The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is supporting Seychelles with a project to draft a National Forest Policy.
The $275,000 project is expected to be implemented over an 18-month period. It will include training, forest policy analysis and public consultations.
The signing ceremony for the project took place Monday between Seychelles' Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change - Wallace Cosgrow - and FAO's representative - Patrice Talla Takoukam.
Speaking to the press after the signing, Minister Cosgrow explained that this project will also serve as education in national forest programs and sustainable forest management.
"The project will also provide support for the implementation of the national policy, implementation of action plan and its roadmap, public consultations, discuss with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, finalise national policy for validation," said Cosgrow.
According to the minister, capacity building in legislation will also be given to different actors involved in forest management through training workshops and seminars.
Takoukma is FAO's representative for Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius, and Madagascar - where he is based.
"The latest project is for the wellbeing of the population of the island nation because it is important to protect the forest for its rich biodiversity. It is also good to ensure that the forestry resources are contributing to the wellbeing of people of Seychelles," said Takoukam.
This is the third project that the Food and Agriculture Organisation is providing support to Seychelles' Ministry for Environment.
The first was a national forest inventory to provide accurate and updated information on the status of the island nation's forests, including data on endemic and native species. The exercise was initiated last year.
The other project undertaken in Seychelles - 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean - with support from FAO is one in the field of bioenergy.
John Quilindo - principal forestry officer - at the ministry said that forest rangers from both the ministry and the Seychelles National Parks Authorities will be at the forefront of forest management and will benefit from capacity building especially where laws are concerned.
"At the end, all will be covered in one policy which takes into account the management, policy as well as legislations of all forests, be it on state land as well as privately owned land."
Both parties also highlighted the crucial and important links that exist between agriculture and the sustainable management of forests