Seychelles ( (listen), ; French: [sɛʃɛl] or [seʃɛl]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: La Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelagic island country consisting of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean at the eastern edge of the Somali Sea. Its capital and largest city, Victoria, is 1,500 kilometres (800 nautical miles) east of mainland Africa. Nearby island countries and territories include the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, and the French overseas regions of Mayotte and Réunion to the south; and Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago (administered by the United Kingdom as the British Indian Ocean Territory) to the east. It is the least populated sovereign African country, with an estimated 2020 population of 98,462.
Biodiversity[edit | edit source]
Seychelles is among the world's leading countries to protect lands for threatened species, allocating 42% of its territory for conservation. Like many fragile island ecosystems, Seychelles saw the loss of biodiversity when humans first settled in the area, including the disappearance of most of the giant tortoises from the granitic islands, the felling of coastal and mid-level forests, and the extinction of species such as the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles parakeet, and the saltwater crocodile. However, extinctions were far fewer than on islands such as Mauritius or Hawaii, partly due to a shorter period of colonizer occupation. Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles black parrot, the national bird of the country, is now protected.
Environmental legislation is very strict, and every tourism project must undergo an environmental review and a lengthy process of consultations with the public and conservationists. Seychelles is a world leader in sustainable tourism. [according to whom?] The end result of this sustainable development is an intact and stable natural environment, which attracts financially strong visitors (150,000 in 2007) rather than short-term mass tourism. Since 1993 a law guarantees the citizens the right to a clean environment and at the same time obliges them to protect this environment.
Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]
The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 10/10, ranking it first globally out of 172 countries. W
Environmental achievements[edit | edit source]
Since the use of spearguns and dynamite for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers. Coral bleaching in 1998 has damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery (such as Silhouette Island).
Despite huge disparities across nations, Seychelles claims to have achieved nearly all of its Millennium Development Goals. 17 MDGS and 169 targets have been achieved. Environmental protection is becoming a cultural value.
News and comment[edit | edit source]
- How we discovered that sea turtles in Seychelles have recovered from the brink, The Conversation (Mar 17, 2022)
"All countries must work together to combat climate change. In the Seychelles, our 116 islands are on the front line. We can lose our beaches, our tourism, our land and our way of life, if something is not done quickly." Marie-Antoinette Alexis, the mayor of Seychelles capital Victoria,  February 27
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