Japan supports native plant nursery on Praslin
The Terrestrial Restoration Action Society of Seychelles (Trass) is expected to complete its office and store building following the signing of a Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP) with the Japanese embassy.
The contract was signed on Monday by the Japanese ambassador to Seychelles, Tatsushi Terada, and the chair of Trass, Victorin Laboudallon, during a short ceremony held at the Vallée de Mai on Praslin.
The Japanese ambassador is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Present during the signing ceremony were the principal secretary for environment Alain De Comarmond, high officials, members of Trass and other guests.
Through this GGP scheme, the government of Japan has since 1989 been providing funds to schools, community-based organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and medical institutions.
The scheme was initiated in Seychelles in 2015 to support the country’s grassroot projects and Trass is the first beneficiary NGO.
As a result of forest fires and erosion on Praslin in 2009, large pieces of land was left bare, so a non-profit organisation called Trass was born under the leadership of environmental officer, Mr Laboudallon.
Over the five years of its existence, Trass has been creating awareness and education on the issue of forest fires and ensuring all Praslinois know how to identify several endemic plants and how to plant them as well as how to restore a burnt site.
Trass has received much support, both locally and internationally, and they have succeeded in rehabilitating over 30 hectares of degraded land.
The grant, amounting to US $64,558, will be used for the completion of the building that will be used as office and seed storage and purchase of furniture and equipment.
In this new building, the organisation will be able to store more seeds and upscale its activities.
It will also be able to properly host visitors who will attend environment sensitisation programmes of the site.
The project is expected to be completed within a year.
Ambassador Terada said Praslin residents will benefit from restored forests by way of water and soil protection, reduction in flooding and water shortages, less siltation of coral reef and lagoon, hence less impact on fish and fishermen.
“It is our hope that this project will have a sustainable impact on Praslin’s eco-system, impacting directly on a group of farmers and their families and indirectly the whole population of Praslin,” he said.
Mr Laboudallon expressed his wish to see future generations continue with seed and plant restoration.
He also said he was grateful to the various partners who have been generous in supporting their cause.
PS De Comarmond said the ministry is extremely grateful to the government of Japan for assisting Seychelles, in particularly Trass, in strengthening its efforts on Praslin toward conservation.
The signing was followed by a ceremonial tree planting at the Trass project Site.
The Japanese delegation also visited the storm water outlet at Au Cap, which was a project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
Source: NATION 3-23-16