Letters/Opinion |16 September 2023
Sensible decision, but already too little too late
Further to the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment’s press release entitled ‘Environmental concern prompts government to halt beachfront construction at Anse à la Mouche’ published in the Seychelles NATION newspaper of September 4, 2023, regarding the halting of 'works' on the beachfront of the Anse à la Mouche hotel project, I believe it is important to note that this decision, while sensible, is already too little too late.
In addition to the extensive destruction of the mangrove, substantial clearing of the patch of forest on parcel C6626, which is in effect the beachfront of the hotel, had already happened before the press release was issued. The small forest of mainly native Var (Hibiscus tiliaceus) of over 100 years old, has been culled and is being replaced by hedges of veloutye, for the purpose of ensuring unobstructed views from the hotel rooms. (See the attached photos). In the present state of global climate change, we surely need to ask the question: why must over a hundred trees die in order that humans can have a view of the sea from their hotel windows?
You may be aware that several groups of people internationally are lobbying their leaders to add ecocide – 'the wilful destruction of the natural living world upon which we all depend' – to the list of crimes against humanity, so that cases may then be taken to the International Criminal Court. The full legal definition of ‘Ecocide’ is:
"Unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts" (Ecocide, Independent Expert Panel, June 2021).
See details at: https://www.stopecocide.earth/
In view of the prevailing destruction of ecosystems worldwide, we believe it is only a matter of time before ecocide is added to the list of crimes against humanity. Let us hope that consequently, the appointed environmental protection leaders of this country move towards the genuine protection of the environment that human survival depends on, rather than continue to accept the green-washing of big money investors. We also urge the upcoming generations to hold them, along with the government of the day, responsible for such environmental vandalism.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this letter are those of the writer and do not represent the views of the Seychelles NATION newspaper.