SEYCHELLES CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS TAKE ISSUE WITH WAVEL’S ILL CONSIDERED STATEMENT
(Posted 21st October 2020)
Seychelles, a premier island tourism destination, depends much on her pristine environment and nature.
The outgoing government has in fact embraced a moratorium on large scale hotel development projects first floated by the previous government of former President James Alix Michel and subsequently halted, among others, construction of a big resort on Grand Police bay.
This was at the time welcomed by environmental and conservation groups with an eye not only conserving areas still left undeveloped but also considering the overall carrying capacity of the main island of Mahe – and other tourism islands – when it comes to tourist arrivals and the over proportional water and power needs of large scale resorts.
Now, in the final hours before polls begin across the islands tomorrow, has one candidate put his foot into the proverbial and stirred the conservation hornets nest, incurring the instant wrath of conservation and environmental groups.
Said ‘Preserve Seychelles‘ chairperson Julia Morin to the ill considered utterances of Wavel Ramkalavan:
Preserve Seychelles’ would like to express shock and disappointment following an interview that was given by one of the Presidential candidate contesting the forth-coming elections.
As patriots and concerned citizens, it is important for us to know and feel that whoever is to run the country, should be someone who has a strong affinity with our environment, our heritage and thus see the importance of preserving, defending and protecting it.
With all that has been happening whereby land has been sold in all sorts of ways and manner, it is not strange that we as Seychellois have had to fight against many proposed developments from foreigners on our shores. ‘Save Grand Police group’ led by Sabiana Mancienne, fought against development on that land seeing the support of the majority of Seychellois as well as foreigners.
We do not accept the statement made by the ‘Presidential Candidate’; Mr Wavel Ramkalawan, on an interview given to ‘Pure FM’ radio, whereby it was stated that the land was lawfully acquired and thus we cannot stop the Arabs from going ahead with their development! We strongly feel that even though the land has been sold, that there should still be room for whoever is in power tomorrow, to take it as a task for them to meet with the investors and find the best possible ways to ensure that the pristine environment of Grand Police is preserved.
The wetland area of that place holds many species that should not simply be destroyed for the sake of money. We would therefore like to caution whoever comes in power tomorrow, to bear in mind that our environment is of priority in terms of protection and preservation. Our Sovereignty is not to be played with, and whatever mistake has been made in the past in regards to land deals, we look forward to propositions and suggestions to provide solutions as ways forward with Seychelles remaining in the first.
Please do not use politics, and money to gamble with our heritage.
We call upon everyone to please make an informed decision when selecting the next head of this country! Always remember that once our environment is destroyed, no amount of money can restore it to its original version.
Julia Morin (Mrs)
Chairperson of ‘Preserve Seychelles’
By Monday next week will Seychellois know how damaging this issue was to both candidate and his party, when the final results are expected to be announced of the election outcome, which ATCNews will also cover.