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Volunteers willingly contribute to massive tree planting campaign on Praslin | 17 December 2020

Volunteers willingly contribute to massive tree planting campaign on Praslin

Destruction of forests leading to degradation has severe impacts on wildlife, habitats and biodiversity, with potentially irreversible losses to animals and plant life.

In the last few decades the awareness, re-establishment and preservation of global biodiversity has been on the rise. Tree planting are tremendously valuable to the world’s ecosystems, more so, now that the world is facing accelerating climate change mainly due to human-made effects. A major green-house gas is carbon-dioxide (CO2) emitted by big factories and countries has been the main cause of global warming. Forests are carbon sinks whereby “the plants” remove CO2 from the air by absorbing and storing them in plant matter. It has been debated in the past few years whether or not reforestation activities are worth the while due to the fight against climate change. Nevertheless, considering the important roles of forests, it is vital to replant the areas where forests have been degraded.

The Terrestrial Restoration Society of Seychelles (Trass) based on Praslin is the only environmental non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to the rehabilitation of degraded forests in Seychelles. Over the past decades Praslin has been facing some challenges from bush fires causing loss of habitats, plants and animals.

On October 17, 2020 Trass in partnership with Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme (Sets) launched the ‘Rebwazmwan’ massive tree planting campaign on Praslin, to undertake a widespread replanting of 50,000 seedlings per year – the biggest replanting campaign ever undertaken in Seychelles. The seedlings are being planted on degraded land in selected areas of Praslin for environmental protection and conservation of important ecosystems. Since the start of the planting season in November, Trass has been organising several planting events. The recent on November 28 saw the participation of volunteer groups from Raffles Hotel, Sets, Seychelles Islands Foundation, Trass members, Vijay International, Baie Ste Anne and Grand Anse schools where 1,000 seedlings were planted.

“I am planting to make mountains greener after forest fires destroyed all the trees and hoping to see my plant grow in the next 10 years,” said Julianna, aged eight years old.

Furthermore, Navie, six years old, said that he is planting to replace all the trees lost in forest fires and he is expecting to see his plants grow in the next 11 years.

It is a great privilege to witness the devotion and perseverance from these young souls. We should keep teaching our children at a young age the importance of our ecosystems and they shall carry on the hard work for generations to come. Trass is committed to the planting campaign and will continue its planting events during the weeks and weekends and encourages other organisations to partner with it to make a significant contribution to the massive tree-planting campaign.

“In the time of Covid-19 where a reduction in human and economic activities has benefited nature worldwide by giving Mother Earth a chance to breathe, let us come together to add a very positive note to the greening of our beautiful island,” said Dr Elvina Henriette, the coordinator of the programme.

The tree planting is also being supported by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) through the Western Indian Ocean Strategic Action Plan (WIOSAP) project, the GOS-GEF-UNDP A Ridge to Reef Approach for the Integrated Management of Marine, Coastal and Terrestrial Ecosystems in the Seychelles project, the GOS-UNDP-AF Ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change in Seychelles project and the Conservation Climate Adaptation Trust of Seychelles (SeyCCAT) project.

Trass would like to thank all of its esteemed partners, volunteers, members and projects for the valuable support, commitment and contribution to greening our tropical islands.

The accompanying photos show highlights of the tree-planting activity.

 

Written by Vanesia Dodin

Project management officer

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