40th anniversary of Seychelles Islands Foundation | 30 May 2019
SIF displays its pioneering research and conservation work
To commemorate its 40th anniversary, the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) held a free public symposium to showcase its latest research and conservation projects.
The over one hundred participants who attended this event were engaged in knowing more about the ongoing projects of SIF.
“It is only right for us to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the organisation with this science symposium during which we showcase and update you with our research and conservation work. We are extremely excited about this event which we hope will inform and inspire the public on our important work at these two special and unique sites – Aldabra and Vallée de Mai. Our conservation and research projects are relevant for everyone in Seychelles, not just the scientific community, and we are always looking for opportunities to share our findings with the public,” noted Dr Frauke Fleischer-Dogley, chief executive at SIF.
Dr Fleischer-Dogley also talked about the successful career path of one of SIF’s staff, Annabelle Constance, and others. “Our very first staff was awarded the first Professor David Stoddart scholarship in 2013 when she started her Bachelor in Environmental Science at the University of Seychelles (UniSey) and was awarded a Master course at the University of Zürich which she successfully completed.
“Today she is studying for her PhD with the very same university following her excellent performance for her Master’s degree. We have also prepared eight other staff to successfully enrol and already five of them have successfully completed their BSc in Environmental Science at the UniSey. Two of them have returned to work with us and at Masters level we have supported a total of four staff.”
The public were also able to hear and view a variety of presentations from scientists and collaborators at SIF who are eager to share their findings from Seychelles’ Unesco World Heritage sites – the Vallée de Mai and Aldabra. The presentations covered a wide variety of fascinating topics such as the secrets of the Coco de Mer, the world’s first eradication of the ring-necked parakeets on Mahé and the Aldabra clean-up project.
Julio Agricole, Lorraine Cook, Emmanuel Morel, Dr Nancy Bunbury, Christina Quanz, Mariette Dine, Terance Payet, Monica Griffiths, Katy Collins, Louise McLaughlin, Dr Chris Kaiser-Bunbury, Cheryl Sanchez, Jeremy Raguain, Jennifer Appoo, Dr Nathalie Bodin, Anna Koester, April Burt, Annabelle Constance and Philip Haupt were among the speakers. There was also an exhibition of art work done by schools with recycled materials.
Seychelles NATION caught up with two young adults who were attending this symposium and asked them if Seychelles is doing enough in terms of research and conservation. Sophie Morel, 23 years old, said: “I am working in the department of environment in the conservation section and it is crucial for my department to be well informed on conservation work accomplished by other organisations. Seychelles has very hard working and passionate workers in conservation and research although funds are limited. A lot is done and we have become leaders in conservation as a nation.”
Said Harryba, 22 years old, told us that he attended this conference “in order to listen to some major projects SIF has been working on and what it has achieved. I would say Seychelles is doing its best in terms of conservation up until now as the work of conservation is never enough”.