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It is the yuletide and while some people are saving and planning on travelling to their hometowns (Igbo Kwenu!!), some who can afford are travelling to western countries to oppress others on social media with their beautiful pictures and videos. But some of these western places are in winter and it may not be as […]
Source: Places To Visit In Seychelles
A recent monitoring programme on the reef of the Aldabra atoll has shown an increase in coral cover but a decline in fish numbers, an official of the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) said. The coral cover, which is the percentage of reef that is covered by hard stony corals, showed a 51 percent increase in the fifth monitoring.
The World Heritage Centre has taken due note of concerns expressed by numerous citizens and NGOs regarding the recent agreement signed between Seychelles and India to establish a naval base on Assumption Island, located some 27 km from Aldabra Atoll World Heritage property (Seychelles). UNESCO appreciates the commitment of these stakeholders to the safeguarding of this World Heritage site.
Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982, Aldabra is one of the largest atolls in the world, with an ecosystem that provides an outstanding natural laboratory for studying evolutionary and ecological processes. The atoll is home to the largest giant tortoise population in the world. Due to its remoteness and inaccessibility, the entire atoll has remained largely untouched by humans until the present time.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an advisory body to the World Heritage Committee, are fully aware of the concerns raised and have been closely following the matter with the competent authorities of the State Party of the Seychelles. The project is being monitored according to the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
Seychelles on Wednesday announced an area of ocean the size of Great Britain that will be newly protected from overfishing, pollution, and unplanned development to guard against climate change while not slowing economic progress.
American actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio was among those involved in the development.
“The two new areas for protection and management together cover a total area of just over 200,000 square kilometres or 16 percent of Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone,” said Didier Dogley, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change.
The first marine protected area includes 74,400 square kilometres of waters surrounding the extremely isolated Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that has remained largely untouched by people.
The second covers 136,000 square kilometers of a commercially important stretch of ocean between the Amirantes group of coral islands and Fortune Bank.
The Marine Protected Areas are the first milestones in a six-year process that will end in 2020 with 30 percent of Seychelles’ ocean safeguarded, as part of a new comprehensive Marine Spatial Plan for all of the country’s waters.
India wants a military base on Aldabra. Aldabra is the world’s second-largest coral atoll. The site has been designated UNESCO World Heritage List status, which means it’s of outstanding value, meeting the strict criteria set out by the United Nations’ specialized agency. It fulfils three of the organisation’s guidelines – it contains superb natural phenomena; superlative on-going ecological and biological processes; and significant natural habitats to conserve biological diversity.
Thanks to its remote location in the Indian Ocean, Aldabra Atoll remains unspoiled by human influence and provides an excellent example of natural habitat where evolutionary and ecological processes can be studied.
“These pristine islands must not be sacrificed to military and geopolitical interests. Please sign our petition to the government of the Seychelles and UNESCO to protect Aldabra Atoll” said former Seychelles Minister of Tourism Alain St. Ange.
Extremely isolated, Aldabra is almost untouched by humans. Aldabra atoll is closer to the coast of Africa 630 km (390 mi) than to Mahé, and is in the most southwesterly part of the Seychelles.
Data analysis of 20 years of turtle monitoring on Aldabra is helping Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) officials observe the movement patterns of these sea creatures and be in a better position to understand threats they may face at different stages of their life.
The in-water tagging and monitoring of both the hawksbill and green turtles on Aldabra were initiated in 1986 by Jeanne Mortimer. After several years, the project was handed over to the staff of the foundation on Aldabra.
“Further understanding of these movement patterns will mean that turtles can be protected across the Seychelles,” said Lorraine Cook, a volunteer on Aldabra.
She added that “this monitoring is also valuable for the wider scientific community because there has been a lot of research done on turtle nesting but more information is needed on their developmental and foraging stages.”
Aldabra is a UNESCO Heritage Site in Seychelles.
Researchers from the Seychelles Islands Foundation, which manages the remote Aldabra atoll, have introduced new methods to monitor the population of giant land tortoises there.
The Aldabra scientific coordinator, Cheryl Sanchez, told SNA that the team has been using the methodologies –distance transects and sweep surveys — since August.
“Both methods are common in different parts of the world and are commonly used with tortoises. The combination of these methods will allow us to estimate a population. It will also allow us to collect information on other parametres of tortoise biology,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez said that the new methods were introduced to continue long-term methodologies and that they include additional components to gain further information on these species.
Aldabra atoll is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Seychelles, a group of islands in the western Indian Ocean.
Coral reefs of the Seychelles’ Aldabra Atoll, as well as the 28 others named UNESCO World Heritage sites, are under threat of disappearance by 2100 should water temperatures keep rising, according to a scientific assessment.
According to the first global scientific assessment on the impact of climate change on World Heritage coral reefs, rising ocean temperature is resulting in mass coral bleaching.
Though Aldabra, the most southwesterly group of the Seychelles islands, located some 1,100 kilometres from Mahe, the main island, is being actively managed and protected, “there is very little [that can be done] against sea surface temperatures,” said April Burt, the atoll’s scientific coordinator.
Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982, is home to the world’s largest population of giant tortoises and has been described as ‘one of the wonders of the world’ by Sir David Attenborough, now a veteran English broadcaster and naturalist.
I’ve recently accepted a unique opportunity of a lifetime to volunteer on a remote coral atoll in the South-West Indian Ocean for a period of 6-8 months. The peculiar life supported by the atoll together with its natural beauty means that it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Special Nature Reserve and a Ramsar Wetland Site of International Importance.
I will be living and working alongside an international community of scientists, volunteers and staff to study organisms of high scientific value. My role will involve data processing and assisting in the monitoring of flora and fauna, some of which can be found nowhere else in the world. I’ll be carrying out basic data cleaning and performing analyses, method development, report writing, mapping and lending a hand with other tasks around camp.
Research on the Atoll:
- Aldabra tortoise monitoring
- Land bird monitoring programme
- Plant phenology monitoring
The sheer exoticness of the country will never fail to hit a first-time visitor.
It was raining heavily when the inaugural SriLankan Airlines flight from Colombo touched down on the Indian Ocean archipelago nation of Seychelles and one could hardly make out the water cannon salute from inside the aircraft. As the passengers deboarded at the Seychelles International Airport on Mahe island, each of them were handed out umbrellas by ground staff waiting at the end of the stepladder to get to the small arrival terminal a few steps away.
The sheer exoticness of the country will never fail to hit a first-time visitor, as this IANS correspondent was as he was transported from the airport to the resort on an island connected by a small bridge.