Seychelles gets first arboretum


President Michel planting a coco de mer seed at the new arboretum

He thus paved the way for other VIPs to mark their visits to Seychelles by planting endemic trees the same way he has done in countries like Australia.

The idea for the 17-hectare biodiversity centre was conceived in 1998 with the aim of preserving the rare and endangered species of the Seychelles ecosystem as it serves as a focal point for education on the environment.

Mr Michel and Environment and Energy Minister, Professor Rolph Payet, said the centre will give dignitaries and celebrities the chance to plant endemic trees as memories of their visit, hopefully attracting them, members of their governments or countries to return and visit the trees.

“Mr President your dream of this arboretum has come true and your planting the first tree will reinforce your passion and desire for us to pay more attention to the environment and Seychelles contribution to addressing climate change,” said Prof. Payet.

Mr Michel said he conceived the idea with the now-chairman of Seychelles Island Foundation, ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and Georges Troian who then worked for the Ministry of Environment.

“At the time I felt Seychelles needed a bigger garden than the Botanical Gardens where we could have all the endemic trees in danger of disappearing so as to preserve them for the future generations,” said Mr Michel, adding it will also become a tourist attraction when they plant trees as souvenirs.

He invited the private sector to adopt sections of the arboretum.
The event was witnessed by Lenny Lebon, member of the National Assembly for Grand Anse Mahe district (of which Barbarons forms part), the chief executive and staff of the National Botanical Gardens Foundation Raymond Brioche and the district’s administrator Raymond Benstrong, as well as the management and staff of the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay resort who offered snacks.

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