8 reasons why Seychelles is a global leader on environmental issues


8 reasons why Seychelles is a global leader on environmental issues

The Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – is renowned as a leader and champion in environmental issues.
The islands boast unique and diverse biodiversity, endemic fauna and flora as well as lush forests and crystal blue seas.
To coincide with World Environment Day on June 5, SNA brings you eight national efforts to ensure that Seychelles remains THE example for the rest of the world.
Marine Spatial Plan Initiative
This initiative with the support of the Nature Conservancy is one where the island nation is designating more waters – especially around the outer islands – as protected areas.
The aim of the plan is to propose new areas for marine protection and sustainable use of the island nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million square kilometres. The expansion of these designated zones is part of a seven-year public process.  

 (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Aldabra and outer islands clean up
Initiated this year, several cleanup activities took place on Aldabra – a World Heritage Site – and eight other outer islands. Environmental volunteers collected approximately 25 tonnes of waste that washed ashore on the nine remote islands where the first-ever-large-scale clean-up took place.
This initiative – a collaboration between the Islands Development Company, the Ocean Project Seychelles and Seychelles Islands Foundation – showed that large portions of the trash — including some 50,000 flip-flops, emanated from foreign countries. 

(Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
Ban on some plastic products
Since 2017, the Ministry for Environment has taken steps to ban products which were seen to be accumulating on the landfill and which were hazardous to the islands’ pristine environment.
A ban on the importation of Styrofoam takeaway boxes, and plastic items such as carrier bags, plates, cups and cutlery took effect in January 2017.
The latest, a complete ban on plastic straws, came into force on June, 1.

(Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Mangrove restoration
Often the importance and crucial role that mangrove forests play in the ecosystem is overlooked. Fortunately in Seychelles mangroves are areas were a lot of focus especially from a conservation point is put.
There are seven species of mangroves in the Seychelles and these include the white mangrove (Mangliye blan), red mangrove (Mangliye rouz), black mangrove (Mangliye lat), yellow mangrove (Mangliye zonn) and Puzzlenut mangrove (Mangliye ponm).
TRASS – a volunteer based not for profit group — and the Ephilia Resort have made mangrove restoration and replanting one of their core activities. Both organisations, have their own nurseries where the different species are grown.

(Facebook/TRASS) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
Invasive creepers
A first national campaign to eradicate alien invasive creepers was launched in June 2017 by the Seychelles National Parks Authority.
 The campaign, targeting invasive creepers in areas where they have gone out of control, focused on priority sites considered as protected areas and state land.
Alien invasive creepers or non-indigenous plant have been identified as a threat to the ecosystems and natural areas of Seychelles.

(Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Eradication of the ring-necked parakeets
The species was introduced in Seychelles in the 1980s as caged pets. Following a survey in 2001, the Ministry of Environment counted between 20 to 25 individuals. That was when the eradication project was initiated.
The parakeets posed a major threat to the endemic black parrot – whose habitat is on the second most populated island of Praslin.
The ring-necked parakeet was eradicated through a project by the Seychelles Island Foundation last year. 

(Ronley Fanchette) Photo License: CC-BY
Coral Restoration
Many efforts have been put into coral restorations following major coral bleaching incidences in the Seychelles’ waters.
The first bleaching catastrophe happened in 1998 when up to 97 percent of corals in some areas bleached and caused many reefs around the islands to collapse into rubble.
To date projects around restoration are being done both on land and in the sea. Currently, the Curieuse Marine Park is being used for several coral restoration projects including a nursery where corals are grown.
Restorations are also being done on the reef surrounding Aldabra. Whilst on the main island of Mahe, in the south the Anse Forbans Community and the Fishermen’s Cove Hotel in the north, are also growing corals in their own land coral nurseries. 

(Nature Seychelles) Photo License: CC-BY
Community Engagement
One good example is that of a group of fishers from Praslin, the second-most populated island in Seychelles, implementing a project that will help maintain the fish stock at one of the island’s bays and develop sustainable fishing. 
The project aims to conserve part of the Baie St Anne by limiting fishing activities from taking place in that area for a period of time.
The Praslin Fisher’s Association said this initiative will help maintain the fish stock in that area allowing ample time for the stock to grow. 

(Romano Laurence) Photo License: CC-BY
Source: Seychelles News Agency