Sun, 25th June 2017 | Updated Tuesday 20 June 2017, 04:53:43
Nation 09. 04. 14 - Protected areas in Seychelles are set to be better safeguarded with the launch this week of a new policy governing them.
The new policy supports elements of the Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy 2012-2020 (SSDS) and Seychelles' adoption of the blue economy.
It adopts international standards and best practice to ensure efficient management of the existing set of protected areas and set the scene for the expansion of the protected area system in the future.
The Protected Area Policy, a first for Seychelles, was officially launched by the Minister for Environment and Energy Rolph Payet during a ceremony on Monday at the Le Méridien Fisherman's Cove Hotel.
"The protected areas in Seychelles are under the administration of a number of different government institutions, parastatals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This new policy will help shape the management priority of the diverse protected areas we have in Seychelles, in addition to a complete revision of the protected area categories," Minister Payet said in his opening address.
Present at the ceremony were other representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, representatives of other ministries, government agencies, environmental NGOs and private sector.
The development of the Protected Area (PA) Policy has been a year-long process, involving extensive consultation between the Ministry of Environment and Energy, other ministries and local stakeholders involved in the management of the Seychelles protected areas.
The development of the PA Policy was supported by the government of Seychelles, United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Facility programme in Seychelles, under the project 'Strengthening Seychelles Protected Area System through NGO management modalities'.
"This PA Policy places emphasis on critical needs to protect habitat for the future generations. The beauty of our island is our endeavour and the heart of every Seychellois and we must continue to strive and protect it," Minister Payet added.
During the ceremony Minister Payet presented a copy of the PA Policy to key stakeholders.
The PA Policy aims towards both the marine and terrestrial protected areas. For the marine protected areas it has a more representative system of marine protected areas that builds resilience against environmental variations associated with global climate change. It also aims at facilitating the establishment of new or expanded marine protected areas and conservation zones that will more effectively safeguard habitats associated with fish spawning aggregations, just to name a few.
For the terrestrial protected areas the policy aims at facilitating the establishment of new protected areas on privately-owned and state-owned islands under different co-management arrangements and using a range of different sustainable financing strategies. It also aims at strengthening the operational capacity of NGOs, parastatals and the private sector to establish and manage terrestrial protected areas, as well as and improving the policy, legislative and institutional framework for collaborative management between state and non-state partners in terrestrial protected area management.
Source: Seychelles Nation @ http://nation.sc/article.html?id=241290