As the Seychelles National Parks Authority continues with its plans to become the best managed protected area sites in Seychelles, the organisation is looking at members of the public, its partners and friends to achieve this ambitious target.

The national parks provide livelihoods for so many people either directly or indirectly, they provide a laboratory for students and scientists and a space for people to relax.

People are key to national parks, negative as they pose a threat to the very resources they are enjoying but also positive as they offer a unique opportunity to be involved in the management of parks.

The Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) has always tried to foster good linkages with the public or interest groups. There are very good examples of how this has worked but there is still the need for the organisation to be more open and allow for greater involvement.

Last year, the SNPA had extensive discussions with the Praslin Business Association with regards to Curieuse Island. These discussions were fruitful and will continue during this year. Both parties agreed on a plan on how to move ahead with development on Curieuse.

SNPA chief executive Selby Remie will have his first public meeting on La Digue on May 26. This has always been in the plans but has been given urgency at the request of the La Digue Boat owners. At the same time members of the public will be able to debate about the Veuve Reserve management. Additional public meetings will continue for other parks on Mahe, Praslin and Curieuse. Meetings are also being organised for specific interest groups such as for all the hotels in or around the marine parks.

The SNPA is also looking at initiating its volunteer scheme. While the organisation receives a significant number of volunteers there is no proper framework. The scheme will have a major focus on local volunteers. The SNPA believes that through this scheme it can provide the local population with additional activities to do, activities which can be seen as a reward by volunteers for productively using their time. The authority will also explore opportunities to allow the whole family to be involved thereby contributing to address some of the social problems we currently have in the country.

Meanwhile, the SNPA would like to thank everybody who are willingly assisting the authority. Through members of the public, the SNPA is having extra eyes, ears, arms and hands. Things are moving but the feedback the SNPA is getting so far is that public expects more. They want to see action, they want to see that their views are taken seriously, they want transparency and feedback. Some members or groups have gone beyond talking and are physically helping the authority in setting up various facilities. For example, the toilet at Anse Major is as a result of a partnership with the private sector, and at present we have a contractor who has offered to repair the road leading up to one of our trails. 

The SNPA is putting in structures to address all the concerns raised so far, for example the authority is involving the public in the design of its various management plans. The authority will go further in terms of inviting the public into the periodic review of these plans (at least 6 months). People will be able to actively voice their concerns throughout the process.

The authority will agree on a modality to give feedback to participants of the public meetings at the meetings themselves. It will take into account what the public feels is best.

So keep watch out for additional communications from the SNPA and also visit the website which will be updated as new policies or offers come out.

We are looking forward to continue working with you, and we thank you all and appreciate your contributions to the SNPA.

 

 

2018 is quickly becoming one of the most important periods in the Seychelles National Parks Authority’s (SNPA) future. So we wanted to take this opportunity to update our stakeholders on what improvements and changes you will experience this year and early in the next year.

 

Firstly, the SNPA Strategic Plan (2017-2021) was approved by Cabinet in October last year. We are extremely proud that the bold changes proposed by the organisation are being supported by the government. SNPA proposes a strategic plan that is aimed at reinforcing its capacity, addressing its resource issues and also enhancing its capacity to leverage more support from partners and stakeholders. Enhanced engagement with partners and stakeholders remain a cornerstone of SNPA’s operations, in recognition of the fact that the organisation, despite its strengths, would not be able to effectively manage protected areas without strong commitment from its stakeholders. The plan highlights the need for an organisational and performance review in order to improve its management effectiveness.

Found nesting in a small juvenile Bwa Blan tree, height of 1.35m, a pair of the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher had chosen to build their home on a Bwa Blan tree, which was planted five years ago.

From the start of building the nest, daily monitoring was conducted by the resident ranger to ensure a successful fledging.

Many visitors visiting the Veuve Reserve during the month of February and March 2018, had the chance to appreciate this interesting nesting site, barely 1m from the footpath and they were very amazed to see a nest so low.

Children from the club “Friends of Flycatcher” also participated in monitoring the activities.

This is a real conservation success story after years of intensive restoration programme of tree planting in the Veuve Special Reserve.

 

The Theme for World Ocean Day 2018 is “Preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy Ocean”. SNPA and Partners (Trek Divers, Education for Nature, Scuba Divers Federation of Seychelles, Creole Travel Services and Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEEC)) took the theme literally and organized a cleanup to commemorate the event, which is of great significance to Small Islands Developing States, like Seychelles (we are 99% ocean).

The rain did not prevent fifty environmentalists from gathering near La Passe beach, Children from Friends of Flycatcher (La Digue) and friends of Valle de Maie, Staffs of SNPA, MEEC, Trek divers, Creole Travel services and other concerned citizens were all enthusiastic to prevent pollution of one of the most beautiful places on earth-La Digue.

Alien Invasive species (IAS) are plants or animals that are non-native and cause economic or environmental harm. They are of major concerns to the country, as they can now be seen everywhere around the islands. Controlling them is not easy as they are often aggressive and tend to outgrow native species.

In 2017, SNPA started a new project “Removal and Control of Invasive Plants In and Outside Protected Areas”. The project is targeting mainly invasive creepers is being funded by the Environment Trust fund (ETF). The first component was training of interested contractors on removal techniques, some of whom were later selected to clear affected sites.

As part of its activities to celebrate International Year of The Reef (IYOR), the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) translocated forty corals from a nursery to a degraded reef near St Pierre (located in the Curieuse Marine National Park).

It was in May 2016 that the SNPA launched its coral restoration project by setting up an in-water nursery in which coral fragments are grown either on ropes or on tables. The nursery project, funded by the Unep (United Nations Environment Programme), is located at Baie Laraie, Curieuse.

SNPA undertook the delicate tasks of rehabilitating the reef near St Pierre in partnership with Octopus Dive Centre, Praslin.

Protected Area Day, celebrated on January 31 each year, was this year marked by various activities across the country. On Praslin, this was commemorated with an exhibition of various artwork about Curieuse Island. The event, organised by the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), was the ideal occasion to launch the SNPA’s improved website as well as two books about the striking nature and plants of Curieuse and Aride islands.

Present at the ceremony, held at Le Domaine de La Reserve Hotel, were the chairperson of the SNPA board Selby Remy, chief executive of SNPA Flavien Joubert, representatives of the Praslin business association and other stakeholders.

In his address, Mr Remy, highlighted the important role of protected areas and the need to protect our cultural values and biodiversity.

The exhibition, which comprised various artwork of members from ProArt Seychelles -- an association of visual artists -- showcased the nature of Curieuse, one among the 38 protected areas around the country.

Stakeholders team up in mangrove planting event on Curieuse

A mangrove planting event took place on Curieuse on Sunday January 28, 2018, as part of the EbA South project and also to commemorate the Protection Area Day.

In total, 23 volunteers mainly from Terrestrial Restoration Action Society of Seychelles (TRASS), two Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) staff and two Global Vision International (GVI) members joined together to plant 550 Black mangrove (Mangliye Lat – Bruiguieragymnorhiza) plus five Red mangrove (Mangliye rouz – Rhizophoramucronata) in part of the degraded mangrove areas. The area being targeted is the fairly open area near bodamier trail close to the Mangliye lat that stands above the project nursery. 

The event was also an opportunity to train participants in mangrove planting techniques, and general awareness on mangrove. All plants for planting was supplied by the Curieuse EbA nursery for this exercise.