Seychelles: First country in world to protect half of its territory


IUCN announced in a press release recently that just over half (50.59%) of the land in Seychelles will become protected by law with the addition of an extra 45,500 hectares.

Last year the creation of Silhouette National Park and Recif Island Reserve increased the total area of protected land to 47.06%.

This follows the decision of President James Michel that Seychelles will protect 50% of its land as a contribution to fulfilling its obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

"We will become the first country in the world that has half of its territory protected as national parks and nature reserves. This will ensure that our most beautiful islands remain in the hands of all Seychellois, for many generations to come. We will show the world how important it is to preserve this precious natural heritage for sustainable development of a small island nation, for tourism development, as well as the protection of our planet for our children,” said President Michel.

Blue sea and island

Cousin Island Seychelles. © Nature Seychelles

The new protected areas will include the Curieuse National Park, South Island Farquhar National Park, Goëlettes Island (Farquhar) and Banc de Sable Special Reserves, Grand and Petite Polyte (Cosmoledo), Grande Ile (Cosmoledo) Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Desnoeufs Island Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Saint Françoise & Bijoutier National Park, South Island National Park (Poivre), and Assumption Island National Park.

Cabinet approval is the first step towards designating the protected areas. The Seychelles Department of Environment will now work on the demarcation points of the protected areas. Regulations and statutory instruments as well as conservation management plans will be prepared before the designation orders become law.

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