Two UniSey students complete internship in Curieuse marine national park |08 September 2021
Two students from the University of Seychelles (UniSey) have recently completed their internship in the Curieuse marine national park thus highlighting the Seychelles National Parks Authority’s commitment to building the capacity of future conservationists.
Second year students studying environment science, Emlyn Quatre and Alisha Belle, started their internship on July 19.
Following programmes designed by the island’s manager Anto Suzette, the students spent about a week on the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) coral restoration project, one week with Global Vision International (GVI) and another week with the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), learning ranger work.
The SNPA believes strongly in building the capacity of young conservationists so that the country can have a pool of professionals to help protect the country’s unique biodiversity. Many of the current employees of the SNPA previously did internships in the marine parks, proof that the programme has achieved its objectives.
The two students were captivated by the island’s beauty and natural wonders such as the gigantic tortoises which roam around freely.
The programme designed for the two interns has provided them with knowledge and new experiences. Every day the two girls were discovering and learning about the fauna and flora of the marine park. They learned about the importance of maintaining, monitoring and restoring coral reefs. The students learned how to identify the various corals and fish seen on the reefs. They helped work on artificial reef structures being built for an ongoing project which would aid in the restoration of an area around the marine park that has been severely damaged by coral bleaching.
Daily activities included patrols and learning about the island’s history as well as the role of eco-tourism in conservation. Other tasks included beach clean-ups, beach profiling, and monitoring of turtle nesting sites with the GVI, as well as an intriguing, ongoing study that monitors the behaviour of land tortoises.
The two girls described the internship as a strong learning experience with a lot of hard work, which provided them with a good understanding of the importance of environmental sustainability for current and future generations.
“My most memorable experience in the Curieuse marine park was when I went snorkelling with the coral restoration team to view the coral nursery. It was the first time that I saw an underwater nursery and I was amazed!” explained 23-year-old Alisha Belle.
“Conservation is not an easy profession, it is a noble job that requires the heart and my goal is to inspire more young people to join the field. Nature is not just about conservation it’s also about discovery. I hope that future generations get to experience nature’s splendor like I am,” added a contented Alisha.
The two students remarked that the life of a ranger is not easy as it takes a lot of effort. They have observed that the SNPA’s rangers are very devoted. They think that the SNPA should seek to employ more young people to work as rangers. They were well surprised to see how knowledgeable the boat and tour operators are in regards to the environment.
The SNPA wishes the two students the very best in their studies and hope that the marine park has inspired their final year project.
Contributed by the SNPA