Seychelles’ delegates to UN climate summit plant trees to offset carbon footprint of travelling to Glasgow
Several members of Seychelles’ delegation who attended the UN climate change summit in Glasgow (COP26) planted 240 trees in the islands’ largest national park to offset the carbon footprint incurred by the delegation’s round trip to the summit last year.
During the round trip to the conference held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 13, 2021, a total of 2.8 tonnes of carbon was emitted by the Seychelles delegation.
Participants planted Bois de table, an endemic and indigenous plant of Seychelles, at the Salazie trail of the Morne Seychellois National Park. The species was heavily exploited in the past by mariners for boat building and the remaining Bois de Table are scattered in small numbers around the island nation.
The activity, organised jointly by the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority (SPGA) and the British High Commission, was held on Tuesday, March 22, to commemorate the International Day of Forests, celebrated on March 21 each year. Together they planted trees with members of Seychelles’ COP26 delegation who were unable to participate in a similar activity last year.
“We will continue with the effort on Praslin, Curieuse and La Digue, making sure that our forests are properly maintained all along as we would like to have sustainable forests. We have a nursery that produces plants for the sites and as soon as they are ready, we move them to the area they are to be planted in,” said the authority’s chief executive, Allen Cedras.
British High Commissions encourages travellers to join ‘Green Footprint Seychelles’
The tree planting activity was also part of the British High Commission’s ongoing ‘Green Footprint Seychelles’ initiative.
The initiative aims at providing visitors to Seychelles with the possibility to offset their carbon footprints created through long and medium-haul flights. This is done by planting a determined number of trees that will absorb the released carbon dioxide.
UK’s Deputy High Commissioner to Seychelles, Matthew Harper, told the press that with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, more UK tourists will be coming to the island nation and that action needs to be taken to mitigate their carbon footprint.
“British people who want to come to Seychelles are increasingly thinking about the impact their travel will have on the environment, being scared of contributing to climate change. We wanted to ensure that they have a programme that will allow them to offset the carbon they produced when they come to Seychelles,” said Harper.
He added that tourists can either personally go to Salazie to plant the tree themselves or they can go to the park and garden authority and pay a sum of money so that trees can be planted on their behalf.
“We need to calculate the amount of carbon produced when a person takes a plane for a round trip to Seychelles. Once you have this figure, you can calculate the number of trees that will need to be planted so as to offset and absorb that same amount of carbon dioxide. We work with SPGA which does the calculation,” continued Harper.