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Office of the President of The Republic of Seychelles

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Fund To Be Set Up To Maintain Progress On La Digue

April 5, 2011 -- A fund which will get money from revenue collected through economic activities taking place on La Digue, will be used to develop and maintain projects on the island.

The fund proposal was announced by President James Michel during his monthly En Moman Avek Prezidan (Meeting the President) broadcast ton SBC television on Sunday evening.

The money, which will be collected through economic activities taking place on the island, will be used to develop and maintain some infrastructure which will be decided by the people of La Digue through a committee to be set up.

The committee will also decide on the type of projects to benefit from the fund.

President James Michel made these announcements during his monthly interview En Moman Avek Prezidan aired on SBC TV on Sunday evening.

"I believe this will create a sense of empowerment and ownership among the people of La Digue, who will be responsible to create wealth, collect revenue which they themselves will decide how best to use for their own development," said Mr Michel.

These are part of the ecological development concept being planned for La Digue.

Development is also being planned for Silhouette, Mr Michel said.

Giving details of these developments, Mr Michel said Silhouette -- which has been declared a living laboratory, the first and only such laboratory here -- represents clearly and in a tangible way how development can be used to protect and manage the environment.

He noted that together with the entrepreneurs managing the hotel on Silhouette, a partnership has been struck with the aim of continuing to develop and protect the unique ecosystem of the island. 

"The aim is to protect and preserve this ecosystem for future generations and for humanity. This, I believe, is a victory which Seychelles has recorded and the world admires," said Mr Michel.

As for La Digue, Mr Michel said it is the only one of our islands where traditions and modernity go hand in hand.

"This I believe is a very important feature for La Digue which should be preserved," he said.

Mr Michel said in doing so, it is also important that the community gets help to develop and improve the quality of life of its people in a way to guide them towards using renewable energy.

Mr Michel cited examples of projects that could be developed for such energy, such as solar street lights, solar farms and heaters, which would reduce the use and dependency on generators and fuel.

All this if introduced in the lives of the people on the island could help make it become more ecological.

But Mr Michel noted that all these concepts should not be left for the government alone to develop.

He said all members and partners of society should take ownership of these developments, play their part, be responsible and not wait for the government to do everything.
 
"After all the government is the people," he said.

"This is why I've adopted a consultative approach in government -- giving the people a chance to contribute their part to ensure that the government functions well and meets their aspirations," Mr Michel said.

Mr Michel said it is important for the people of La Digue to be conscious of the need to protect their environment.

"Why don't all the people of La Digue each consider planting some fruit trees in their backyard and other trees and endemic plants to embellish the environment on their island," Mr Michel asked.

"The people of La Digue should take pride in everything they do to preserve the beauty of their island. I believe it is important for La Digue to continue preserving its tradition and at the same time protecting its beauty," said Mr Michel.

The President stressed that in the new and transformed Seychelles, the government remains the regulator and guide but it is the private sector which is responsible to create development and wealth.

He noted that the private sector also include all Seychellois taking part in creating wealth through a business or contributing towards development through their work.

Mr Michel said any individual, the private sector, other investors who have a project proposition which could be part of these developments could submit them to the government where they will be studied before being considered.

But Mr Michel said in order to make this happen quicker, service delivery mechanisms in government agencies should operate in a more proactive and efficient way.