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Outline for an Action Plan for sustainable coast management in the Seychelles

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Introduction

Outline for an Action Plan for sustainable coast management in the Seychelles. 1. Introduction The Seychelles archipelago, being composed entirely of islands, has a great percentage of her total land area classified as coastal. These areas are the habitat of much avian, mollusc, crustacean and fish species, and are of large benefit to the country's economy as they allow the existence of industries which bring in foreign exchange and provide employment. Seychellois culture is also centred on the sea and coast which have supported the population in the past and should continue to do so. 2. The importance of coastal areas for the Seychelles Tourism: Tourism is essential to the country's economy, amounting to about a third of the gross domestic product (GDP). It directly employs 15% of the formal workforce and contributes to 70% of total foreign exchange earnings. This industry depends largely on beaches, marine flora and fauna and coastal features such as coral reefs which are major tourist attractions. Fisheries: In addition to providing employment, this is also a food source for the population. This industry is dependant on the well-being of marine species. Culture and recreation: Many locals use coastal areas for recreational activities such as swimming, as well as traditional activities such as dancing festivals. Being near the coast has influenced Seychellois cuisine and folklore as well. Habitation: The majority of the population lives in the coastal zone and anything which affects the zone tends to affect the inhabitants. ...read more.

Middle

The breakwater acts like an artificial coral reef and causes minimal visual damage, making this method suitable for tourist beaches. D. Rock Armour: for beaches that are not specifically used for tourism, large rocks placed at the base of dunes absorb wave force and help slow down coastal erosion by holding back material. E. Gabions: Granite boulders about 30-50 cm in length, obtained from a local source, are meshed together using metal wire netting. When placed on non-tourist beaches of medium to high intensity wave action, a solid barrier is created over time as water drains through the wire, leaving sediments behind. -Soft engineering: creates ecological methods or improves existing features to produce sound coastal defences. Soft engineering is suitable for aesthetically important beaches because very little or no visual damage is done. Also, this option tends to be cheaper. Below is an explained list of soft engineering methods. A. Stabilising sand dunes: sand dunes are piles of sand and other material in the most landward side of beaches. A cheap and aesthetically undamaging way of reducing erosion is to stabilise these dunes. This can be done by planting vegetation on the dunes as shown in the photograph. Afterwards, footpaths or boardwalks must be made for people to pass. A small drawback is that the vegetation may take long to establish within the dune. B. Beach Nourishment: Alien sand is deposited upon existing sand. This is not a long lasting solution, as it needs maintenance every 1-10 years. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is not an issue in Seychelles as most or all tourism matches the above criteria. Therefore the firm idea of ecological and cultural importance need only be upheld. This can be done by balancing local development with conservation efforts to have a sustainable environmentally-friendly economic activity. 6.7. Developing an efficient monitoring system to aid the implementation and evaluation of the above six subsections To locate problems and follow the progress of implemented plans, there needs to be a good monitoring system. For changes in beaches, a beach profile monitoring system can be set up. Students or school groups (with the aid of the community) could help with this, because in addition to helping monitoring, they are improving their scientific, mathematical, investigative and computing skills. Measurements are to be done at least every three months and the data collected is to be recorded in a database which could be processed to get a better image of seasonal trends in coastal erosion and accumulation. With this knowledge, necessary steps can be taken for regulation. Sea levels can be monitored using a tide gauges located at different points around the island. One station is already located at Pointe-Larue, and cooperation with GLOSS (global sea level observing system) is ongoing. This should be continued. Sea temperature is to be monitored through a system of sensors located at different point around the coastal zone. Information from the sensors could be logged in a computer database, and used for observation. Finally, the general public could be used to monitor activities, with a hotline provided for reporting suspicious events (dumping, poaching etc.). ?? ?? ?? ?? Page | 1 ...read more.

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