Blog Hero
  • Marine Conservation

A legacy of conservation – celebrating 15 years of collaboration with the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA)

Posted: June 28, 2019

When we talk about life, we talk about water. No one can dispute its vital importance to our planet’s ecological balance. While this knowledge provides one out of many reasons why we should protect and respect our oceans, they continuously face threats through plastic pollution, overfishing, and the everyday use of products that can devastate vibrant coral reefs.

The authorities set up in Seychelles to protect our marine resources have always been mindful of this and 15 years ago signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SNPA, formally Seychelles Centre for Marine Research and Technology-Marine Parks Authority (SCMRT-MPA) and GVI.

Under this first agreement, which was signed by the then Managing Director of SCMRT-MPA, Mary Stravens, and GVI’s Director of Marine Projects, Steve Gwenin, Seychelles welcomed the first group of GVI’s expedition members and staff at their facility at Cap Ternay.

 

marine conservation
In this ocean-themed bar graph, the height of the individual corals represents the number of participants per month during 2018. GVI participants on our marine conservation programs come from far and wide to contribute to monitoring and restoring marine ecosystems.

 

The objectives of the collaboration were firstly, to have skilled personnel, providing training to volunteers and local conservationists, on coral, fish and other reef-associated species identification, as well as methodologies used for surveying these species’ distribution and health.

Secondly, it aimed to undertake annual surveys on the status of the coral reefs within the Cap Ternay and Port Launay Marine National Parks and its vicinity (North West Mahé).

 

seychelles diving

 

Furthermore, in 2008, a new agreement was put in place to develop a second base on Curieuse Island. Initially developed as an extension of the marine program based in Cap Ternay, the Curieuse base has since re-oriented its work towards coastal and terrestrial research.

This benefits GVI in providing diverse activities for its volunteer programme in Seychelles but also enables SNPA to have valuable information within the Curieuse National Park, on the status of various species, such as the Aldabra giant tortoise, the endemic coco-de-mer, lemon sharks and their ecosystems, such as the mangrove forest which is one of its kind in the inner granitic islands.

To date, GVI has provided valuable support to SNPA, in ensuring the collection of diverse, valuable data sets on species and their habitats, in Seychelles national parks.

 

 

The international organisation had similarly provided training for SNPA staff in reef monitoring techniques and diving. To have been able to maintain such a well-established research and monitoring partnership for so long would not have been possible without the great support of SNPA, and likewise, the good working relationship and understanding between the two organisations.

Looking back on these past 15 years, it is clear that the collaboration between GVI and SNPA has resulted in one of the oldest established, comprehensive, long-term coral reef monitoring programmes in Seychelles.

Data sets on coral reef health and the status of the North West coast of Mahé, have indeed served the purpose of guiding management decisions over the years, especially in 2014 when the protection of Baie Ternay Marine Park came under threat from hotel developers. 

 

17 sustainable development goals
It’s our mission to conserve essential marine ecosystems and life for future generations. In 2018, 4,070 people collaborated in global marine conservation efforts within the GVI community. Working together, we surveyed, analysed, and worked to restore vital marine ecosystems from the Mesoamerican Reef to the Fijian Archipelago.

 

The SNPA is entrusted with the protection and management of all marine and terrestrial national parks in Seychelles, including the Sante Anne, Silhouette, Port Launay, Baie Ternay, Ile Coco, Curieuse and Saint Pierre marine parks, as well as the Morne Seychellois National Park, the Praslin National Park and the Veuve Special Reserve on La Digue.

 

goal 14 life below water

 

Aside from administering controls on access and activities within each of the parks, including revenue collection from park fees paid by thousands of tourists every year, the SNPA also is responsible for research and conservation in collaboration with recognised institutions within Seychelles and around the world, to ensure the protection of all species and ecosystems within the parks. 

This story comes from GVI’s Impact and Ethics report. To celebrate 20 years of work in sustainable development, we reflect on and showcase our impactful stories and data. Read the report in full. 

 

what’s up next?
Climate change and rising sea levels: 5 Pacific Islands that no longer exist

Increasing global temperatures and rising sea levels: the effects of climate change are taking a toll. Contribute to global environmental conservation efforts by joining a GVI wildlife conservation or marine conservation program.

You might also like these articles

5 top scuba-diving and marine conservation programs (in the world’s best locations)
Read the article
5 top scuba-diving and marine conservation programs (in the world’s best locations)
Volunteer and Adventure
What to expect when you join a teen volunteer program in the Canary Islands
Read the article
What to expect when you join a teen volunteer program in the Canary Islands
Marine Conservation
Why marine conservation is so important
Read the article
Why marine conservation is so important
Wildlife Conservation
How business internships can give your career a competitive edge
Read the article
How business internships can give your career a competitive edge
Women's Empowerment
8 reasons to take an adult gap year
Read the article
8 reasons to take an adult gap year
Wildlife Conservation
Endangered sea turtles: how you can help to protect them
Read the article
Endangered sea turtles: how you can help to protect them
Wildlife Conservation
Boost your resume with volunteer project management experience
Read the article
Boost your resume with volunteer project management experience
Volunteer and Adventure
Marine conservation in Mahe: what you’ll see and do in Seychelles
Read the article
Marine conservation in Mahe: what you’ll see and do in Seychelles
Volunteer and Adventure
Why do we celebrate International Whale Shark Day?
Read the article
Why do we celebrate International Whale Shark Day?
Marine Conservation
5 top scuba-diving and marine conservation programs (in the world’s best locations)
Read the article
5 top scuba-diving and marine conservation programs (in the world’s best locations)
Volunteer and Adventure
What to expect when you join a teen volunteer program in the Canary Islands
Read the article
What to expect when you join a teen volunteer program in the Canary Islands
Marine Conservation
Why marine conservation is so important
Read the article
Why marine conservation is so important
Wildlife Conservation
How business internships can give your career a competitive edge
Read the article
How business internships can give your career a competitive edge
Women's Empowerment