30 years of conservation success on Aldabra-New project to bring Aldabra closer to the people


18-December-2012

This was announced by the chairperson of the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF), Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, at a special ceremony yesterday to mark the 30th anniversary of Aldabra’s inscription as a World Heritage Site and of its conservation success.

Attending the event, held at the School of Education, were President James Michel, who is the SIF’s patron, ministers, high government officials, chief executive of SIF Dr Frauke Fleischer-Dogley and members of the diplomatic corps, among others.

Mr Loustau-Lalanne presents President Michel with the painting

The project set to recreate Aldabra on Mahé is due to start next year. The government, through the Ministry of Land Use and Housing, has granted the SIF the lease of a parcel of land at Roche Caiman for the project.

Addressing the guests, Mr Loustau-Lalanne said the Aldabra House project is another demonstration of the government’s ongoing support for the SIF.

“This commitment to Aldabra by both people and the government is seen in the conservation milestones it has achieved,” he said.

Mr Loustau-Lalanne added that the 30 years being celebrated is a remarkable chapter in the atoll’s history and has been written thanks to the efforts of the many individuals who fought for Aldabra’s protection and paved the way for it to seek the World Heritage site status.

Another project announced during the ceremony and being undertaken by the SIF is the creation of the Professor David Stoddart scholarship.

Under this scholarship, the SIF will fund a young Seychellois to undertake a first degree at the University of Seychelles (UniSey).

Guests watch Baie Lazare pupils performing their play on the need to protect Aldabra

The scholarship will be targeted primarily towards candidates interested in the Bachelor of Science in environmental sciences and it may cover other similar disciplines as the UniSey’s curriculum grows.

Professor Stoddart is one of the ‘founding fathers’ of Aldabra as a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) world heritage site.

During the ceremony, guests were able to enjoy a short drama performed by students of the Baie Lazare primary school on the importance of conservation and protection of Aldabra.

Richard Felix and Helena Sims shared experiences on their visit to Aldabra more than a decade ago when they were still students and how this has had a positive impact on their lives.

Dr Fleischer-Dogley then gave a presentation on the atoll’s conservation success story and a video depicting a congratulatory message from Unesco was shown.

President Michel was then presented with a painting donated by Michael Adams and family in appreciation of government’s dedication in protecting Aldabra.

Guests then proceeded to the cafeteria where President Michel, along with Mr Loustau-Lalanne and Dr Fleischer-Dogley, cut a cake to mark the occasion.

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