The SNPA is responsible for all marine and terrestrial national parks of Seychelles. Terrestrial parks include Morne Seychellois National Park, Praslin National Park and the Veuve Reserve on La Digue. The Marine National parks include Ste Anne, Silhouette, Port Launay, Baie Ternay, Ile Coco, Curieuse & Saint Pierre (SNPA).

Some of the ongoing work that is done by the SNPA in managing these protected areas include:

  • Eco-tourism
  • Maintenance of trails
  • Amelioration of infrastructure & facilities
  • Surveillance of marine park
  • Coral restoration project on Curieuse island
  • Planting of endemic flora
  • Educational programmes, e.g. snorkelling for children, visits to national parks and national competitions
  • Research activities, e.g. on the giant tortoise of Curieuse island, the coco de mer, monitoring of the turtle population, bird surveys and the study of species/movement of sharks around Curieuse
  • Control of forest fires and invasive species

The SNPA reminds us that Seychellois should value our local areas of conservation beyond Protected Areas Day by dedicating time to visiting as many of these expanses as possible, learning about them, their diversity of fauna/flora and appreciating the full worth of their nature and biodiversity.    

Covering a total area of 55,000 hectares, protected areas in Seychelles consist of some marine or shell reserves, some terrestrial and some are both. For example, North East Point and Fairy Land are considered as shell reserves; Veuve reserve, Aldabra, Cousin and Aride are known as Special Reserves while Ste Anne and Port Launay are National Parks.

According to the SNPA, the many benefits of having dedicated protected areas include:

• Conservation of healthy ecosystem; Safeguarding of species and habitats

• Buffer (protected landscapes shelter humans from some natural disasters that are subject to increased intensity brought on by climate change)

• Genetic diversity

• Recreation

• Job creation

• Restoration

• Tourism

• Education and research

• Source of raw products

• Protects breeding/spawning grounds

• Spill-off effect (helps replenish areas adjacent to them, e.g. fish in marine parks)

• Keeps diseases/pests in check.

In particular, the success of the reef monitoring project conducted in collaboration with Global Vision International (GVI) at Cap Ternay has been extremely beneficial for Seychelles. This assignment began in 2008 and the main objective was to monitor the reef on the North-West coast of Mahé.

Ten years of monitoring has helped those involved to understand how the reef has been able to recover from the mass bleaching event of 1998 and how to appreciate the length of time necessary for recovery. It has also provided important data which has assisted in supporting decision making, both nationally and regionally.

Had there been no laws in place to protect these areas, the SNPA explains that the consequences would be detrimental. For example, it notes that the corals in the marine park recover better than those in other areas as they are less stressed, promoting and enabling faster recovery. It can also be reasonably assumed that our surrounding ocean would have less fish with the continuous damage to their breeding grounds/habitats.

Such impacts would in turn affect the entire country and important pillars of its economy – tourism and fisheries. Employment rates would suffer and many of the attractions for tourists that conservation areas offer, would not exist. Protected areas are also important factors in mitigating the effects of climate change and in preparations for dealing with its consequent impacts. For example, planting activities along the coast of Curieuse island have served to protect the area from erosion of the coastline.

In an attempt to reduce the negative impacts that humans can have on our protected areas, the SNPA urges everyone to be more responsible towards these areas of conservation by:

  • Continuing to support SNPA in its work
  • Respecting the laws in place with regards to protected areas, e.g. no fishing, vandalising biodiversity & infrastructure and no polluting
  • Encouraging tourists to visit protected areas as this revenue is invested into managing the parks
  • Reporting any incidents of poaching, fishing, jet skis in the marine park and other illegal activities.

For further information or any queries, contact the SNPA on 422 51 14, follow their Facebook page: Seychelles National Parks Authority or go to www.snpa.gov.sc.