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Nature Seychelles and SAA give fresh impetus to existing ties

1natureThe Seychelles Agricultural Agency (SAA) and Nature Seychelles have revitalised a memorandum of understanding (MoU) they signed in 2009.

This took place during a meeting between the Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture Wallace Cosgrow and the chief executive of Nature Seychelles, Dr Nirmal Jivan Shah.

The meeting was held at the centre of environment and education, Roche Caïman, in the presence of officials of both institutions including the Seychelles Fishing Authority.

It was aimed at discussing ways of combining agriculture with conservation and wellbeing with future plans of propagation of eco-agriculture, organic gardens and climate smart practices

Such concept is to be included in a new MoU that will be signed between the two parties later on.

Nature Seychelles and SAA came into an agreement to plan and implement various activities under the aegis of the Food Security Strategy 2008-2011. The two organisations agreed to work together in the areas of agro-biodiversity, conservation, biodiversity friendly agriculture and any other national programmes of mutual interest.

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Touring the Heritage Gardens (above) and the marsh behind the centre

A MoU as such was not signed during the meeting but the two parties discussed what should be included in the document in future.

Mr Shah informed that the NGO Nature Seychelles is available to be partners in areas like agriculture and mariculture.

“We have expertise in areas like project management where even if we do not implement the project we can manage it,” he said.

He informed the minister that the NGO is part of international networks whereby it can bring in international expertise like through the Volunteer International Programme (VIP) that Nature Seychelles is associated with.

Minister Cosgrow remarked that there are plenty areas of collaboration between SAA and Nature Seychelles. He mentioned organic farming that is becoming the norm of the day and where there is room for NGOs like Nature Seychelles to come in and make their contribution.

3nature“Natural agriculture should be the basis of what we do,” said the minister.

The meeting began with a presentation from Nature Seychelles on the major achievements in agriculture, mariculture and conservation.

Success stories included bringing back endangered species from extinction; pioneering programmes like restoration of habitats on Fregate, Denis and Cousin; effective biodiversity management resulting in international awards; making Cousin first carbon neutral island in the world; undertaking the largest bio-diverse coral restoration in the world, according to a USAID evaluation; opportunities for the Blue economy in reef restoration and mariculture and using sea birds as proxies to identify marine areas important to fisheries and biodiversity.

After the meeting the minister and his entourage were taken on a tour of the Heritage Gardens of the premises which was set up nine years ago to preserve agro-biodiversity.

Developers: Cyberwave