World Oceans Day – June 8 Coral reef restoration in the Ste Anne marine national park |08 June 2021
The Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) is officially one year into the implementation of the Adaptation Fund grant-funded six-year regional project, ‘Restoring Marine Ecosystems by Restoring Coral Reefs to Meet a Changing Climate Future’.
The project, which aims to improve food security and livelihoods, while mitigating disaster risk, sees MCSS actively restoring 5000m2 of coral reef in the Ste Anne Marine National Park (SAMNP) with over 12,500 coral colonies over the duration of the project.
As the SAMNP is the Western Indian Ocean’s first designated Marine Protected Area [in March 1973] and one of Seychelles’ most visited marine parks, MCSS recognises the importance of engaging the multitude of users and stakeholders of the park in its conservation work to ensure a certain level of awareness of the project and invite their input and feedback. To this end, MCSS created a project-specific website (in both English and Creole) and online questionnaire and contributed newspaper articles, social media posts, sent out emails and placed posters in areas on Mahé where users of the park set off from.
Over a hundred stakeholders were identified, representing sectors such as academia, civil society, government and associated agencies, residents and tourism-related business operators and a total of 29 individuals responded to the online survey. The overall results of the survey showed a positive reception of the project; with 96.6% of respondents thinking that the coral restoration project will have a positive impact on their activities within the marine park and 100% of respondents expressing interest in receiving further information on the project moving forward. Additionally, respondents expressed interest in receiving training on coral restoration. Specific suggestions made by respondents included the integration of the project in the MPA’s management plan and the installation of mooring buoys for the protection of the park’s important marine ecosystems. MCSS remains committed to working together with the Seychelles National Parks Authority to achieve these aims.
It was also suggested that days where divers can volunteer to assist with coral restoration activities be organised. Training of community is an important part of MCSS’ work under the project and an important factor in the stewardship and sustainability of conservation efforts, which is why the organisation welcomes the participation of interested members of the community. If you would like to receive training and volunteer some time on the project, please contact [email@example.com]. For more information on the project, visit: https://www.mcsscoralrestoration.com/.
Contributed by MCSS