Minister Joubert’s message on International Biodiversity Day |24 May 2021
‘We must all play our part in protecting our biodiversity’
“Protecting the environment is everyone’s business and should be a way of life for each and every one of us.”
This comes in a message from the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change & Environment, Flavien Joubert, on the occasion of the International Biodiversity Day celebrated on May 22.
The full text of Minister Joubert’s message reads:
“May 22 is the annual celebration of the International Biodiversity Day. This year’s theme ‘We are part of the solution’ reminds us that we must protect our planet’s biodiversity to safeguard the future of our ecosystems, our climate, our health — and our humanity.
“From our Aldabra Giant Tortoises to the tiny bacteria and fungi, Seychelles hosts unique biodiversity and they benefit us in many ways. We cannot deny that we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems. Biodiversity provides the basis for human development and well-being through provision of raw materials like wood, water, fish and medicinal compounds, as well as regulating and supporting services such as climate stabilization, flood regulation, pollination and soil formation.
“Nature is in crisis and urgent actions are needed from all of us to halt its destruction and halt the loss of biodiversity. On this IDB Day we want to remind everyone that we must all play our part in order to protect our environment. We must ask ourselves what we can do as individuals to prevent further destruction to our environment. We must be mindful about what and how much we consume, we must invest in more products that are green, safe and environmentally sustainable. We should encourage initiatives that protect biodiversity, build businesses that promote sustainable use of resources, and where we benefit from nature find ways to share benefits that go back towards biodiversity conservation.
“Throughout the years Seychelles has always played an active role in addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss such as the adverse impacts of climate change, pollution, direct exploitation of species, changes in land and sea use and increased trade. From our national to our international commitments on biodiversity conservation, the country continues to build knowledge in order to better understand and, more importantly, to address the main causes of damage to biodiversity. Many species have been brought from the brink of extinction, Protected Areas have enabled endangered species and their habitats to flourish, restoration of degraded forests, management and action plans have allowed for sustainable utilization of resources and continuous awareness raising campaigns have ensured that members of the public are kept abreast of latest projects and programmes in biodiversity conservation.
“While we celebrate the many accomplishments it is also important to reflect on the challenges we face as a small island developing state. Despite progress to conserve nature and implement policies, many challenges still persist. We use resources faster than they can regenerate, we cut trees faster than they re-grow, and catch fish at a rate faster than they repopulate. Over the years, the ecosystems of our islands have faced varying degrees of pressures both natural and anthropogenic.
“Once again the population is called on to re-examine our relationship to the natural world. We cannot continue to go about business as usual. Protecting the environment is everyone’s business and should be a way of life for each and every one of us. The time to act is now. We are at a stage where irreversible loss of biodiversity threatens the future for our generations to come.
“As we recover from this pandemic and adapt to the new normal lifestyle our approaches to raise awareness about environmental protection has temporarily shifted but our goals remain the same. To celebrate the International Day for Biodiversity 2021 the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment along with its partners from different organisations such as Nature Seychelles, Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), Island Conservation Society (ICS), Seychelles Islands Foundation ( SIF), the Blue Economy Research Institute (BERI), SeyCCAT, Marine Conservation Society (MCSS), Seychelles Fisheries Authority (SFA) and the Ministry of Education have all come together to organise activities via social media and radio stations.
“All of these organizations have been at the forefront of biodiversity conservation and continue to bring biodiversity closer to everyone and inspire others to take actions to conserve our country’s environment and to live in harmony with nature.
“The activities that will be organised reiterate that despite the current pandemic, 2021 remains a year of reflection, opportunity and solutions for biodiversity. Reversing biodiversity loss requires all of us to be leaders within our own spheres of influence – in our homes, our places of work, our circle of friends, in schools, in our businesses and our communities.
“We invite members of the public, organisations including the private sector to learn more about the activities being organised to celebrate the International Day for Biodiversity and the work of the ministry and its partners are doing through social media such as facebook and Instagram and media platforms such as radio and SBC. We can and should all be part of the solution.”
Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change & Environment