Seychelles joins the eco bandwagon

With the intention of enhancing tourism, Seychelles has announced eco-friendly projects to capitalise on the nation’s rich natural wealth.

For a small island nation such as Seychelles, conservation projects are not that easy to implement. However, the nation has declared more than 50 percent of its land as protected reserves, no mean feat considering its size and economic limitations. The move, according to the authorities, will preserve the nation’s natural reserves, as well as enhancing tourism that will act as the main revenue earner for the state.

James Michel, president of the Seychelles Republic, has taken a personal interest in preserving the nation’s natural resources and has been a strong advocate for the protection of the environment. He was personally involved in the moves to have over half of the country declared as protected reserves. The president said that his government would work as a custodian of the rich natural resources that the country had received from nature. Seychelles recently named Prof. Rolph Payet as the islands’ minister for the environment, and he is an expert in climate change and the ecological problems faced by small island states.

The Seychelles minister for tourism, Alain St.Ange, said, ‘The Seychelles government wants the islands to not only retain the spectacular natural beauty it has, but wants to also regain grounds of areas we allowed development to gain an upper hand.’ The minister also said that the nation was focussing on sustainable development, and stressed the need to develop infrastructure without harming the environment.

For example, alarmed at the increase in the number of petrol cars on the nation’s La Digue island, the government is encouraging citizens to use battery-operated vehicles by removing all duty on the imports of these vehicles.

Such initiatives, according to the tourism minister, will increase tourism and also improve the experience for tourists who are keen to explore the natural wonders of the islands.