Aldabra Marine Debris Clean-Up Project launched at State House

05 June 2018 | Environment

The President of the Republic and the Patron of the of the Seychelles Islands Foundation, Mr Danny Faure, was the guest of honour at the launching ceremony of the Aldabra Marine Debris Clean-Up Project at State House this morning. The project was also launched to commemorate World Environment Day 2018, today, 5 June. The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is 'Beat Plastic Pollution, If you can’t re-use it, refuse it’.

The Aldabra Marine Debris Clean-Up Project is a collaboration between the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) and the University Of Oxford, United Kingdom, namely the Queens College. The project was conceived during an expedition of the Board of Trustees of SIF to Dune Jean Louis, one of the remote field camps on the Aldabra Atoll.

The highlight of this morning’s ceremony was the presentation of a Certificate of Participation by President Faure to six volunteers who will be engaging in the project. The six volunteers selected are Ashleighne Antao, Kalsey Belle, Ivan Ray Capricieuse, Craig Francourt, Samuel Ramkalawan, and Sheen Talma. In March 2019, six Oxford University scholars will also join them for the Aldabra Marine Debris Project.

“For years all sorts of items we all use in our daily lives have accumulated on Aldabra’s shores. For as many years our teams have tried to find ways to contain and mitigate this issue. Despite these efforts, the plastic tide has risen, overpowering our attempts and further hurting the life we have promised to protect on Aldabra and all our outer islands. The beaches of Aldabra, especially at Dune Jean Louis are battered each year by the South East winds bringing with them huge amounts of everything floatable. Following an intense clean-up of 100m of shoreline, the Board decided that this situation is no longer acceptable and pledged to secure additional funding to start removing plastic pollution from the atoll,” said the CEO of SIF, Dr Frauke Dogley in her keynote address.

As a team, the group of volunteers will conduct an intensive clean-up expedition on the Atoll, but before they leave for Aldabra, they will link up with existing local and international initiatives to raise awareness on the issue and use Aldabra’s outstanding universal value to ensure people understand the serious commitments required to change the situation.

During the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of the Island Development Company Ltd (IDC), Mr Glenny Savy, handed a copy of the second edition of the book titled ‘Outer Islands of Seychelles - Zil Elwannyen Sesel’ to President Faure. The first publication was in 2010, which tells for the first time, the human and environmental stories of these far-flung islands. The second edition includes up-to-date information on the changes that have happened over the years.

Chairman of the Board of SIF, Mr Patrick Lablache, and the CEO of SIF, Dr Frauke Dogley, also presented the President with a map of Aldabra and a photo album of his visit to the atoll.

The ceremony also included a poem recital by Fadell Sophola, ten years old, entitled ‘Eski ou konn IDC?’, and the screening of two videos submitted by Seychellois volunteer, Ms Ashleighne Antao, and April Burt, a volunteer from Queen’s College, Oxford.

Other distinguished guests present this morning included the Vice President Vincent Meriton, Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon, Ministers, Secretary of State, British High Commissioner, H.E. Ms Caron Röhsler, and Board Members of IDC, ICS and SIF.

The ceremony ended with the famous song about Aldabra by Mr Patrick Victor.

More photos of the ceremony can be viewed at the following link:

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