Mon, 06 May 2019
Former President James Michel has been nominated as one of the recipients of National Geographic’s prestigious “Planetary Leadership Award” to be presented next month in Washington DC. The Current Seychelles President, Danny Faure is the other recipient.
This Award recognizes a world leader who has successfully established globally significant protected areas, such as national parks, wilderness areas, or marine reserves, that are fully shielded from exploitation.
“Only 15 percent of our land and 7 percent of our ocean are part of officially protected areas, while our planet’s critical natural systems are increasingly under attack due to the accelerating impact of human activity and development. The bold actions of informed and inspired global leaders are vital to building a better future for our planet” explains National Geographic in announcing the awards.
During his presidency, Mr. Michel committed close to 50% of Seychelles land territory as protected areas. Furthermore Seychelles committed 30% of its Exclusive Economic zone to be designated as protected areas by 2020 to ensure representative species and habitats have long-term protection, to improve resiliency of coastal ecosystems with a changing climate, and ensure economic opportunities for fisheries, tourism and other uses.
National geographic describes Mr. Michel as a “keen advocate for the cause of small islands developing states, the preservation of the environment, the “Blue Economy”, and marine protected areas”.
Mr. Michel is also the recipient of several international awards and an Ocean Ambassador with the Pew- Bertarelli Ocean Initiative. He is also the author of several books, including “Rethinking the Oceans: Towards the Blue Economy”.