On the occasion of International Tourism Day yesterday, Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S), a national non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to promoting sustainability in Seychelles, launched ‘Gid Sitwayen pour Sanzman klima’, the creole version of an informative booklet on climate change.
The small intimate launch ceremony was held by the beach, near H Resort, a coastline area where the impacts of climate change are becoming more and more evident, and was attended by Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Didier Dogley, as well as chief executive of the Seychelles Climate Change Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) Angelique Pouponneau. The strategic spot overlooks the sea-wall built by H Hotel to protect its vegetation from rising sea.
To start, Brenda Andimignon of S4S outlined the idea behind the guide asserting the importance of sustainable and eco-friendly activities so as to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
“Today is a special day because it is World Tourism Day and because we are officially launching the guide in creole, which will allow Seychellois to read it in their mother tongue. Because climate change is already affecting life in Seychelles, it is important each one of us understands how climate change will impact our lives and livelihoods, and start planning on how we will deal with it,” she said.
“We are standing on this beach, next to H Hotel, where you can see that global warming is causing severe coastal erosion. It is our hope, therefore, that this booklet will be actively used by many sectors – tourism, health, agriculture, education and more – as a tool to help educate and sensitise about climate change and what is being done, what they as individuals and as a collective can do, to minimise the risk of further damage,” Ms Andimignon noted.
A copy of the booklet was presented to Minister Dogley by the chairperson of the S4S board, Mia Dunford.
Accepting his copy, Minister Dogley conveyed gratitude to the S4S team for all their hard work and dedication over the years in raising awareness and getting citizens to engage in sustainable practices.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, issues such as how small-island states are faring with climate change are on the back-burner but it is vital that we keep focusing on climate change and mitigating the impacts. It is especially important for us, Seychelles, as we are somewhat reliant on tourism and our tourism industry thrives off our picturesque coastlines, our beaches and our islands,” she added.
“The effects are visible around us. I personally regularly come for walks on Beau Vallon beach and over recent months I have noticed that the sand is eroding away. Usually when the season changes it would have been shifted back but it has not happened, which leaves us worried as to how the Beau Vallon coastline will look in the coming months. It is scary that it might worsen, and this whole line of trees could disappear,” Minister Dogley remarked.
Minister Dogley also thanked SeyCCAT for making available to NGOs the funding to realise such projects, to further raise awareness and drive citizens to action.
The citizen’s guide was first produced by S4S nine years ago in English and has been subsequently re-printed over the years. An updated English version was developed three years ago, with the support of the European Union (EU) and Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC), and was distributed to all schools nationwide, as well as partner organisations and at climate change based events.
The creole version, ‘Gid Sitwayen pour Sanzman klima’ was realised with thesupport ofthe Lenstiti Kreol who helped with translation, as well as SeyCCAT who funded the design work and printing of the booklet.
S4S works with many partners, from government, to civil society and the private sector towards adopting more sustainable ways of doing things. One of the major issues it has worked on for over a decade is climate change. In 2009, it spearheaded the development of an action plan for climate change education, awareness and training, which was incorporated into the Seychelles National Climate Change Strategy.
Anyone who would like a copy of the booklet, in either language, can reach out to the NGO or download a copy from its website; http://www.s4seychelles.com. The booklet is a free resource which covers general information about climate change and how it is impacting Seychelles, guidelines and pointers to reducing carbon footprint as well as a section on preparing and adapting to climate change.
Courtesy: Seychelles Nation