A new booklet in Creole - Citizens guide to Climate Change - was launched on Sunday to coincide with World Tourism Day, September 27. The guide was developed by a local not for profit organisation, Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S).
The launch took place on a beach in the north of the main island of Mahe being impacted by climate change and where coastal erosion is clearly visible.
"One of the major issues we have worked on for over a decade is climate change. Back in 2009, we spearheaded the development of an action plan for climate change education, awareness, and training, which was incorporated into the Seychelles National Climate Change Strategy. We have taken our role seriously, and focused on helping people understand the causes of climate change, its impacts on Seychelles, and what we can do about it," said Brenda Andimignon, a founding membver of the organisation.
Andimignon added that S4S is working with many partners from government, civil society, and the private sector to help people and organisations adapt more sustainable ways of doing things. "Because Climate change is already affecting life in Seychelles, it is important that each one of us understands how climate change will impact our lives and livelihoods, and start planning on how we will deal with it," said Andimignon.
The environment educator added, "We hope that this booklet will be actively used by many sectors - tourism, health, agriculture, education as a tool to help people become informed about climate change and what is being done, and what they can do, to minimize the risk of further damage."
During the launch of the booklet, a copy was presented to the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Port and Marine, Didier Dogley, who is also a former Environment minister. Dogley expressed his appreciation to S4S for their continued efforts to sensitize the citizens on the effects of climate change and highlighted that the weather conditions are and will continue to change globally.
The booklet is a more detailed version of a similar one created nine years ago. An updated English version was developed three years ago with the support of the European Union and the Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change - and was distributed to schools. The Creole version of the guide was developed through support from the Seychelles Climate Change Adaptation Trust (Seyccat).
"S4S secured this grant as part of BGF 3 last year and was one of the few projects we are currently funding to build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Initiatives that promote education and behavioral change ensure that the legacy of this investment continues beyond the close of the project activities," Seyccat's chief executive Angelique Pouponneau said.
Poponneau concluded by saying "it is with great pleasure that Seyccat has supported S4S in helping citizens of Seychelles to make that individual change. The further appeal was its translation into the Creole language to ensure the information becomes even more accessible. So, people are in a better position to take control of their destiny."
The booklets will be distributed to citizens of the three main islands of the Seychelles - 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. It can also be downloaded from organisation's website.