Speech by Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change Mr. Wallace Cosgrow
At the exhibition marking the launch of activities to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Environment Trust Fund (ETF)
Friday 12th July 2019
Orion Mall – Victoria
Mr. Didier Dogley, Minister for Tourism Civil Aviation Ports and Marine.
Staff of the Environment department
Ladies and Gentleman good morning.
We, the People of Seychelles are grateful to Almighty God that we inhabit one of the most beautiful countries in the world and ever mindful of the uniqueness and fragility of Seychelles.
« Protez labote nou pei, Larises nou losean, En leritaz byen presye pour boner nou zanfan »
These phrases from the Preamble of our Constitution and from our National Anthem epitomizes the importance that we as a nation place on our natural environment and its protection.
In fact, environment protection in Seychelles is see the involvement of every layer in society, beginning at a very early age with the children at school. It has become a of our culture.
We have over the years achieved a lot and we are proudly considered as a role model and world champion in that area.
Already, we have almost 50% of our land being protected as nature reserves, including the Vallee de Mai and Aldabra Atoll which are renowned World Heritage sites. We are not far from our target of 30% of our Exclusive Economic Zone being set aside as Marine Protected Areas by the year 2020.
These have won us global recognition for our leadership roles.
The successes have not been without challenges. Environment protection itself is very costly and beyond what we can afford through the national budget each year. So, we needed to come up with innovative ways of financing the multitude of areas that needed intervention, from the acquisition of scientific knowledge through research, educational activities to direct financial support of projects.
In was in this spirit in 1994, that the Environment Trust Fund was established with the objective of financing projects and programmes that are relevant to and contribute to: Sustainable development and its principles, the preservation and management of the natural environment and biodiversity, educational and sensitization materials/products, programmes and projects in relation to the environment and other initiatives necessary for the protection, preservation and improvement of the Environment.
Ladies and gentlemen,
During the first few years of its existence, the Fund had provided some 10 million Rupees to implement environmental projects. These included:
- Landscaping of Victoria and the construction of bin sites in Victoria and the districts
- Improvement of nature trails and production of toolkits for environmental clubs in schools
- Improvement of infrastructures within the Botanical Garden
- Eradication of invasive flora and fauna
- Construction of infrastructure at the Biodiversity Centre
- Promotion of Environmental Education
- Research and development projects
The list of projects is quite long. Today, ETF is financing projects at the tune of 7 million Rupees per year.
This exhibition today highlights some of the recent projects that have or are benefiting from ETF funding. The ETF has also published a magazine in which you will learn more about the Fund and the various projects it is supporting.
At this point I would like to acknowledge and thank government; ministries, departments and agencies as well as non-governmental and community-based organisations that are partners of ETF.
Through your projects, the ETF has footprints in almost every sector and together we are making a difference in the different communities and contributing towards the sustainable development of the country.
It is my great pleasure now to declare the exhibition open which also marks the launching of activities commemorating ETF’s 25th anniversary.
I thank you.