Professor Jane Lubchenco, the first ever US Oceans Envoy and Ambassador Sharon Villarosa together with 3 members of their staff, paid a visit to Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers Project and Cousin Island Special Reserve last week. The delegation was accompanied by Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah, Nature Seychelles CEO and travelled from Mahe to Praslin where they met with Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team then to Cousin Island Special Reserve for an island tour.
The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Energy, Mr. Didier Dogley officially launched the Nature Seychelles’ Coral Reef Restoration Training Program last week by symbolically cutting a ribbon on the Amitie beach on Praslin Island. Mr. Dogley, in the presence of Dr Nirmal Shah, the CEO of Nature Seychelles, other Nature Seychelles staff and the media waved the trainees off on their boat as they went for their first dive under the training program.
Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah, Chief Executive of Nature Seychelles said these words at the end of President’s James Michel’s State Visit to India last week. Shah was part of the President’s delegation in the whirlwind tour to New Delhi and Mumbai as the country’s Special Envoy for Environment and Climate Change. “Seychelles and India have a common front yard- the Indian Ocean. So it’s a no-brainer that we should seek more than just good neighborly ties with this scientifically advanced and economically dynamic nation,” he stated.
Nature Seychelles’ Eric Blais recently returned from the 6th session of the CSO/Private sector forum on sustainable Tuna Fisheries management in the South West Indian Ocean held in Mombasa, Kenya. The meeting was hosted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Tuna Fisheries Alliance of Kenya (TuFAK). Such meetings have been held annually since 2010. This is the third such meeting attended by a Nature Seychelles representative.
Seychelles and the Sustainable Development Goals
I was at the first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 where Sustainable Development was hailed by the world community as the silver bullet to solve society’s ills. But somehow Sustainable Development emerged as a construct with a largely terrestrial focus. I also attended the second Earth Summit, Rio+10, in South Africa where the movement to set up Green Economies mysteriously avoided speaking substantively about the oceans, despite our best efforts. Small Island Developing States (SIDS), sitting on small pieces of land seemingly “sea-locked” within large ocean territories, struggled with this concept of the Green Economy. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were launched in 2001 compounded the problem as they were implemented largely using a land-based optic.
When addressing the UN General Assembly last week, President Barrack Obama remarked “Seychelles President James Michel said it was up to the countries that burn the most coal, oil and gas to do the most. If they don’t do something, the Earth will not survive and that will be the end of us all," Michel said.
Indian Ocean Observatory; June 16 2015: The marine related sectors of Seychelles such as fisheries and marine tourism, despite being financially successful for their specific operators may be under-performing in terms of delivering national benefits. Experts say there is probably a wide gap between the potential and actual net financial benefits from these sectors. Improvements in governance are seen as necessary to mop up financial leakages and to reduce environmental and resource degradation.
When you are under the waves a sense of calm and infinite space engulfs you. Our duty is to conserve and protect all that breaths biodiversity into this breathtaking wonder that is the sea.
Nature Seychelles CEO, Dr Nirmal Shah has been named Indian Ocean Hero in the latest issue of New African Magazine. In the article titled “Africa’s Indian Ocean heroes and climate change” the writer highlights that Africa is especially affected by climate change and specific issues need to be addressed in the ongoing climate talks in Paris, the Conference of Parties (COP21). Shah together with Dr. David Obura and Mohammed Ali Baddi of Kenya, are named Indian Ocean heroes for their passion and years of work in conservation in the region. This issue of the magazine is a special issue focusing on COP21. Shah, in his capacity as a special envoy is in fact part of the delegation representing Seychelles at COP21.
ECO Newsletter COP21 December 2015: The Adaptation Fund (AF)is a UNFCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) success story: more than 50 adaptation projects are currently underway in Latin America, Africa and Asia providing support to vulnerable people.