Sat, 24th June 2017 | Updated Tuesday 20 June 2017, 04:53:43
Seychelles Nation 11. 09. 14 - After six years of study and evaluation, the new Outer Island Project, managed by the government of Seychelles, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was finally initiated yesterday.
This was during an inception workshop at Care House.
The project, ‘Expansion and Strengthening of the Protected Area Subsystem of the Outer Islands of Seychelles and its Integration into the Broader Land and Seascape’, seeks to promote the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and marine biodiversity in the Seychelles outer islands such as the Alphonse group, the Farquhar Atoll, Desroches, Poivre, D’Arros and St Joseph.
It also expands the protected areas system and strengthens protected area management through broad-scale ecosystem planning and sustainable land management activities. It is a five-year project with a total budget of US $1.7 million.
“We started working on this project in 2008 when there was a lot of demand for construction of hotels. Our coral islands are quite fragile and we need to look at all biodiversity elements in order to protect the islands. We worked with different stakeholders such as the UNDP-GEF Programme Coordination Unit (PCU), the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Ministry of Land Use and Housing, the Islands Development Company and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to come up with the list of islands that need protection. After the approval of this project by the Cabinet in 2010, we are now all set to implement it,” said Didier Dogley, project director of GEF.
UNDP programme manager Roland Alcindor gave an overview of the project development and how it aims to establish five new protected areas in the outer islands.
It also develops the necessary institutional framework to support the integrated management of the new protected areas such that biodiversity conservation is addressed while land degradation impacts are reduced.
Island Conservation Society (ICS) chief executive Ahab Downer talked on how this project contributes to the conservation and development vision for the outer islands.
"The goal is to conserve biodiversity in Seychelles' outer islands through a protected and sustainable development approach. It also aims to increase the scientific knowledge and management related information about the biodiversity and also increase the number of Seychellois proficient in the field of conservation," he added.
The project, managed by Joanna Prosper, will be implemented in collaboration with the ICS, IDC, Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF), Save our Seas and the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) /Pangaea and other NGO partners.
The one-day workshop was attended by various key stakeholders including the Ministry of Environment and Energy, other ministries and government agencies, UNDP, NGOs and private sector representatives.
Source: Seychelles Nation @ http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=242960