Terence Vel, a conservationist working with Nature Seychelles has won a
BP Conservation Program (BPCP) Award for 2006. The award comes with a
cash prize of US Dollars 25,000.00, which is to be used for a
conservation project. Terence says he is thrilled with this prize which
is further international recognition of the excellent work being done
at Nature Seychelles.
There have been great fanfares for conservation success in Seychelles
recently. Unless you’ve been on another planet for the past year you’ll
known about the recoveries or the new knowledge we have about species
like Magpie robin or pi Santez, the Scops owl or syer, and the White
eye or Zwazo linet. Conservation programs by Nature Seychelles, the
Seychelles government and private island owners and managers have
enabled these unique Seychelles birds to be taken off the Critical list
of the most endangered species of the world. Seychelles has received
international accolades for these flagship examples of conservation
action, which also offer hope and inspiration to others. We have shown
we have the knowledge and expertise to plan and manage globally
recognized recovery programmes. But, this work isn’t finished.
Scientists tend to be clever people. That’s why they are scientists
after all. But they can’t know everything. And they can’t be
everywhere. Non-scientists can have different types of information that
can be useful too. And there are a lot of them. The balancing of
scientific and public knowledge is a topic of great current interest.
We have seen this in studies being done in Seychelles that are seeking
to recognize that the fishing communities here know a thing or two
about the marine environment: where the fish stocks are and how many
there are, for example. We ignore this kind of knowledge, experience
and expertise at our peril.
Nature Seychelles has worked with researcher Louisa Wood of the
University of British Columbia, Canada and other organisations to find
out what motivates illegal fishing in Marine Protected Areas, (MPAs)
and to try to identify ways to reduce poaching.