The island of La Digue, long known to have no cars on the island and instead using the traditional oxcart or bicycles, has in recent years nevertheless seen a steady increase in motorcars and pickup trucks, to cater for the growing number of visitors, and the need to get them swiftly and conveniently to their resorts, guest houses or holiday lets.
Though a small and controlled number, the government has in recent months looked into dialing back some of these developments, and while not banning cars is rather promoting green technologies, such as battery powered vehicles, to ensure the continued status of La Digue as an unspoiled island, reducing pollution and offering visitors the age old experience of not hearing car engines or having to smell diesel fumes.
With more than 50 percent of the Seychelles now under formal protection as parks and reserves, the most recent island to be added to the list having been DArros Island, the move is bound to be widely applauded by conservation groups, which have in the past seen the introduction and wider use of cars on La Digue with some concern. President Michel has a few months ago named Prof. Rolph Payet as the islands Minister responsible for the Environment. The enthusiasm of the minister in his capacity as an environmentalist will help ensure that the Seychelles remains the jewel it is today. Prof. Payet is a recognized expert in climate change and the problems of small islands states and sea level rise. He is a frequent speaker at International Forums and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for some of his works. His initiative vis a vis La Digue is seen as a groundbreaking approach and keeping the island green without necessarily reversing the convenience of limited motorized transport, now that is a way forward to pursue for sure. Seychelles, truly Another World.
(Oxcart transport waits for visitors near La Digues jetty)