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Regional marine protected areas specialists meet in Seychelles to upgrade management capacities

The training started on Tuesday and will end on Friday. (Seychelles Nation)

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In an effort to provide as much capacity building for professionals who work with marine protected areas (MPAs), the Seychelles Parks and Garden Authority (SPGA) is working with several organisations to provide further training with the participation of islands in the Indian Ocean region.

The training, which arised from a collaboration between the SPGA, Réserves Naturelles de France(RNF), the Western Indian Ocean Marine Protected Area Professional Network(WIOMPAN), and a local conservation agency, Nature Seychelles, started on Tuesday and will end on December 15.

The training aims to provide existing MPA professionals with the necessary knowledge and capacity to efficiently manage and conserve protected areas within the western Indian Ocean Region.

MPA professionals from the region including Mauritius, Rodrigues, Mayotte, La Reunion, Comoros and Madagascar are taking part.

Topics that will be covered throughout the training range from the functions and importance of marine protected areas, sustainable financing, enforcement, best practices, use, and effectiveness of management plans. It will also cover various conventions, legislation and strategies that govern MPA management.

Speaking to the media at the launching, the communications and information officer at the SPGA, Geraldine Joubert, told reporters that it is very important to provide staff with regular training.

“As a country who is a champion for the environment, it is crucial to ensure that staff who interact with the environment receive adequate training to improve management of protected areas.”

Joubert said that this training can also help with addressing challenges that they face, especially through the sharing of best practices and experiences.

“We will spend three days doing theory, and on the fourth day, we will go out to the St. Anne Marine Park to do practical work. This will include data collection, fish ID- identification of different species- as well as networking between the professionals and sharing best practices from the different countries,” she added.

The training is financed by the WIOMPAN in collaboration with the VARUNA project, a biodiversity programme funded by the French government.

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