‘A book of hope and optimism,’ says publisher
President James Alix Michel yesterday launched a new book entitled ‘Rethinking the Oceans – Towards the Blue Economy’.
The ceremony which took place at State House and coincided with the World Ocean Day, was attended by various ministers, principal secretaries and members of the diplomatic corps, top government officials, representatives from the private and public sectors, among other guests.
In his remarks President Michel said: “In Rethinking the Oceans I have endeavoured to urge us all to think afresh about what lies beyond our shores and the sub-title ‘Towards the blue economy’ shows ways in which this can be done.”
He said he chose World Ocean Day to launch his book on this subject as Seychelles is an island nation where the presence of the sea is always with us.
“My book tells the story of the Blue economy to date; how the concept has come onto the world stage, the many aspects it embraces, and what it can offer for all of our future and running through this is the theme of sustainability. We must learn from the errors we have made in the past; we must ensure that the beauty and the riches of the oceans are there for the benefit of the future generations. It is no coincidence that I have dedicated the book to all of our children, to those who will inherit the oceans for they are the sentinels of nature and the guardians of our oceans.”
In telling this story President Michel said he has been inspired by fellow Seychellois.
“Fishermen who daily sail beyond the horizon, away from the safety of the shore, conservationists who devote themselves to protecting the marine environment for us all to enjoy and our brave sailors who alone faced the menace of piracy before international help arrived,” he said.
He also made remarks on the considerable progress made by the department of the Blue economy.
“The story of the Blue economy unfolds by the day and this account can be no more than work in progress. There will be more developments to come and more books to be written. Towards the Blue economy is, indeed, about the very future of humanity,” he said.
He expressed his gratitude to all those who collaborated with him on this project and a special mention went to the director general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Dr José Graziano da Silva, Sir James Mancham and Dr Gordon Anderson, the publisher of the book.
The Minister for Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam said: “Through the launching of this book, the President shows us yet again his commitment to implementing a transformative vision for Seychelles. An insightful book which will offer food for thought for those of us who appreciate the ocean, and for those of us who not only want to protect it, but also wish to see it contribute even more towards our socio-economic development.”
He highlighted the achievements made since President Michel created the Blue economy department over a year ago such as the growth in the fisheries sector, the new facilities and opportunities put in place at Providence and Ile du Port.
Minister Adam also spoke of the various finance mechanisms and projects being spearheaded by Seychelles to support the Blue economy.
Sir James, Mr Anderson and Minister Adam all addressed the gathering at the launch ceremony
Former President Sir James Mancham gave details about his relationship with Dr Anderson after they met in a high level conference in New York in 2001.
Dr Anderson has published three of Sir James’ books.
“The decision of Paragon House to publish President Michel’s book is certainly a great acknowledgment that this book is a serious book and a book of international appeal and it is timely that it becomes in the international domain,” he said.
He also expressed a special congratulation to President Michel who despite all current difficulties and problems, still found the time to write and to promote Seychelles in a manner which we deserve as being the pioneer in the field of the Blue economy.
He also said this book will be an eye opener and that everyone should read it.
The President of Paragon House Publishers, Dr Anderson who is also Editor-in-Chief of International Journal on World Peace, said he first learned that President Michel was interested in publishing this book last July through Sir James. However the Office of the President contacted him on April 4 giving him a deadline of two months to publish the book.
“For me it was a shock because we normally take a year to publish a book; this was a very short leap time,” he said.
He said the book is so refreshing because it is a mature reflection on the complex issues and seeks policies and solutions which are good both for human beings and the ocean.
“Rethinking the ocean is a book of hope and optimism, demonstrating that a clean and sustainable world does not need to remain an elusive dream but that if we apply our minds and hearts to the sound Blue economy policies we can indeed turn around the dangers of environmental catatrophy caused by human ignorance, abuse and neglect of the ocean. This is a book written by a mature statesman who rises above the fray and points the way forward,” he said.
Following his remarks, the President signed copies of his book which he presented to Sir James, Vice-President Danny Faure, Dr Anderson, Minister Adam, and Angelique Pouponneau.
There were also various exhibits from companies and organisations of both the private and public sectors, and the civil society in line with the Blue economy for the guests to view along with photographs from the book itself.
Source : Seychelles NATION