Island rehabilitation project stresses on plant protection


The October 22 – 27 workshop, held at the National Institute of Education (NIE), was The opening session of the workshop last Mondayorganized by the Island Conservation Society (ICS) with the participation of the Plant Conservation Action Group, Seychelles.

The facilitators included Dr Christopher Kueffer from the University of Hawaii, Kathy Beaver from Plant Conservation Action Group and Dr Eva Schumacher from Zurich, Switzerland.

Attending the workshop were nature conservation professionals from government agencies such as the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources & Transport; non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others concerned with the protection of plants and vegetation.      

The objectives of the course included introducing to the participants plant diversity and their habitat, developing and improving the participants’ skills so that they would be able to identify some of the common trees and plants, providing them with a practical guide to easy and effective vegetation monitoring techniques, illustrating to them the importance of vegetation management for the rehabilitation of island ecosystems and giving them a feel for the relevance of plants to the ecosystems and human well being in Seychelles. 

The larger programme under which this workshop was but a part is called Le programme Réhabilitation des Ecosystèmes Insulaires or Rehabilitation of Island Ecosystems Programme. It is a 3 million euro project funded by the Fonds Français pour L’Environnement Mondial (FFEM) which will run over a period of 4 years.

The project is also made up of other components such as restoring the islands’ ecosystems by eradicating invasive animal and plant species and replacing them with native ones and promoting eco-tourism on the five islands where the project is being undertaken -- North, Conception, Aride, Cosmoledo and Aldabra.

Opening the workshop on Monday last week, the Special Adviser for Environment in the Office of the President, Dr Rolph Payet, said that this project highlights the importance of engaging in “home-grown research”.

He also expressed his satisfaction to see NGOs taking the lead in training and in promoting professionalism in the environment and conservation areas.