There are so many conservation and restoration organisations doing incredible work to secure the future of Seychelles. Please read more about their work below and visit their websites for more information about the type of work they do and how you can join them – either as an employee, a volunteer, a donor or just a supporter.
Nature Seychelles is one of the conservation organisations at the forefront of the effort. It is headed by Dr Nirmal Jivan Shah, a leading maritime conservation advocate in the western Indian Ocean. Nature Seychelles is a leader in environmental restoration, particularly of island ecosystems. It manages Cousin Island Special Reserve, a marine protected area that includes a 400m exclusion zone from the shore. The island, previously a coconut plantation, is a thriving forest benefiting a diverse range of bird species. Nature Seychelles also monitors and researches turtles on the island, which is just part of the larger work being undertaken to protect the turtle population in Seychelles.
Nature Seychelles runs Conservation Boot Camp, during which a team of volunteers learns first-hand about island conservation by contributing to the effort. As part of the boot camp, volunteers get to walk the island during turtle nesting season while conducting landbird and seabird monitoring, wildlife censuses, beach profiling and cleaning and invasives removal among other activities.
Save Our Seas Foundation
Save Our Seas Foundation runs several initiatives for young people, including the SOSF Island School Seychelles, to teach them more about ocean conservation in Seychelles. The school focuses solely on marine environmental education and awareness and emphasises the importance of investing in environmental education. Over the year, it runs programmes for Seychellois students to get them involved in learning about ocean conservation.
The Marine Explorers Programme is an education programme held for young Seychellois during the school holidays. The programme is open to all Seychellois secondary students. Sharks are a major focus of the programme, as students often start out with a less-than-positive attitude to them. The students learn about these animals and the foundation’s staff dispel common myths about sharks, explain the threats to them and describe just how important they are.
The D’Arros Experience is a week-long adventure, immersed in the natural beauty of D’Arros Island and nearby St Joseph Atoll. In partnership with Save Our Seas and SOSF D’Arros Research Centre, a team of educators and scientists share their passion for the ocean with the young explorers. Students embark on daily reef snorkels, nesting turtle night walks, manta ray boat surveys, tree planting to rehabilitate the forest, beach clean-ups, turtle tagging, and mangrove snorkelling. They encounter more sharks, turtles and rays in one week than most people see in a lifetime, and learn much about these animals and the marine environment.
Marine Conservation Society Seychelles
Marine Conservation Society Seychelles dedicates its time to improving the conservation of marine eco-systems through scientific, management, educational and training programmes. MCSS implements a broad range of programmes and projects, from long-term monitoring programmes, such as whale shark and turtle monitoring programmes, to a number of fixed or short-term projects.
MCSS welcomes volunteers and students on its programmes and projects. In fact, the organisation relies on volunteer support for most of its projects. Generally volunteers with MCSS will work on a number of the current projects; the time of year will dictate the project activities available with the turtle projects being busiest from September to May. MCSS accepts younger local students for work experience programmes and also have a specific volunteer opportunities on the Cerf Island project and at the Wildlife Conservation and Rehabilitation Centre at the Banyan Tree resort.