The campaign was officially launched yesterday morning at the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) station at Sans Soucis to coincide with the World Environment Day being commemorated this year under the theme ‘Connecting People with Nature’. This follows years of un-sustained but tireless effort to fight invasive plants whereby different international expertise have been sought and experts   have been brought into the country to work alongside local environment specialists to develop several methods and techniques, all aimed at controlling unwanted plants in our environment, but the unwelcomed invaders are still wreaking havoc on our fragile ecosystem in different parts of the country. The principal secretary for environment, energy and climate change Wills Agricole launched the campaign in the presence of officials and workers of the environment department and SNPA.

Mr Agricole said the campaign will combat in a more vigorous manner these creepers introduced either deliberately or unintentionally in our environment.

“These unwelcomed invaders are disrupting natural ecosystems throughout Seychelles, replacing and eliminating native species and greatly reducing our nation’s unique and diverse biological resources,” Mr Agricole pointed out.

He added that because these alien creepers introduced here mostly unintentionally for landscaping and beautification purposes have the capacity to overwhelm and replace our indigenous flora and fauna and seriously affect our fragile ecosystem, is the greatest concern of the SNPA and the department of environment which have been leading a determined and unrelenting fight against invasive species for many years.

For his part, the chief executive of the SNPA Flavien Joubert said the launch of the campaign is good news for the Seychelles biodiversity “because through this new initiative we expect to make a bigger difference in our effort to effectively contain the spread of alien invasive creepers”.  

He went on to add that in spite of various efforts to fight creepers at different locations, there have until now been no serious and substantial financial resources allocated to sustain these efforts.

Mr Joubert said to date there are over 20 species which are causing more harm, but noted that new aliens are being discovered all the time.

Meanwhile, PS Agricole had availed of the World Environment Day yesterday to launch an appeal to the public in general to remind them that the deadline for the total ban on plastic is fast approaching, on July 1 next month and that it is high time they start thinking seriously about the alternatives they are going to use.