Plans to make La Digue carbon free well underway


This follows recent further talks Minister Rolf Payet held in Seoul while representing President James Michel at the opening ceremony of the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013.

Professor Payet held talks with key members of KC Cottrell, namely Taeil Kang, its vice-president.

KC Cottrell is a leading Korean company in the field of renewable solar energy with special interest in helping the government turn La Digue into a carbon-free island.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy and the consortium of Korean companies and organisations represented by KC Cottrell, have already signed an memorandum of understanding relating to that in November last year.

The MOU aims to launch the “Seychelles-Korea Green Business Partnership”, and to jointly develop several projects including the design of carbon free island model for La Digue.

Based on the MOU, the ministry and the Korean companies had been working on a feasibility study and model for a carbon-free La Digue island.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy confirms that it has keen interest in extending the current collaboration between Seychelles and the Korean companies to carry out on a pilot scale “Solar PV, ESS, Diesel” hybrid project which would eventually move into a full scale commercial development for La Digue and other islands in Seychelles which have similar commercial and environmental conditions.

The planned capacity of the pilot scale project to be carried out on La Digue island is two units of a 50kWp system.

Meanwhile, the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 (, a global festival is being held for six months from April to October and it features gardens and horticulture products from around the world.

Organised under the theme ‘Garden of the Earth’, this Expo is giving a key role to Seychelles – one of the 23 countries taking part and 83 organisations. Seychelles’ involvement follows President Michel’s 2012 visit to Suncheon when he attended the opening ceremony of the Yeosu International Expo and the ensuing visit to Seychelles of both the mayor of Suncheon, Cho Choong Hoon in October last year, and the Expo committee’s chairman, Song Young Soo, in February this year.

During his visit, Mr Song officially received two giant land tortoises and around 250 endemic plants of Seychelles that represent some of the major attractions on display in Suncheon. One hundred paintings of Seychellois children are also in exhibit on the Dream Bridge in the centre of the expo.

Most of the 4,000,000 visitors expected during the expo will therefore have a chance to discover Seychelles’ flora and the emblematic Aldabra tortoises.

Peter Estico from the National Botanical Garden Foundation spent two week in Suncheon to coordinate all technical aspects for the layout of Seychelles’ 60sqm indoor garden – the only one to remain permanently on the expo site.

During his visit to Seoul, Professor Payet, who was accompanied by Beijing-based ambassador to Korea, Philippe Le Gall, and Seychelles honorary consul general Dong Chang Jeong, planted four germinated coco-de-mer with the Mayor of Suncheon and signed a friendship agreement between Suncheon and Seychelles.

Suncheon mayor Mr Cho is particularly keen to develop exchanges with Seychelles in several fields including tourism, education and horticulture and environmental studies.

The minister also had talks with representatives of the Korean government and top officials from Suncheon with whom he discussed the promotional outcome of Seychelles’ involvement and how on the long term Seychelles could benefit from the legacy of the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013.

This event takes place at a time when the number of tourist arrivals from Korea has been doubling each year since 2009, and Seychelles and Korea are establishing new bonds of friendship and economic cooperation, thanks in particular to the pro-active role of both HCG Jeong and Ms Julie Kim, the regional manager of the Seychelles tourism office in Korea. More events for expo visitors will be organised at the Seychelles garden by them other than the Seychelles National Day scheduled on June 18 to highlight Seychelles and what it offers.

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