Seychelles to boost community environmental efforts with Eco-District Award
Seychelles is planning an Eco-District Award competition to encourage communities to work together to improve their districts.
The Eco-District Award will recognize the district which over the course of a year has most improved its physical environment and community responsibility and has seen a rise in voluntarism in cleaning and greening the district.
Seychelles has 26 districts; 23 are on the main island of Mahe, two are on Praslin and one is on La Digue, the second- and third-most populated islands respectively.
“In the past there have been awards given to the cleanest district but that was an award given to the contractors that did the work. Now we want to put the emphasis on rewarding the work done by the districts’ inhabitants themselves,” said Jeanette Larue, the director general of the public education and community outreach division in the Ministry of Environment.
The award, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers last week, aims to improve sustainable development at the district level and adopt a more holistic district approach to help improve communities. It is also expected to help develop a sense of active involvement, belongingness, ownership, togetherness, and pride in citizens and to revive the culture of volunteerism in Seychellois communities.
Due to long its experience with the Eco School Award, which rewards schools for adopting sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches for school life, the public education and community outreach division proposed having an award at the district level.
In its proposal, the division said that though the government continues to invest heavily in waste management and put in place policies to enforce better waste disposal, there is a need for a more holistic approach involving residents.
The criteria that will be used to determine the winner for the award include community involvement, coordination, communication, nature and conservation initiatives, community responsibility and networking.
The winners will be judged by a committee that will be set up and the first award ceremony is expected to take place in December 2022.