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Waste management programme Seychelles, EU sign 4.7m euro pact

26.01.2007

The Seychelles Government and the European Union (EU) yesterday signed an agreement for a total of 4,680,000 euros, that will be used for activities aimed at increasing the country's capacity for waste disposal..

It was the principal secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Claude Morel, and Ambassador Claudia Wiedey, who signed the agreement in the presence of the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Ronny Jumeau, French Ambassador Michel Trétout and the British High Commissioner, Diana Skingle.

Ambassador Morel signed the agreement on behalf of Seychelles Government, while Ambassador Wiedey did so on behalf of the European Union.

Saying that those present at the event once again witnessed the flourishing of the cooperation between the EU and Seychelles, Ambassador Morel said “it is with satisfaction and excitement that we engage in programmes which focus on the protection of the environment and the sustainable development of the country.”

He said over the last few decades, Seychelles has gone through a fast pace of development in tourism, fishing and industries.

“Along the way, while our economy grew and more jobs were created, the government has ensured that its environment was taken care of. Today, the reputation of our environment status internationally speaks for itself,” he said.

The PS said that despite Seychelles being a small island developing state, the future holds many challenges.

“We will not be spared of the effects of the changes in the global climate. With these changes, it is inevitable that in the foreseeable future we will witness an increase in our population, in buildings, in cars and in industries. As a result, there will be greater consumption patterns and more waste produced. Solid waste management, solid waste reduction, better solid waste operations, are crucial factors which the country cannot afford to overlook nor spare any attention or focus on. We have no choice but to ensure the continuity of research and development for new and innovative ways to address this challenge,” he said.

He added that the agreement caters for all such crucial factors and that the government has always been a strong advocate in maintaining high standards of environment and public health for all its people.

“The beneficiaries of this programme, the populations of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, will during and after this project, be witnesses to the improvement in solid waste management in our country,” he said.

On her part, Ambassador Wiedey said that through the signing, the EU was reiterating its ongoing interest in the sustainable development of Seychelles and the country’s ongoing interest in sustainable development and protection of “the beautiful natural environment of the islands.”

“We strongly believe that the project will contribute significantly to the safeguarding of Seychelles’ fragile environment and natural beauty which are vital assets for the tourism industry,” she said.

She noted that the development of initiatives for the reduction and recycling of waste is one of the key activities that will be implemented over the next three years under the programme.

“Indeed, I strongly encourage and invite all beneficiaries, including government ministries and departments, local districts’ administrators, non-governmental organizations and private firms as well as the Seychellois to actively participate in these initiatives so as to ensure their environmental and financial sustainability,” she said.

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