Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Sea Turtle Nesting

Sea Turtles plays a pivotal role in the world’s vast marine ecosystem. The Ministry of Environment, energy and climate Change implements its annual sea turtle monitoring programme during the months of October to March and throughout the year focuses on education and awareness raising campaign to sensitize members of the public about the important ecological as well as social and economic values of sea turtle conservation and protection.

Sea turtle are listed as endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)  due to their high risk of extinction contributed by increased poaching and over- exploitation, marine pollution, loss of nesting habitats, predation from animals both on land and the sea as well as the ever increasing climate change associated threats and impacts.
To compliment international efforts towards global sea turtle conservation, The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change has made significant contributions towards sea turtle conservation in Seychelles. Efforts have extended beyond the government, but through the continuous support from Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), the Police Department and members of the public.  

This year as has been the case for many years now, from October 2018  towards the end of  March 2019 the Ministry implements its Annual sea turtle monitoring programme on key nesting beaches found on the  islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue with NGOs doing their own monitoring on other islands of Seychelles. Collaborations, education and enforcement have been key towards the decreased reported number of poaching incidents. Two official cases have been reported from October 2018 till now. This is not the end of our work as we aim towards better surveillance on our beaches, effective law enforcement, greater educational campaigns and national events and many others. Challenging but not impossible.

In addition the Ministry in collaboration with other key partners such as Wise Oceans Seychelles, MCSS, ICS, SIF organized many activities last year in celebration of the International Year of Reefs (IYOR 2018), International Biodiversity Day was dedicated to the important national contributions different organizations are making towards protection of marine ecosystems, different projects on reef restoration as well as significant efforts towards the fight against plastic pollution, and the Sea turtle Festival promoting the wonderful marine life with sea turtles .

The Ministry has worked persistently over the years by implementing and enforcing laws and penalties to protect the sea turtles. It is evident that there are small groups of people who are still failing to follow the protection measures and are willing to risk the long term conservation of these animals. However our efforts will continue and we will keep reminding members of the public that it is an offence to disturb, catch, injure, fish, kill, sell, purchase, receive or possess any turtle and strict penalties will be imposed on anyone who fails to do so.

The Ministry extends its deepest gratitude to everybody who continues to support sea turtle conservation in Seychelles.

For anyone who has any information on illegal activities pertaining to sea turtle, please contact greenline on 2722111 of the Office of the Biodiversity Conservation Section on 4670541 or 4670540.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Minister for Environment Energy and Climate Change attended the Assembly for IRENA

Minister Wallace Cosgrow attended the ninth session of the Assembly of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) -the world’s principal forum for international cooperation on renewable energy-, among 120 Ministers and representatives from 160 countries around the world which began on 11th-13th January 2019 at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates.
This Assembly is the Agency’s supreme decision-making body which brings together Heads of State, Ministers, government officials, and representatives from the private sector, civil society and other international organizations to reaffirm the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition.

“Gender in the Energy Transformation” was the theme whereby the Assembly introduced topic which featured an interactive discussion on the gender dimension of the energy transformation.
Speaking at the Assembly, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Mr. Wallace Cosgrow, highlighted the different measures that the Government of Seychelles is undertaking to reduce the amount of imported fossil fuel cost of almost 1 Million US Dollars which will be ploughed back into renewable energy programs.

“Seychelles as a SIDS do not have much land, our pursuit for sustainable development means we have to weigh up all the resources available to us in our ocean, and take informed choices on how to develop them for the benefit of our country and our people. The Indian Ocean is at the crest of this wave, and with our leadership and commitment we can bring about this transformative change that we all believe in, hence the concept of the Blue Economy, In our effort towards better harnessing or territories wealth and energy resources, last year Seychelles Launched a tender for a 4 MW floating IPP PV project. The tender and project will represent a path-breaking opportunity for the eventual successful bidder as it will be first utility-scale floating solar PV project on sea in Africa”

The main objectives of the Assembly was to raise awareness on the importance of renewable energy and its impact on sustainable development, connect policy makers, experts and 3 innovators from many countries to learn from each other, share good practices and inform decision makers by identifying shared needs and finding common ground on shared priorities.

Overall mostly the Assembly's unlimited discussion featured presentations and provided opportunities for contributions from IRENA Member delegations, stakeholder groups and the private sector. Plenaries focused on aspects of the Agency’s work and actions by countries in the development and deployment of renewable.
Minister Cosgrow was accompanied by the P.S of Climate Change Mr. Wills Agricole, The Ambassador for UAE Mr. Jean Claude Adrienne and the CEO of Energy Commission Mr. Tony Imaduwa.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Ban On Single-Use Plastic Straws

Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change

Ban on Plastic Straws

The Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change has implemented the restriction on the single-use plastic straws. The announcement of such a ban was made June 5th 2018 to commemorate World Environment Day. The restriction is bound to apply on the 1st February 2019 which will give the businesses, retailers and importers enough time to complete their available stock, as the total ban of manufacturing and selling of single-use plastic straws will be implemented 1st June 2019. There are no local businesses that produces single-use plastic straws in the country. The Department of environment has considered that the restriction will apply for the single-use plastic straws used for beverages such as cocktails, not straws that comes along with juice boxes. The aim of this interdiction is part of reducing the amount of plastic waste material deposited on land field. Single-use Plastic straws is one of the most common type of waste material collected during beach cleanups. Hospitality establishments have already been informed of the upcoming ban on single-use plastic straws through various campaigns made by the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA), the department of environment and NGO’s. Quite a number of hotels are encouraging their guest to use the Disposable and Biodegradable paper, pasta straws or even reusable metal straws as one perfect replacement for the harmful plastic straws. Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa has demonstrate their support by using the environmental-friendly straws.

 Photo credited: Mr. Alain Decomarmond (Pasta Straw)