Nature Seychelles recently took part in one of several activities by Miss Seychelles 2014, Camila Estico in her ‘Back to basics’ project. The reigning queen of this year’s Another World beauty pageant is addressing obesity in Seychelles by encouraging healthier lifestyles and eating habits through her “Beauty with a purpose” initiative.
“Well, it’s not really a secret and its definitely not little - everyone knows about it but no one wants to discuss it as one of the biggest problems of sustainable development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS),” says Dr Shah Nature Seychelles CEO in an article for a local daily, ‘Islands dirty little secret’. Shah has written widely on the subject in the last ten years.
On Friday afternoon Nature Seychelles attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Geffroy’s farm and Miss Seychelles. At the event in Geffroy’s farm, Shah gave an autographed copy of the recently published book ‘Grow and Eat Your Own Food’ to Miss Seychelles. Camila will work with four families over several weeks for the project which will focus on food, medical and other healthy living aspects.
Following the launch of the book ‘Grow and Eat Your Own Food’ in June, Nature Seychelles and Geffroy’s farm have been working together sharing expertise and products.Jean Paul Geffroy, the owner of the farm gave each family taking part in the healthy lifestyle initiative with a copy of the book. Jean Paul is a young innovative and eco-friendly farmer in Seychelles. He will additionally provide vegetables for the families for the duration of the project and for Miss Seychelles, for the duration of her reign.
Miss Seychelles is aiming to tackle a great problem for a country which has been ranked as the eighteenth most overweight country in the world. In the ranking done by WHO earlier this year it was reported that 60 percent of Seychelles’ population is overweight.
“Last year, Pacific islands health experts called for a quota on the amount of fatty food exported to their countries because heart disease, diabetes and obesity have become the norm” says Shah.“Obesity in Seychelles and other SIDS is a barrier to Sustainable Development… The financial costs of obesity to the government health service, to companies and to the economy in general are huge. Sicker people mean more expenses,” he explains.
Like Camila, Nature Seychelles also works in raising awareness and carrying out activities to tackle obesity. Under the Green Health program, Nature Seychelles runs a demonstration organic garden at The Sanctuary in Roche Caiman to encourage Seychellois to grow more of their own food. The Heritage Garden is worked on using the most environmentally sound farming methods; it is an edible landscape and a source of fresh organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices as well as seedlings. It is also here at The Sanctuary that Nature Seychelles provides green yoga sessions.
Photos 1) Dr Shah shares a light moment with Miss Seychelles as he hands her a copy of Grow and Eat Your Own Food 2) MoU signing between Miss Seychelles and Geffroy's farm 3) Each family will have a copy of the book published by Nature Seychelles for refernece 4) Demonstration on the steaming machine used instead of pesticides on Geffroy's farm