Conservationists share progress on island restoration


25-June-2009

This is through a workshop opening on Tuesday in the Seychelles Fishing Authority’s training room in the presence of principal secretary for environment Didier Dogley and premier conseiller in the French embassy Gilles Pommeret.

The four-day session is the closing activity of the operational phase of the Rehabilitation of Island Ecosystems project led by the Island Conservation Society (ICS) and co-funded by the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM).

Mr Dogley (at podium) launching the workshop on Tuesday

The project, which started in 2005, focuses on five islands – North, Conception, Aride, Grande Ile and Grande Polyte. It is being carried out together with local partners such as private island owners, the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Transport, the Island Development Company and local non-governmental organisations.

Also taking part in the workshop are Frederique Koenig from the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation and Marie Lacoste from the Conservatoire botanique national de Mascarin in Reunion, who both gave presentations on the restoration of ecosystems on their islands.

FFEM project leader and ICS scientific director Gérard Rocamora gave details of the project and its five components, and the objectives of the workshop.

Topics to be covered during the four days include eradication and control of introduced animals, control of invasive plants and replanting of native vegetation, reintroduction and protection of rare and threatened species, ecotourism, education and financing mechanisms.

To conclude, a round table forum will be set up to discuss island restoration challenges and views on the future.

In his launch speech, Mr Dogley said strong partnerships are needed to build capacity to face the challenges of our biodiversity.

He said it is important that island restoration is done in the right way, even if it is costly, time-consuming and labour-intensive.

He called on those present to take the chance to build future networks and identify ways to launch a new regional project that will support proposals discussed in the workshop.

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