Thu, 13 June 2019
Former President James Michel has receives The National Geographic Planetary Leadership Award together with President Danny Faure in Washington DC.
The awards were presented by the President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, Mr Tracy R. Wolstencroft, at a ceremony at the George Washington University, Wednesday evening.
The award was created last year to recognise a world leader who has significantly established protected areas of global importance that are fully shielded from exploitation.
The awards ceremony was part of the 2019 National Geographic Explorers Festival at which a number of pioneering conservationists, scientists, educators, and storytellers who are leading the push to protect our planet for future generations were also honoured.
In accepting the Planetary Leadership award, former President Michel said that he valued it personally, whilst also acknowledging the many people in Seychelles and elsewhere who are working in different ways to save our seas. “We live in the age of the ocean,” noted Michel, adding that we live on a blue planet and that is where our future lies, and that there can be no discussion about sustainability that ignores the ocean.
“Seychelles is small but a large oceanic state but living so close to the sea we have a deep understanding of what is there – the challenges as well as the opportunities,” he said to the audience.
“Now is the time for our reconciliation with the oceans! Now is the time to strike a balance between our needs and the conservation and rehabilitation of our oceans! With a new compass, we could chart the journey for the future.”
“There is only one message: Healing, Conservation and Sustainability. Our shared future is Blue,” former President Michel emphasised in concluding his remarks at the Awards ceremony.