Fri, 19th July 2019 | Updated Tuesday 13 March 2018, 06:23:39    

Press Release


MEDIA ADVISORY: Demonstration session of chainsaw use in forest rehabilitation for environment stakeholders

Victoria, Seychelles –Two weeks of training in forestry management techniques has been delivered to forest managers as a part of a capacity building programme for ecosystem adaptation. This culminated in a demonstration session on Wednesday 16th March 2016, which demonstrated safe chainsaw use and tree felling practices to a wider group.

The training is supported by the GOS-UNDP-Adaptation Fund project Ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change in Seychelles (EBA project). This project aims to rehabilitate 650 ha of forest dominated by invasive alien species by increasing the proportion of native trees. Forest rehabilitation requires the careful management of non-native species to improve conditions for native trees to recover.

However, the training is essential for the safety of forestry workers. Working with chainsaws is difficult and dangerous; participants have been trained in safe operation and the use of protective equipment.

The course was delivered by Mr Chalky White and Ms Sally Wibrew, LANTRA-accredited trainers from the UK. Chalky explained, "the idea of the course is to give a foundation in modern forestry management and safety practices". With 28 years experience as a forester and trainer he added, "this work carries many risks, ranging from direct injury from saws and falling timber to long-term ear damage from engine noise".

The course has focussed on chainsaw care and servicing, directional felling techniques for small and medium trees, processing felled trees, the use of winches and pulleys to extract timber and an introduction to aerial work –tree climbing for purposes of pruning trees.

Mr James Millett, Technical Advisor to the EBA project said, "this course is based on internationally recognised standards and designed with local ecosystem-based adaption in mind. However the training will be beneficial to biodiversity conservation, timber production and landscaping. Much of the equipment being demonstrated is being used for the first time in the Seychelles". Participants expressed a hope that this safety equipment would soon be made more available in Seychelles, and that legislation might in future require proper training and the use of such safety equipment by all chainsaw operators.

Mr Favien Joubert, Director of Seychelles National Parks Authority, added "this type of training is going to be very important in developing a modern forestry sector that meets the needs of the Seychelles, and developing a locally based forestry course has to be our ambition".

– End –

Editor's Note

About the EBA Project:

The climate change projections in the Seychelles show that rainfall, while increasing in overall terms, will become even more irregular. Much of the precipitation is falling in sharp bursts, creating heavy flooding in the wet season, while imposing an extended period of drought during the dry season. As the island topography puts constraints on water storage capacity, the country's water supplies are heavily dependent on rainfall. Furthermore, the coastal zone is vulnerable to flooding as a consequence of rising sea levels and increased storm surges from cyclonic activity in the Western Indian Ocean.

Expected Outcomes

The EBA project's aim is to reduce Seychelles' vulnerability to climate change, focusing on two key issues – water scarcity and flooding. It includes the following components:

• Watershed rehabilitation;

• Coastal rehabilitation, including coral reef rehabilitation; and

• Policy and strategies to support the above


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