Natural History Museum hosts symposium on waste management in Seychelles |09 November 2023
The Natural History Museum has joined the national effort in regards to bringing more awareness on the protection of the environment and how to manage waste in our communities, through a half-day symposium held yesterday morning.
Held at the National Museum of History, the symposium provided a better understanding on the diverse contribution being made towards a cleaner and more sustainable terrestrial, coastal and marine environment.
In a presentation by the Landscape and Waste Management Agency, it was pointed out that 90,000 tonnes of waste is generated annually in Seychelles and 90% of it all is landfilled.
It was also shown on a PowerPoint presentation, that landfills are not meeting the required environmental standards, and that the Providence 2 sanitary landfill is estimated to reach maximum capacity in two years or less.
To help in managing waste across the country, bin sites have been allocated in every district. There are in total 2681 bins distributed over 707 bin sites. Still it was revealed that these bin sites and bins are not sufficient. Some districts have better distribution of bins such as Takamaka and Beau Vallon compared to districts like Perseverance, Roche Caiman and Mont Fleuri.
Bins being stolen and misused, and lack of waste segregation are among a few factors that are negatively impacting waste management in Seychelles.
Addressing those present at the symposium, the director for museums, Beryl Ondiek, said in this rapidly changing cultural landscape, the preservation of our environment is basically linked to the preservation of our heritage and identity.
“Our traditions, practices and way of life are intertwined with the natural world. As our society evolves, so must our approach to preserving our cultural heritage,” she said.
She added that such symposium provides an invaluable platform to explore how environmental stewardship and cultural preservation intersect and evolve hand in hand.
In regards to pollution, Mrs Ondiek said it poses a critical threat to our environment, biodiversity and the very essence of our cultural heritage.
“In the spirit of unity and progress, let us embark on this collective journey towards a cleaner, sustainable future.”
Other presentations were from the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Island Conservation Society, Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority and Seychelles Islands Foundation. These agencies and organisations gave an overview of their policies and initiatives in regards to waste management and pollution.
Another interesting presentation was from Gaea Seychelles, which is a research and citizen science-based organisation launched in 2018.
Those present were able to share their views after the presentations as well as ask questions.
In an interview, the Natural History Museum’s curator, Berthilde Belle, said a lot has been done in Seychelles in regards to waste management but people are still not managing the waste from their homes or communities properly.
“The symposium is therefore ideal to bringing more awareness on this alarming situation which is having an impact on our environment. This is why we have involved school children so that they can help spread the message on the protection and conservation of our country’s biodiversity and how on the importance of waste management,” she added.
Text & photos by Mandy Bertin