Seychelles: Supporting the local people and protecting the environment and wild-life
Travelling is always a great experience: discovering and taking part in the culture of a Country, learning the history and uncovering its natural wonders will gift you with unforgettable memories. At Side By Side Holidays we firmly believe that travelling can contribute to support the local people and protect the environment and wild-life. Side By Side Holidays actively chooses to be involved first-hand.
How? By proposing, in our itineraries, those facilities that adopt a responsible conduct and by supporting one of the local Seychelles NGOs: the Green Islands Foundation.
To show our commitment to this cause, Side by Side Holidays dedicates the Seychelles Corporate Social Responsibility Tax to sponsor Green Islands Foundation.
We also give our customers the opportunity to make donations to worthy projects dedicated to the betterment of the local communities and environmental conservation.
Creating a custom-made travel experience can, and should, be an ethical decision. This is why whenever and wherever possible, Side by Side Travel proposes travel itineraries featuring facilities that have adopted sustainable practices, such as the use of solar energy in the Okavango Delta, or zero food miles menus in luxury resorts. For indeed, luxury can be sustainable too!
At Side By Side Holidays we support Green Islands Foundation as we share the vision and required commitment to preserve such unique and fragile ecosystem as found in Seychelles: each of our travelers will have the opportunity to make a contribution to one or more of the projects undertaken by the Foundation.
General GIF background
The environmental NGO Green Islands Foundation (GIF) was founded in 2006. It is registered and based in the Seychelles Islands and it is dedicated to the "Mainstreaming of Sustainable Development". GIF works hard to involve private companies in national environment programmes so that environmental solutions become common practice in a developing small island state setting.
One of GIF’s main goals is to provide assistance to a community which heavily depends on fish by investigating and learning how to successfully sustainably use this natural resource. To this purpose GIF works closely with local fishermen, schools, other educational organizations, government and the Seychelles Fishing Authority to find out what are the problems and how to address them. Amongst many, many other activities GIF has done several in depth surveys among fishermen and has designed an identification guide that will help them collect data, they developed an educational package for schools and compiled the first Seychelles shark survey so that the general public may learn of the different shark species existing in these waters as well as organizing workshops with the fishermen’s associations to discuss sustainable fishing.
The above notwithstanding, GIF would very much like to do more, as the ocean is the most important resource for Seychelles and we are, all of us the custodians of the sea.
GIF is involved in the monitoring and protection of sea turtles and giant land tortoises on several of the Seychelles’ smaller islands. Turtle track counts, turtle tagging and tortoise research are carried out on a daily basis. Turtle and giant tortoise numbers severely dropped in Seychelles during the years of human habitation as both species were food for the increasing population, especially the giant tortoises which were a fundamental source of fresh meat on board ships due to their capacity of surviving for long periods of time with little water and nourishment. On the granitic islands the giant tortoise population was all but wiped out, while the sea turtles numbers also dramatically decreased.
GIF is working with several partners to monitor the current populations, study their behavioral pattern and protect the areas where they live and nest. It is interesting and vital to know where ‘our’ turtles go when they are not around our islands, it could then be possible to rally support for further protective measures to save these ancient and wonderful reptiles. At Side by Side we hope to generate enough funds to sponsor several satellite trackers that will allow us to find out more about their travels and habits.