Message of the President and Patron of SIF, Mr Wavel Ramkalawan on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Aldabra research station
30 June 2021 | Environment
Visiting Aldabra is a dream for so many Seychellois and foreigners alike. The ‘left foot of God’ as it is called by so many, is indeed the best description as God himself is manifested in the beauty and peace of the lagoon. God must have smiled as he created the atoll as he left his footprint as a reminder of his presence.
As the Seychelles Islands Foundation’s Patron, I take this moment to recognise all the individuals connected to this furthest outpost of the archipelago. While it may be far away from everything, we know that this station is part of something larger than us and indeed very close to our hearts. I take this moment to also thank those who have helped us reach this proud milestone, those who are currently on Aldabra as well as those supporting the team from Praslin, Mahé and around the world.
The station, the heart of the adventure to protect our natural heritage which we have given to the world, tells a powerful story that I hope will inspire future generations well beyond the next 50 years. My wish is that each and every Seychellois realises and understands that national and international cooperation can help us preserve our planet while ensuring the survival of sensitive species. It’s a success story of a small island developing state leading by example and committing a large part of its already limited land area to total conservation. Although the Aldabra research station has high costs, the returns on investment for our biodiversity and people is incalculable, not only contributing to fisheries and tourism, but also in building our human resources.
As we take stock of the size of our ocean, the challenges it faces in terms of maritime security, pollution and illegal exploitation, as well as the real threats that climate change poses to our precious atoll and all of Seychelles, I remain hopeful because of the natural beauty that has been preserved through science and the dedication of diverse people from around the world. I take special pride in having met some of the young Seychellois scientists on Aldabra and seeing those who have helped it go far.
On this special day I have to say I look forward to seeing how SIF brings Aldabra and its research station, one of the longest continuously running tropical research stations in the world closer to us.
Congratulations. Happy 50th anniversary.