This is my first time to Cousin Island as a helper during the hectic turtle season. Although I had no idea what I was walking into, the hawksbill turtles have most definitely exceeded my expectations. During my first month here I had two turtles come on to the beach at the same time time to lay their eggs. They both made their way up the beach into the vegetation near the path. The bigger of the two started digging immediately and without hesitation started laying quite quickly.
James Michel Foundation, Press Release, 16 May 2016: Seychelles Former President James Michel met with Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah, the Chief Executive of Nature Seychelles, the largest and oldest nature conservation NGO operating in the Seychelles, at Espace building today.
TODAY NEWSPAPER; 6th October 2016; N. Tirant:
Two years after the announcement that it would be made a protected nature reserve under the Nature Parks and Conservancy Act, the island group of D’Arros, situated 250km from Mahé in Seychelles’ outer islands, is back in the environmental limelight. And this time, the public wants to be heard on the second attempt to turn the group into a “special reserve” that could affect livelihoods.
PRESS RELEASE: IUCN joins effort to align ecotourism with conservation goals
September 12, 2016 - Honolulu, Hawaii -- Among the landmark decisions emerging last week from the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress is a bold decision to improve standards for ecotourism worldwide. Motion 65 (now Resolution 60), “Improving standards in ecotourism”, proposed by the Yale Tropical Resources Institute in collaboration with The International Ecotourism Society, Nature Seychelles, the African Wildlife Foundation, the WILD Foundation, The Wilderness Society Australia, National Parks Australia Council, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and the Moroccan Association for Ecotourism and Nature Protection, urges IUCN to renew their definition of ecotourism and address the barriers to its effectiveness as a conservation tool.
In a recently published study by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and McGill University, eating sea turtle eggs could be greatly detrimental to human health owing to the high presence of heavy metals in the eggs. Great news for sea turtles and conservationists protecting these species, but not so for the people of Panama.
Like Cousin Island Special Reserve which is managed by Nature Seychelles, many nature reserves protected under law provide a safe haven for many marine and terrestrial wildlife from human activities such as fishing, poaching, development, pollution and so forth.
Packing my bags and saying goodbye to Mahe, I did not know what was ahead for me. The first time I laid my eyes on Cousin Island, I knew at that moment that a new adventure awaited me. With its golden sand, silver clouds and its crystal clear water. Cousin Island is its own little paradise. I would say its heaven on earth.