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Local communities join EbA project in community-based wetland restoration |20 February 2020

Local communities join EbA project in community-based wetland restoration

The GOS-UNDP-AF Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA) to Climate Change in Seychelles is a project which is making a name for itself when it comes to tree planting events around wetland areas in the Seychelles.

The project was launched in 2014 with the aim of reducing the vulnerability of the Seychelles towards the effects of climate change, focusing on water scarcity and flooding. It is funded by the Adaptation Fund and implemented by the Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) through the Ministry of Environment,

Energy & Climate Change (MEECC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The EbA project is investing in the rehabilitation of selected upland and coastal wetlands. There are currently seven project sites. The rehabilitation works conducted will improve the hydrology, forestry and ecosystem functions of these wetlands. One way to help achieve this is by planting native trees around

the project areas; this is why the project organised numerous tree planting activities throughout last year. Approximately 3,000 plants were planted during these events which were conducted at certain project sites, concentrated mainly at the Anse Royale and North East Point coastal wetlands, as well as Les Canelles and Dame le Roi upland wetlands. The plants primarily constituted of native palms, Bois Savon, Bodamier among other native species.

These native plants will have a host of benefits at the wetland sites. They will assist in protecting the soils from erosion, especially around steep slopes, as plants help to stabilise the soil. They will also contribute towards reducing flood risks by increasing the time it takes the rainwater to seep into rivers. Native plants

will also help to improve the river functions by slowing its flow, increasing on-stream storage, increasing infiltration rates and the amount of water stored in the soil and reducing rapid runoff, which will, in turn, improve the water quality. Rehabilitating the EbA project wetland areas with native plants will enhance

the ecosystem function of these sites, therefore increasing the community’s resilience towards certain effects of climate, such as flooding and drought.

The tree planting events which were organised by the EbA project in 2019 saw the participation of diverse groups of volunteers. Invitations were usually extended to all types of stakeholders, since these activities are anything but exclusive. The project’s approach is that “everyone is invited to join the reforestation

cause”, i.e. people of any age, gender, background and ability. Some notable participation from last year’s events were representatives of the SNYC, EbA project Watershed Committees, Youth NGOs, members of the National Assembly, Vice-President’s Office, people living with disabilities, residents from the Home

for the Elderly, MEECC, Ministry of Health, educational institutions, University of Seychelles and residents from the local communities at large.

The planting activities usually kick off with a quick demonstration from James Millett, the Scientific & Technical Advisor to the EbA project, explaining the importance of planting trees to the participants and showing the correct techniques to use when planting specific trees. These activities are always conducted in an organised manner. This is because each plant has its characteristics and needs in terms of preferences to water and sunlight. Therefore, monitoring plant placement is a critical aspect of tree

The EbA project is actively engaged in educating communities and the general public on the importance of rehabilitating and protecting the watersheds. The year 2020 will be a year filled with more tree planting events. The project and its partners also organised various other activities within the project areas. These

include educational talks, visits, nature hikes, clean-up activities, removal of invasive alien plant species, etc. Should you wish to participate and join the project’s activities, you or your organisation can contact the EbA project team for more information by email on or by telephone on 4225914.



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