Message by Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment Minister Flavien Joubert on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2024 |02 February 2024
‘Wetlands and human wellbeing’
“On February 2 this year, Seychelles will join in the global celebration of yet another World Wetlands Day. Millions of lives are dependent on wetlands that provide a wide range of ecosystem services to people, fish and other wildlife, which includes, flood control and water filtration, biodiversity support, cultural values, providing food and habitat and water storage.
“Despite the numerous global efforts to protect, conserve and manage these life sustaining ecosystems, large areas of wetlands are being lost every year, threatening the livelihoods of millions around the world. The disappearance of wetlands is three times faster than that of forest ecosystems, mostly through anthropogenic pressures, such as agricultural activities, development, housing, and other natural calamities, such are the impacts of climate change.
“It is the responsibility of each citizen, community, and country to reverse this trend through bold decisions and actions that would bring numerous benefits to communities of the world.
“Member countries of the ‘Ramsar’ Convention and other international and regional groups are leading campaigns to promote the sustainable use of wetlands globally. Much has happened in Seychelles through rigorous actions by various actors in supporting the government in promoting sustainability in the use of wetlands ecosystems. This year’s theme declared by the ‘Ramsar’ Convention is ‘Wetlands and Human Wellbeing’ which denotes the interaction between people and wetlands, putting people at the centre of the future of wetlands globally.
“Over the past 12 months, the ministry has signed three memorandum of understanding with the business sector, cementing not only the excellent partnership between the government and the private sector, but also the testimony of the success of numerous rigorous nationwide educational and awareness campaigns that have been an aspiration to many voluntary and business groups of which some have invested financially in restoration projects and programmes
“One milestone worth mentioning is the celebration this year of 20 years of designation of the Port Glaud/Port Launay wetlands as a ‘Ramsar’ site, (Wetlands of international importance), which until today is still providing ecosystem services through its wise use as an approach, widely supported by the ‘Ramsar’ Convention referring to the preservation of the ecological services and benefits for the long-term preservation of biodiversity, human welfare, and the reduction of poverty.
“Despite these numerous challenges especially in small island states like Seychelles, there is still hope, as we look ahead to our younger generation in preserving our wetlands by spreading the word that restoring wetlands would not only help to revive endangered species but also rebuild the connection between ridges and reefs, which is the backbone of all ecosystems.”