to turn the Copolia trail into a paying environmental attraction for tourists, SNPA had to do some renovation works to provide a better product for the enjoyment of its clients.

There is a welcome board at the entrance of the trail, providing visitors with information about the trail, how long it takes to complete the trail, its level of difficulty and the flora and fauna one can find along the way. Direction boards to indicate the path to follow and the distance left to hike have also been erected along the trail. Further work carried out including the construction of a toilet at the entrance of the trail, the construction of flights of steps in treacherous and slippery areas along the trail, and the erection of a bridge which ensure safe crossing over a small river during the rainy season.

At the start and halfway along the trail, benches have been placed to allow clients to relax and bask in nature. At the summit of the trail, a kiosk and panoramic board have been built. The authority joined forces with the GOS-GEFUNDP Protected Area Finance Project to make the renovation works a reality at a cost of around SCR450,000 ($25,000).

It took 9 months to complete all the work that was necessary. It is in the plan of the authority to turn other trails into paying ones, starting with the Anse Major trail in Bel Ombre. The authority is responsible for the management of all the marine and terrestrial national parks of Seychelles, as well as the maintenance of official nature trails.

SEYCHELLES’ TOURISM HOTSPOT ON PRASLIN – FOND FERDINAND – IS UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

The Seychelles News Agency has confirmed that Praslin’s Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve – an area where Seychelles’ endemic coco de mer grows in its natural state – is now under the responsibility of the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF).

The foundation already manages Vallee de Mai – the main reserve for the coco de mer, on the second-most populated island of Praslin. Vallee de Mai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In a recent press release, the Foundation stated that "in assuming this responsibility SIF is extending its conservation mandate to one of Praslin’s and Seychelles’ most cherished protected areas."

Located at Grande Anse Praslin, Fond Ferdinand covers an area of 122 hectares of land, making it six times larger than Vallee de Mai. Rich with a diversity of endemic animal and plant species, including roughly as many coco de mer palms as the Vallee de Mai, Fond Ferdinand opened its doors in 2013. The transfer of the reserve to SIF follows the retirement of its chief executive. "Considering SIF’s over several-decades-long track record of scientific research and monitoring of the coco de mer, it is a natural progression for our expertise and evidence based approach be extended to the Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve. As such, we look forward to sharing our wealth of knowledge of the coco de mer as well as our understanding of the unique ecosystem it creates to ensure the continued effective management and protection of the site," SIF said.

With the transfer of Fond Ferdinand coming into effect as of September 1, the foundation ensures that its responsibility of this site will be different to that of its twining management of the Vallee de Mai and Aldabra Atoll – also a World Heritage site. Explaining the difference, the foundation’s chief executive, Frauke Fleischer-Dogley, told SNA that "UNESCO World Heritage Sites are under regular revision by the World Heritage Committee as well as its advisory body, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This regular scrutiny guarantees that governance of both of Seychelles’ sites, especially Aldabra with its extreme remoteness, have management systems that have evolved over time with particularly high standards and constraints. With Fond Ferdinand, SIF hopes to have a more participatory management approach, one that is informed and dependent on the Praslin community’s decisions," said Fleischer-Dogley.

She outlined that this will allow for a more effective transition. Through a public consultation process, the foundation is inviting residents of Praslin and all relevant stakeholders to contribute to this protected area’s next chapter. "SIF has already met with Fond Ferdinand’s staff all of whom have been kept on through new contracts and favourable conditions," said Fleischer-Dogley. She added that her team is conscious of the many opportunities surrounding the Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve and hence SIF is looking forward to identifying public-private partnerships that will enhance the visiting experience of our community and tourists.

The Foundation’s next steps involve engaging the surrounding community through a survey, public meetings and business workshops. These initiatives, supported by communication with the press and social media, will provide a chance for all interested and affected parties to ask questions, raise concerns and share ideas on how the Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve can be managed to empower the community, widen business opportunities and extend science while ensuring sustainability.

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