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Press Release                                                                  Date: 7 February, 2014

Staff involved in animal and plant data collection across the many habitats and islands of Seychelles have received a unique training opportunity and aim to become proficient in electronic field data collection.  Training involves the use of advanced data collecting technology called Cybertracker (CT).

Training will be held from 10 to 13th February, 2014 and will include classroom training at the Care House Conference Room, Victoria, starting from 9am to 4.30pm and field practice in Morne Seychellois National Park, starting from 8am to 4pm. 

24 data collectors from key environmental institutions in Seychelles will benefit from the training, including staff of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (ENGOs).

Training will be provided by Christopher Kaiser- Bunbury, who has been responsible for developing the Cybertracker training manual for Seychelles.  He will be CyberTracker (CT) is a freely available software provided and maintained by the CT group including Louis Liebenberg (a great natural scientist, tracker and professor at Harvard) and the head programmer Justin Steventon. The software was originally developed for enabling trackers to collect georeferenced data in the field (paid by the European Union). Nowadays it is used by many hundred people around the globe in a variety of capacities including the health sector, and social and environmental studies supported by Bruno Senterre, the lead consultant for the recent Key Biodiversity Areas study.  Financial support is provided by the Biodiversity Mainstreaming Project, managed by the Programme Coordination Unit of the Government of Seychelles (GOS), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

The GOS-UNDP-GEF Biodiversity Project has recognised the need to facilitate, improve and streamline on-the-ground data collection and management of plant and animals in Seychelles, which can be labour- intensive, tedious and time consuming.

The use of CT will provide data collectors with a more efficient method for carrying out species inventory, as well as managing the data collected.  CT has been used in numerous environmental projects worldwide, including monitoring of gorillas in the Congo, butterflies in Switzerland, the Sumatran rhino in Borneo, and jaguars in Costa Rica.

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About the Biodiversity Project

Seychelles’ ecosystems and biodiversity are relatively intact compared to many other small islands states, but development pressures are expected to increase substantially in the years to come. Past efforts at biodiversity conservation have focused on protected areas, but the major threats are associated with the main production sectors, i.e. overfishing, mass tourism, and physical infrastructure development.

Expected Outcomes

The Biodiversity Project aims to incorporate biodiversity conservation into the day-to-day operations of the key economic sectors, with the following outcomes:

•    strengthening the systemic and institutional capacities for mainstreaming biodiversity management within and across sectors

•    having in place methods and means for integrating biodiversity and artisanal fisheries management

•    addressing biodiversity conservation needs as part of good practice in business operations by the tourism industry.

For more information please contact:

Project Manager: Betty Seraphine                                                                   Communications & PR Officer: Line Mancienne

Email: b.seraphine%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">b.seraphine @pcusey.sc                       EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                                                              

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