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Seychelles

Mahe Island

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Conservation benefit: Support of a 7.5-acre reclaimed wetland

Community benefit: Refurbishment of the Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles visitors’ center at Roche Caiman

Date Approved: 01.2009

The Seychelle Archipelago is composed of 50 coralline and 40 granitic islands in the Indian Ocean, and has a population of 80,000. The Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles (WCS), an NGO for young people, promotes conservation through environmental education. There are now 8,445 members in 40 clubs in schools around the islands. WCS offers educational programs and experience-based learning, with an emphasis on “hilltop to ocean” ecosystem management.

The Centre for Environment and Education attracts a steady stream of visitors, including approximately 50 school groups each year. Adjacent to the garden, Nature Seychelles and WCS designed a 7.5-acre wetland area, the Sanctuary at Roche Caiman. Species protected there include freshwater turtles, the endemic killifish, mud and water crabs, skinks and lizards, 11 of the Seychelles’ 18 dragonfly species, and many migratory bird species.

In support of the reclaimed wetland, Seacology will fund improvements to the visitors’ center. These include a redesigned exhibition hall, displays on various ecosystems, a library corner, art section, audiovisual equipment, and more.

Project Updates

June 2011

During 2010, the WCS board of directors disbursed 13 mini-grants (about USD $250 each) to school wildlife clubs. Several of the clubs created or improved on school heritage gardens (with fruit trees, endemic plants, medicinal plants and local crops), or installed rainwater harvesting systems for their gardens. Many of them created environmental murals on school walls. About five clubs created environmental resource rooms for their meetings and other environmental education projects. Having access to these small grants has inspired the clubs to do more action-oriented projects in their schools. WCS staff has observed that many of them are keeping up the momentum with support from other community partners.

This year, a few more wildlife clubs are doing murals in their schools with support from Seacology funds. Most WCS efforts, however, are focused on producing printed materials. Seacology funds were used to produce 1,000 copies of a full-color children’s magazine on wetlands, which will be distributed this month to local schools. The club leaders’ manual is going to print soon, and a heritage garden manual for clubs and other community groups is being rewritten. The project is scheduled to close at the end of June.

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July 2010

Some 15 clubs have applied for and received mini-grants and are currently implementing projects. Drafts of the Heritage Garden and wetland manuals are with Nature Seychelles. They are developing these resources in collaboration with the Department of Environment, and they should be printed by October 2010. A new handbook for WCS leaders, replacing one from the late 1990s, is also in draft form. The Wildlife Clubs Magazine should be completed by November and will focus on wetlands and biodiversity, with a special feature on the year of biodiversity.

Over 200 members of wildlife clubs joined a rally on biodiversity conservation held as part of the opening ceremony of the National Show – a major event held in June to celebrate National Day. Some Seacology grant funds were used to for paint and other materials so club members could make costumes and banners for the rally. The rally had a live audience of several hundred people and was televised live. Wildlife Clubs also mounted a display for the show, which was up for the weekend and will be used for future events and outreach. WCS also bought a printer using Seacology funds, so they can make copies and printouts for workshops and events more easily.

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February 2010

WCS reports that the interior decor project at Nature Seychelles was successfully completed in 2009, however due to additional funding the portion of Seacology funds needed was much less than anticipated. The Heritage Garden at Nature Seychelles was successfully launched in October 2009 and the heritage garden manual is nearing completion. A wildlife clubs festival was held on Saturday November 28th, 2009 and 17 clubs participated with a total of about 150 children. The event was covered extensively on the evening news on Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation television station. With the remaining Seacology funds WCS plans to work with a group of at least ten wildlife clubs to help them create educational murals and resource rooms for their schools, as well as plans to help all of our clubs enhance their work at school level to plant, maintain and use their own heritage gardens.

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June 2009

As of February 2009 the on-site coordinator for the project left the field. Seacology received confirmation from the newly hired project coordinator that they will be working in conjunction with Nature Seychelles to complete the project. The project is scheduled to begin May 2009. A Seacology delegation will visit the Seychelles in June 2009.

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