Seychelles get its first certified female marine protected area professional
A park officer of the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, Dainise Quatre, is the first woman from Seychelles to receive a certificate of Marine Protected Area (MPA) Professionals.
Quatre received her certificate after following a four-day certification workshop in Kenya of the Western Indian Ocean Certification of Marine Protected Area Professionals (WIO-COMPAS) organised by the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA).
The certification programme took place from April 22 to 25 of this year, where 18 applicants sat for the various assessments, with 12 of them given their certification for level one.
“I am very proud to have received this certification and to be the first woman to achieve it. It is very special for me and I hope that it can encourage other women to take up a career in environment and protection of the marine park,” Quatre told SNA.
Quatre has been working within the Seychelles Parks Gardens Authority (SPGA) for a number of years and recently completed her BSc in environmental science. The work she does is dominated by men, she says, but it has not fazed her as she has great support from her co-workers.
Quatre said: “I am very proud to have received this certification and to be the first woman to achieve it.” (Dainise Quatre) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
She added that “I really want to see more women join this job as despite being dominated by men, it does not mean women can’t do it also.”
Quatre is the third Seychellois to achieve this certification. Two other Seychellois have the certification, namely the chief executive of the SPGA, Allen Cedras, and Ronny Renaud. Both have a level 2 certification.
The certification is a voluntary process that demonstrates a practitioner of the MPA’s commitment to meeting a higher standard. It focuses on seven core competence areas in which MPA professionals need to meet certain standards of skills and knowledge.
“It was a really tough process as we had to prepare beforehand and face various quizzes, interviews and evaluations of our competencies in order to pass and be certified,” said Quatre, who leads the Sainte Anne Marine Park team at the SPGA.
She explained that protecting these areas is crucial as it not only provides a benefit for food security but also for economic activities.