Bridge building for conservation

In a move to broaden environmental education in the western Indian Ocean, Nature Seychelles has formed a partnership with a leading Mauritian conservation awareness ngo.

Following discussions between the CEO of the Environmental Protection & Conservation Organisation of Mauritius, Dr Kheswar Beharry, and Nature Seychelles’ CEO Nirmal Shah, the two organisations have agreed to assist and jointly publicise environmental education activities they host in Seychelles and Mauritius.

The partnership with EPCO follows on from previous inter-island link ups Nature Seychelles has forged with other Mauritian NGOs.
The conservation organisation has worked alongside the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation on species recovery programmes and developed environmental policies for small island developing states in conjunction with CEDREFI (Centre de Documentation de Recherches et de Formation Indian Océaniques).

“This is a fantastic example of an environmental win-win situation. The Mauritian NGO’s learn from us, we learn from them and the environment in both countries is the ultimate winner as the expertise in Mauritius and Seychelles is shared for the benefit of all,” said Nature Seychelles’ CEO Nirmal Shah.
“Environmental education is the main activity of EPCO and, similarly, is one of the principal outputs of Nature Seychelles and the Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles. This shared interest in heightening environmental understanding in the region made the formation of a link between the organisations an obvious one to make,” he said.

The collaboration began with events to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day, when the Mauritian NGO negotiated for the Ramsar-listed Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Birds Sanctuary to be opened to the public and EPCO staff members made presentations to visitors on the role of the wetlands-focused Ramsar Convention in protecting migratory birds.
At the same time over 50 members of the Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles visited the Cap Ternay mudflats for an action packed day of birdwatching and discussion of the effects of climate change on migratory birds.
During World Biodiversity Day, the Wildlife Clubs held a range of interactive regional environmental activities, while EPCO took part in nationally organised inter-ngo activities.

The two organisations will again join hands with activities to mark World Environment Day on June 5.
EPCO will be staging an exhibition on climate change and biodiversity at the Bambous State Secondary School, while their counterparts at Nature Seychelles and WCS are holding the annual WCs awards ceremony and an exhibition on biodiversity at the National Institute of Education.

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