Seychellois on coastal management study tour in the United States


Through the support of the US embassy in Port Louis, Seychellois Pierre-André Adam will take part in a coastal management study tour in the United States.

The IVLP (International Visitors Leadership Programme) study tour on the theme ‘Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the US’ will run from May 26 to June 13, 2014.

Mr Adam is the projects and science manager at the Island Conservation Society.

The project goals are to examine US efforts to address coastal and marine management issues, particularly marine debris and pollution; provide opportunities to interact with US professionals at Federal, state and local levels engaged in developing public policy frameworks for coastal zone management and climate change adaptation; share institutional and technical strategies to integrate local level projects with regional and international marine protection and clean-up efforts.

Mr Adam hopes to have the opportunity to actively take part in any ongoing activities, projects or initiatives relating to marine conservation efforts such as reef restoration or monitoring, marine invasive species control or removal, and share knowledge about similar programmes from Seychelles.

He believes the programme will provide him with valuable experience and knowledge about how organisations in the US tackle various marine and coastal management issues especially with regard to threats such as climate change and marine invasions, which are two major threats being dealt with in Seychelles.

The programme will start in Washington, D.C. and end in Key Largo, Florida. During the Washington, DC programme the participants will meet federal agencies that plan, monitor, and set policy for coastal and ocean resources such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Staff from the National Oceans Council at the White House Council on Environmental Quality will discuss the roles and responsibilities of federal and state agencies in the implementation of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy. The delegates will also meet non-governmental organisations that help set national and international marine policies such as the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the Ocean Conservancy and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

From Washington, the group will travel to San Diego, California, where they will take advantage of impressive public and private institutions dealing with coastal and marine management issues.
The group will spend a full day at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, one of the world’s foremost oceanic research institutions, and also will meet key local and federal groups addressing issues such as marine pollution, ocean acidification and overfishing.  

They will meet the US Coast Guard, San Diego Station, the Port of San Diego, the International Boundary & Water Commission of US and Mexico (IBWC) and the Waitt Foundation, an organisation dedicated to changing practices that lead to overfishing.  

The delegates will also discuss planning and regulating coastal zone development with officials from the California Coastal Commission.   

The group will then be divided into two smaller groups which will allow for more personalised programming and expose them to different sets of coastal management issues.
One group will go to Corpus Christi, Texas and the other one to Newport, Oregon. Mr Adam will join the group going to Newport, Oregon.

A smaller community located on the northern Oregon Coast, Newport has an outsized importance in Pacific marine management issues due to the location of key NOAA facilities and Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Centre. There is also a strong tourist industry based on ocean resources and an active commercial fishing fleet.

Delegates will reunite in Key Largo, Florida where they will examine efforts to restore fragile coastal and reef systems.  

The group will tour the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary with officials from NOAA’s National Centre for Coral Reef Research and discuss sea-level rise challenges with representatives from the Nature Conservancy’s local chapter.  The delegates will also visit the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to discuss reef preservation strategies.
Delegates will be coming from Mauritius, the Bahamas, El Salvador, Kuwait, the Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Russia and Malaysia among other countries.

The IVLP is the US Department of State’s premier professional exchange programme. It seeks to build mutual understanding between the US and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the US for current and emerging foreign leaders.  International visitors are current or emerging leaders in government, politics, the media, education, the arts, business and other key fields. Over 4,000 international visitors come to the United States from all over the world each year.