Environment protection-Local projects get grants totalling almost R1m


20-March-2012

Mr Dogley with project leaders after they signed the agreements

Most donors in developing countries often prefer to dish out money directly to the bodies that will use the funds, but in Seychelles many givers  –  including the European Union  –  have increasingly shown confidence that Seychelles government spends money it receives in an accountable manner and so trusts it to share it out or decide on its use.

This was one of the criteria financiers said they used to forgive Seychelles nearly 50% of the loans it owed them when the country faced debt repayment difficulties in 2008, noting though the government had over borrowed, it had wisely invested the money and in a transparent manner with clear development gains to show for it.

“Seychelles has a very good record as far as implementation of projects is concerned. The government has always been very accountable for every single penny it gets, for example for environment projects,” principal secretary for Environment Didier Dogley told Nation after signing the eight agreements with representatives of the organisations.

He agreed that donor agencies often bypass governments – in spite of the resistance they put up  –  and give funds directly to user agents to cut loss through attrition and misuse.

He noted that Seychelles gets among the highest global per capita funds from the GEF making other countries ask why this is the case.

“Why should a small country get so much funding,” he quoted them as asking, adding “and most of the money goes through the government rather than to non-governmental organisations.

“If you deliver people tend to trust you. When they see the money being given is used well then they will have confidence in you.

“We invite the heads of most of the donor organisations and each time they come here they are surprised at the high level of awareness of the need for environment protection and the work being done here.

“Seychelles is seen as a very good example for sustainable development and environment preservation and protection,” he said.

The beneficiaries of the US $63,700 or about R891,800 are:
• The Baie St Anne Praslin primary school, which will use US $2,800 in partnership with the Seychelles Agricultural Agency on a demonstration garden,

• The Terrestrial Restoration Action Society of Seychelles, which will use US $6,500 for a project called Communities in Action – (Exploring Nature)

• The Seychelles Island Foundation, that will spend US $19,000 for an educational programme at the Vallee de Mai United Nations heritage site

• The Praslin Development Fund, which will spend US $13,800 on forest rehabilitation at Fond Ferdinand

• The Grand Anse Praslin secondary school in partnership with the forestry division, which will spend $1,500 to rehabilitate forests at Nouvelle Découverte and Fond B’Offay

• The Grand Anse Praslin district administration will use $9,100 in partnership with the Seychelles Island Foundation to boost its fire-fighting preparedness

• The district authorities, who will also use $2,000 on a water harvesting project at the local home for the elderly

• The Grand Anse Praslin secondary school in conjunction with Radley Weber of Vetiver Tech, who got $9,000 to use on an energy efficiency programme.

Mr Dogley said the projects are all related to issues covered by the Bio Convention, and the money will be disbursed in tranches based on workplans and invoices.

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