President Faure hosts send-off for Aldabra Clean Up Project volunteers
18 February 2019 | Environment
The President of the Republic and the Patron of the of the Seychelles Islands Foundation, Mr Danny Faure, hosted a send-off ceremony this morning at State House for the Aldabra Clean-Up Project volunteers.
Launched at State House in April 2018, the Aldabra Clean-Up Project is a collaborative, international project involving the Seychelles Islands Foundation, Queen’s College at the University of Oxford and young conservationists from the Seychelles. The project involves a 6-week expedition to the Aldabra Atoll to clear the island of man-made rubbish, whilst also quantifying the amount and types of plastic and finding a sustainable way to process it. A key outcome is raising awareness on the dangers of marine plastics pollution to the oceans and natural ecosystems.
Addressing the volunteers, President Faure began by playing the well-known song ‘Aldabra’, by local artist Patrick Victor. He congratulated the volunteers for not only raising but exceeding their fundraising target to successfully execute the project, which was £150,000.
“On behalf of the people and government of Seychelles, I salute you this morning for your passion and your courage in embarking on this journey. I am convinced that after your expedition to Aldabra, you will continue to be ambassadors of this important cause, raising awareness of the dangers of plastics pollution. I know that when you come back, Seychelles will be able to continue to depend on you in this fight, not only locally, but regionally and globally,” said the President.
The President discussed the many efforts that he himself has made to raise awareness on the critical issue in international arenas, including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April 2018, and at the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Québec in June 2018.
In her opening address, the CEO of Seychelles Islands Foundation, Dr Frauke Fleischer-Dogley said to the volunteers, “You will witness Aldabra’s beauty, but you will also see the repercussions of our throwaway culture first hand, and over the 5-weeks expedition you will be able to do something about it. You will face hardships but by sharing your experiences with the rest of us you will inspire hope and action.”
The ceremony also included a presentation detailing the Aldabra Clean-Up Project by co-leads of the initiative, Ms April Burt from the University of Oxford and Jeremy Raguain, Project Officer at SIF.
In total, there are 5 volunteers from the University of Oxford and 7 from Seychelles that will set off on the 6-week expedition this Friday. From Seychelles, the volunteers are Ashleighne Antao, Kalsey Belle, Ivan Ray Capricieuse, Craig Francourt, Jeremy Raguain, Samuel Ramkalawan and Sheena Talma.
Also present this morning was the Chairman of the Seychelles Island Foundation, Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne.