Students put down roots at Ile Perseverance school


Ministers Payet (below) and Mondon setting the example

Twenty saplings, including silver oak and tabebuia trees sourced from the Botanical Gardens have been placed around the grass-covered outdoor amphitheatre, around which modern classrooms are nestled protectively, and a number of sturdy endemic palm trees sourced from National Parks were planted at the borders of the otherwise dusty parking lot at the front of the school.

It is hoped that the young plants will grow into large, shade-giving trees that will be a source of pride for the school for many years to come.
The Minister for Environment and Energy, Professor Rolph Payet, handed the trees over to the school as part of President James Michel’s initiative to plant 20,000 trees in the Seychelles.

“We started the initiative in June last year and we have already planted 10,000 as of December 2012. So this year it is our goal to plant the other 10,000. We are involving more schools, more private sector companies and also other organisations to join us in making Seychelles greener than what it is today.

“As you know, we have developments where we cut down trees and remove them, so it is important to replenish those trees to mitigate climate change and to manage our emissions of carbon dioxide per capita. We need to continue greening our country so that we can also contribute towards the reduction of our impact on the global environment.”
Minister Payet said he was pleased by the enthusiasm of the children and thought they received the donation very well.

A pupil is helped by his father to plant a palm tree in the parking lot at the front of the school

“This event by itself is not enough. We need to have continuous follow-ups with them, like the kind of programmes where they measure the growth of the tree, see why it’s growing faster during certain seasons, also why the leaves change colour. I would encourage the school to use the trees as a mode of learning and as an opportunity for research and to learn more about the environment around them and how they can better take care of our planet.”

Minister Payet also handed over four outdoor bins for the children to dispose of their refuse, and said that he would like to see the school win the next Eco-Schools competition.
“I’ve set the bar for them today and I want them to win, because we’re going to have some very interesting prizes this year.”

Ile Perseverance primary was officially opened on January 28 this year and currently has 326 pupils, with a capacity to accommodate a total of 700. The school’s head teacher, Nella Belmont, thanked the ministers for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate in the tree-planting ceremony.

“This is just the start,” said Ms Belmont. “We want to continue our efforts with the community in beautifying the school, and we would like the district administration, parents and anyone else who is able to get involved in this project. The more shelter we have, the better it is for all of us.”

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