UNDP funds wetlands rehabilitation at popular Seychelles heritage site

Written by on 8th July 2024

UNDP funds wetlands rehabilitation at popular Seychelles heritage site


The wetlands area at Domaine Val de Pres in the eastern Mahe district of Au Cap is set to be transformed into an educational living laboratory and viewpoint by April 2025. This initiative, led by the Seychelles National Heritage Resource Council (SNHRC), is supported by a $50,000 grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the ongoing rehabilitation of the property’s wetlands.

Domaine Val des Pres, one of the three heritage sites managed by the SNHRC, is a popular cultural attraction featuring an authentic traditional Creole homestead, the Pomme Cannelle restaurant, and various kiosks selling arts and crafts.

The 12-month-long project was announced to local media on Wednesday morning during a site visit by the UNDP project consultant and SNHRC representatives. SNHRC’s executive director, Benjamine Rose, emphasized the goal of rehabilitating the marsh to create a space where the community and tourists can observe and learn about natural heritage.

The rehabilitation plan includes introducing new types of mangroves and fauna suited to the area, constructing a long boardwalk with rails leading to a bird-watching viewpoint, and installing large display boards with information about the species found in the area.

The project will also involve members of Au Cap Primary School’s Environment Club, Tourism Club, and Heritage Club, offering them an exploratory learning experience.

Errol Renaud, the project’s consultant, noted that work on the site began two years ago, involving the Au Cap community, the nearby Maison Marengo restaurant, and SNHRC in an eco-tourism project. An expert will conduct a biodiversity assessment to evaluate the wetland’s health, pollution levels, and species present, which will guide the next steps.

Renaud assured that all necessary precautions are being taken to minimize disruption to the ecosystem during construction. The project has engaged the Department of Environment and the Department of Planning from the pre-planning phases. Efforts are also underway to find a caretaker for the marsh area in collaboration with the District Administration office to foster a sense of ownership.

UNDP representative Lindy Bastienne expressed the organization’s interest in funding the wetlands renovation, highlighting that it diversifies their project portfolio and builds on previous community efforts in the marsh area.


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