Providing infrastructure is not the sexy part of conservation and conservationists are usually not interested in it, but someone has to do it. Nature Seychelles (IUCN Member) has over the last two years raised about USD600,000 to improve facilities and equipment. In most countries effective conservation is dependent on good infrastructure and equipment. Without good information technology, equipment, vehicles, boats, information centres, accommodation, roads, supply of potable water and electricity, it would be very difficult to undertake world class conservation action.
A major refurbishment program on Cousin Island Special Reserve has been ongoing for more than a year and is now complete. The programme has resulted in the entire infrastructure including visitor pavilions on the island either newly built or refurbished. “This is really important because we needed a level of comfort for our staff, volunteers, and researchers and of course our eco-visitors” says Ian Valmont, Cousin Island Coordinator. “In addition, new generators will mean excellent back up of the solar powered system for all our electrical needs” he concludes.
Assistant Chef Warden Jakakwan Hoareau adds: “We have a program of acquiring good boats and new engines on a regular basis as these are vital for surveillance of the Special Reserve but also to maintain a high level of health and safety for our visitors and for ourselves as well.”
On Mahe island, the dirt track to our headquarters has now been transformed into a smooth concrete road which is helpful to all the visitors to the Sanctuary at Roche Caiman and the Heritage Garden. “People were complaining about being bogged down during the rainy season and pedestrians, mostly students and other children had a very hard time getting in” Bernard Solomon Admin and Operations Manager says.
The impressive and newly completed Nature X Activity Centre in the Sanctuary - although not officially opened - is already a hive of activity with Green Health and other activities taking place. Lucina Denis, the horticulturist and Centre Caretaker, has been landscaping the Nature X building with native plants with the assistance of Frank Felice, the Field Worker and Handyman. “The reclaimed coral fill around our area is not conducive for planting native plants so we had to truck in many tones of earth as well as compost” she says.
Kerstin Henri the association’s Director of Strategic Operations indicated that new fuel efficient vehicles are expected soon as the Special Reserve now has more staff, more activities and higher expectations from members, partners and stakeholders..
For more information, please contact: Nirmal Shah, Nature Seychelles, [email protected]