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Seychelles in Nature Reserve International Spotlight

Panafrican News Agency, 11 January 2001

Port-Louis, Mauritius - Cousin Island in Seychelles has obtained world-wide recognition for eco-tourism and coastal management after being the first nature reserve in Africa to feature in the International Biodiversity Observation Year.

Reports reaching Port-Louis said that Cousin Island Special Reserve was recognised as the best example of how eco-tourism is practised as well as for coastal and marine management in two recent publications released by international organisations.

The special reserve, managed by BirdLife Seychelles, is the only example in the book Sustainable Development of Tourism Compilation of Good Practices from East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean region.

In a letter to the Seychelles Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Simone de Comarmond, WTO Secretary General Francesco Frangialli said: "I am sure it (the book) will add prestige to the tourism industry in Seychelles."

The second book - Marine and Coastal Protected Areas - A Guide for Planners and Managers is published by The World Conservation Union.

Cousin Island featured in two prominent case studies in the new book. The first one, which covers the operation of the island is entitled "Cousin Island - A Sea and Island Reserve scientifically managed by an NGO". It describes the research, monitoring, education, conservation management and administration achievements.

Nirmal Jivan Shah, the Chief Executive of BirdLife Seychelles, said that the Cousin success story reflected on Seychelles as a whole and that all Seychellois should be justifiably proud of these accomplishments.

"People have all kinds of opinions about things, but one of the best measures of success and achievement is validation and recognition by well known international organisations," Shah said.

"We will not rest on our laurels but will continue to set new standards on Cousin and elsewhere," he added.

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