New nature book puts the spotlight on Morne Seychellois National Park |03 March 2022
A new nature book focusing on Seychelles’ largest land based national park – the 3,067ha Morne Seychellois National Park in the northwest of Mahé – has been published.
Its official launch took place at the Savoy Resort & Spa, Beau Vallon, on February 22, 2022.
It has been produced by Mifa Publications in collaboration with local biologist and environmentalist Steen G. Hansen and co-author Damien O. Doudee, senior horticulturist at the new Seychelles Gardens & Park Authorities.
The book appears in close to A4 format with an elegant hardcover, a colourful dustcover, and throughout 144 lavishly illustrated pages, as has become the trade mark of Mifa Publications.
The national park is being presented in a way where the authors have let the 11 main public trails tell the story. And it has resulted in a spell-binding journey – well balanced of striking historical, cultural and natural elements. We hear about the pilgrimage at Trois Frères; the slavery at Mission Lodge; the Ethiopian Gallas people at Dans Gallas; the so-called Doctor’s House (which has, however, nothing to do with a doctor nor a clinic or the like) at Mare aux Cochons. We hear about the Swiss Fathers’ stone bridge at Mare aux Cochons; about the former agro-forestry attempts at Bernica Hill and likewise at Mare aux Cochons; and we hear about the cinnamon era from the beginning of the 1900s till the end of the 1960s and hereafter the former forestry authority’s attempt to try to compensate for the loss of the cinnamon incomes by planting a number of different, potential lumber trees in central parts of the park.
And we hear about the stunning mist forest with dense moss and lichen cover everywhere and all over and obviously about the many outstanding plants and animals as well, of which an impressive high number are endemic, rare and globally threatened – rising in numbers with the altitude.
And finally, we hear about the almost desperate global need for sanctuaries like the Morne Seychellois National Park.
The Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship & Industry, Devika Vidot, has had a pre-view of the book, and she says: “I have always enjoyed hiking through the lush green mountains of Seychelles, and with every turn the trek gets just that more exciting as you discover a realm of undiscovered and untouched beauty. Being very well written and innovatively laid out, this book has all the qualities that will enable one to experience a wondrous journey through the lavish tropical rainforest of the Morne Seychellois National Park.”
Pat Mathiot, producer at SBC and who also has had the opportunity of having a pre-view of the book, adds: “This is a sort of book that fills many different niches. It will serve to plan your hike, to put a name to plants and animals you come across, as a perfect souvenir of your immersion in Seychelles nature, and as the ideal gift for friends, whether they have visited Seychelles already or are still to come to our shores and discover the real treasures of our intriguing flora and fauna.”
Finally, Designated Minister and Minister for Fisheries & the Blue Economy, Jean-François Ferrari, points out in his preface to the book, that “Cultural, historical and especially nature values are under pressure all over planet Earth, and when, in particular, the threat edges closer to global biodiversity, upon which we as humans are so dependent, the two authors cannot have a much clearer mission: to tell the world that there are still some amazing places that deserve to be protected and kept in trust for the next generations”, and he continues “If the public is not continuously sensitised and repeatedly reminded of the situation, we will not succeed. And the most obvious way to achieve what we as decision- makers have to do, is to listen to the people who have seen, scented, touched, admired and experienced plants and animals in their natural surroundings. Hence, the authors’ offer to readers of all ages and of all continents, of an appealing book that tempts and invites you to join in the discovery of this magical place”.
Accompanying the article are some of the stunning photos appearing in the book.
Photo sources: Mifa Publications