The impacts of excess runoff and sedimentation which occur during heavy rainfall will be reduced at a site in the north of Mahe now that trees are being planted as a rehabilitation measure.
Around 250 native trees were planted along a large marsh that was previously polluted in an activity on Friday at the Seaview Road, North East Point.
The rehabilitation is part of the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) to Climate Change Project, through which Seychelles seeks to reduce its vulnerability to the effects of climate change.
Ecosystem-based adaptation (EBA) is often referred to as the ‘natural solution to climate change’. This approach recognises that healthy, intact, diverse and well-managed ecosystems provide abundant ecosystem services enabling people and societies to adapt to current climate variability and long-term change.
The project manager, Betty Victor, told SNA that the project seeks to help residents adapt to the effects of climate change.
“In the case of North East Point, we are helping the residents to adapt to the flooding that takes place in this area. We cleaned up the marsh, removing the silt and rubbishes. This increases the capacity of the marsh allowing it to hold more water when it rains,” said Victor.
The project is aimed at assisting the residents to adapt to the flooding in the area. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
She added that the team involved in the projects “are trying to restore the area to its original state, which will improve public health by reducing the number of mosquitoes, foul smells and pollution.”
EBA project believes that increasing the awareness, skills and responsibility of community organisations, local residents and other partners in methods to protect watersheds, will provide a lasting basis for further education, training and application in watershed ecosystem rehabilitation.
“We want the residents to become stewards of their natural resources because once they have seen the importance that it brings to them, then they will have the will to continue maintaining the area,” said Victor.
She added that should the event not be completed on Friday, another tree planting session will take place in December in which school children will be able to participate.
The North East Point project is the first of seven being implanted by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change in joint collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EBA project, which costs $6 million, is being funded from the Adaptation Fund.
The project at North East Point is the first of seven. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Takamaka, bodamyen and voloutye are some of the trees planted in the area.
The scientific and technical advisor of UNDP, James Millett, said that they chose these plants because they are naturally occurring coastal trees and some species have the ability to thrive in high water-level areas.
“These are quite robust fast-growing species and we will get these established first and then we will have a follow-up tree planting. We will plant some native palms particularly under the shade of the existing tree as they grow very well in shaded conditions whereas these coastal trees are naturally adapted to high light very exposed conditions,” said Millett.
Trees obtained through a tender come from local nurseries and some provided by Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) – a local not-for-profit organisation.
The trees planted are naturally occurring coastal trees. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
“We have also been working with MCSS and they are producing some water plants like a bulrush which we will plant we will plant those at the water edge and that will create a habitat for birds and also help improve the water quality cos it will suck out nitrates and phosphates in the water,” said Millett.
The EBA project is working on four other water catchment areas and two coastal areas — Anse Royal coastal area, Mont Plaisir in Anse Royale, Caiman in Anse Boileau, Fond B’Offay and Nouvelle Decouverte on Praslin, and Mare aux Cochons in Port Glaud.
Source: Seychelles News Agency