Tuesday, 09 February 2010 00:00

Wetlands seminar to boost national environment plan

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Scientists, environmentalists and other people concerned met at the International Conference Centre last Thursday to evaluate and discuss the various programmes aimed at restoring and protecting our wetlands. They also came up with new recommendations to strengthen work that has already been done to protect and make wise use of these areas.

The seminar – attended by Abou Bamba, senior regional adviser to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance – forms part of the activities organised to mark this year’s World Wetlands Week. It was officially launched by Didier Dogley, principal secretary for environment. Mr Dogley said much has been done over the years to manage and protect wetlands better. This has been made possible thanks to the partnership between the Department of Environment, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector.

He said there is still a need to harmonise the techniques used to monitor habitat changes and damage, along with data and scientific information, to better coordinate and carry out projects.He said to come up with an excellent 10-year environment management plan – 2011 to 2020 – all partners should put forward
their specific ideas and these should be discussed.

Those present then heard various presentations. Michelle Martin from the NGO Sustainability for Seychelles spoke about 5-star tourism in a Ramsar wetland site, while Marc Marengo from the Ecotourism Society of Seychelles discussed a management plan to rehabilitate the Sweet Escott wetland and develop an eco trail at Anse Royale.
Well-known ecologist Kevin Erwin, who has helped countries in the Americas and Asia to restore wetland areas, then shared his knowledge and experience.
Mr Bamba said Seychelles’ achievement in managing wetlands has been recognised, which is why the international wetlands week was organised here.

Seychelles is a very good example where the management of wetlands has been successful” he said.
There is the political will, and NGOs are working together to manage the wetlands in a sustainable way.”

Ramsar works in over 100 countries and on several different levels to tackle the most pressing problems affecting wetlands. With the support of dozens of governmental, NGO and corporate donors and partners, it has various mechanisms that fund and support many projects.

With this in mind, Mr Bamba called on local NGOs to apply for funds and put forward their proposals to Ramsar.

Read 4438 times Last modified on Monday, 06 July 2015 09:21