Executives discuss new plan to manage forests wisely


11-June-2012

Delegates at the workshop

The government, with the assistance of civil societies and members of the public, have managed to retain over 80% of forest cover. 

Forests are important for several reasons such as helping to protect water catchment (source of water), providing habitat to a diversity of organisms and assisting with the protection of ecosystem functions. 
 
Forests also provide timber and non timber products used locally to sustain socio-economic livelihood.  They can also contribute towards sustainable development.

However no updated management plan exists to sustainably manage the forests in Seychelles. 

Chief executives and high level officers from the relevant government agencies and non-governmental organisations involved with forest management met recently at Care House to validate a national strategy for the sustainable forestry management practices in and outside the national parks on Mahe and Praslin.  The strategy also provides a guideline for sustainable forestry practice in designated areas on the main islands.

In his opening remarks, the principal secretary for Environment, Wills Agricole, highlighted the need for a new sustainable management plan for our forest.  The last forest management plan was developed in 1993 by INDUFOR, whilst the management plan for the Morne Seychellois National Parks was developed in 1998 but both documents highlight similar problems faced by the forests such as development, forest fires, erosion, drought and invasive plants that are still apparent today. 

Mr Agricole highlighted the importance of the different forest types and also the different socio-economic framework conditions.  The management plan should encapsulate all of these and its implementation must be feasible from a technical, economical, ecological, social, institutional and political perspective.

The national strategy was designed by consultants from UNIQUE, a leading consultancy and project developer in the forestry and the land use sector based in Germany with the assistance of local stakeholders. 

The strategy provide the concepts and roadmaps for sustainable forest management plans for Morne Seychellois and Praslin National Parks and sustainable forestry area on the main Islands, plus best practices on sustainable harvesting of forest products guidelines for sustainable harvest schemes in production and natural forests.

The development of the strategy was funded under the ‘Capacity Development for Sustainable Land Management (SLM)’ project financed by a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant.

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