It has long been the tradition of Nature Seychelles to offer attachments to young Seychellois on Cousin Island Special Reserve as part of its EnvironMentor Program. From January to March this year, it was the turn of three students from the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) to get a taste of nature conservation on the island.
Local people are passionate and willing to contribute to the conservation and management of marine protected areas (MPAs) in their locality. This was revealed at an interactive meeting with residents of Port Glaud held on 30 March at Cap Ternay, the first of a series aimed at building community awareness and involvement in the conservation and management of the Port Launay and Baie Ternay marine national parks.
Nature Seychelles has helped restore forests on several Seychelles islands. This saved critically endangered birds, enhanced eco-tourism, and increased skills in ecosystem restoration. The restoration and sustainable management of forests has helped address the climate-change and biodiversity crises and has provided goods and services for sustainable development in Seychelles.
It has been long since the normally busy shores of Cousin Island Special Reserve have seen any form of tourism activity. But now, ahead of the possible re-opening of the country's borders, the island that belongs to birds is preparing to receive visitors and opened as of 22 March 2021.
Once a degraded and loss-making coconut plantation with uncontrolled exploitation of threatened species such as turtles and seabirds, Cousin Island in Seychelles was restored into a world-class award-winning reserve for species conservation. This is the story of Cousin's turnaround and what this success story has meant for global conservation.
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