Tuesday, October 12, 2010

GVI Seychelles takes action against the climate crisis

GVI Seychelles joined the other GVI hubs around the world and took part in the 350.org initiative today. 350.org is an international grass roots campaign to highlight climate crisis. The mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet. The focus is on the number 350-as in parts per million CO2. If we can't get below that, scientists say, the damage we're already seeing from global warming will continue and accelerate. Presently, as a planet, we are on 390 ppm CO2.

Here on Mahe GVI staff and volunteers joined forces with our partners Seychelles National Parks Authority and did a coral reef clean on some of the reefs that receive a higher volume of tourists. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there was not a great deal of waste to be found on the reefs. From two dive sites a total of six glass bottles were retrieved. Some of the other bottles that were found had been there so long that corals had colonised them. It was decided that these bottles should then stay on the reef as part of the ecosystem.

As a follow up to the reef cleans we also did a beach clean on the two beaches in the Baie Ternay Marine park. Although a protected area the marine park also receives a number of tourists and we filled many rubbish bags with waste found on the shoreline and in the mangroves. A range of items were found; from light switches to flip-flops, and plastic bottles to cupboard doors! In light of the amount of waste that was collected we hope to follow up today’s activities with regular beach cleans. We also placed a permanent waste bin in the marine park to encourage people to dispose of their litter properly. Marine litter is not only unsightly but can be hazardous to many types of marine life such as turtles and seabirds as they mistake various items for food.

Through this day of activities we aim to preserve the habitat around the Seychelles and draw attention to this global campaign worldwide. If we all do a little to help then maybe we can make a bigger change together.