News and Blogs

  1. Latest News
  2. Cousin Island News
  3. Blue Economy Seychelles
  4. Green Health Blog

What's On at Nature Seychelles

Conservation Boot Camp

Bootstrap your career in conservation. Whether you want to to break into conservation or bolster your experience and knowledge, join the world's first Conservation Boot Camp where you can gain a much coveted, unique and exclusive experince working in a world renowned and multiple award winning nature reserve...Read more

Find Us On ...

Implementing the SDGs

At Nature Seychelles we are committed to working with government, development partners and donors in implementing relevant actions, in particular, looking at certain goals where we can build on our existing strengths. Read more

Seychelles Wildlife

Natural environment of the Seychelles

Seychelles is a unique environment, which sustains a very special biodiversity. It is special for a number of different reasons. These are the oldest oceanic islands to be found anywhere...

Bird Watching

Seychelles is a paradise for birdwatchers, you can easily see the unique land birds, the important sea bird colonies, and the host of migrants and vagrants. Some sea bird...

Seychelles Black Parrot

Black Parrot or Kato Nwar in Creolee is brown-grey in colour, not truly black. Many bird experts treat it as a local form of a species found in Madagascar and...

Fairy Tern

The Fairy (or white) Tern is a beautiful bird seen on all islands in Seychelles, even islands like Mahe where they are killed by introduced rats, cats and Barn Owls....

Introduced Land Birds

A little over two hundred years ago, there were no humans living permanently in Seychelles. When settlement occurred, people naturally brought with them the animals and plants they needed to...

Native Birds

Although over 190 different species of bird have been seen on or around the central islands of Seychelles (and the number is increasing all the time), many of these are...

Migrant Shore Birds

Shallow seas and estuaries are very rich in invertebrate life. Many birds feed on the worms, crabs and shellfish in these habitats; often, they have long bills for probing sand...

Seychelles Magpie Robin

The most endangered of the endemic birds, Seychelles Magpie Robin or Pi Santez in Creole, came close to extinction in the late twentieth century; in 1970 there were only about...

Seychelles Blue Pigeon

The Seychelles Blue Pigeon or Pizon Olande in Creole, spends much of its life in the canopy of trees and eats the fruits of figs, bwa dir, ylang ylang and...

Seychelles White-eye

The Seychelles White-eye or Zwazo Linet in Creole, is rare and endemic. They may sometimes be seen in gardens and forest over 300m at La Misere, Cascade and a few...

Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher

The Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher or the Vev in Creole is endemic to Seychelles, you cannot find this bird anywhere else on earth. Although it was once widespread on...

Seychelles Sunbird

The tiny sunbird or Kolibri in Creole, is one of the few endemic species that has thrived since humans arrived in the Seychelles.



  • Stopped near extinctions of birds +

    Down-listing of the critically endangered Seychelles warbler from Critically Endangered to Near Threatened. Other Seychelles birds have also been saved including the Seychelles Magpie Robin, Seychelles Fody, and the Seychelles
  • Restored whole island ecosystems +

    We transformed Cousin Island from a coconut plantation to a thriving vibrant and diverse island ecosystem. Success achieved on Cousin was replicated on other islands with similar conservation activities.
  • Championed climate change solutions +

    Nature Seychelles has risen to the climate change challenge in our region in creative ways to adapt to the inevitable changing of times.
  • Education and Awareness +

    We have been at the forefront of environmental education, particularly with schools and Wildlife clubs
  • Sustainable Tourism +

    We manage the award-winning eco-tourism programme on Cousin Island started in 1970
  • 1
  • 2

We are in the way of irresistible forces

Almost everybody I met over the last couple of weeks had opinions about the storm surge that battered some of our islands. The dredging of sand off Beau Vallon of course has been debated even in the media.  In a book published by the World Bank, Sida and the Seychelles Government back in 1995 I had predicted that storm surges and coastal development would collide leading to disasters.

I had said “Climate change and climate variability are likely to aggravate the impacts of unsustainable development of coastal areas and resources. In turn, these impacts will further exacerbate the vulnerability of coastal areas to climate change and associated sea level rise.”

Certainly the dredging had nothing to do with the storm surge. This was a storm that has been tracked by meteorologists. It not only affected Seychelles but other countries in the region. In Tanzania for example, it forced hundreds of people in Pangani District to abandon their homes and flooded other towns and villages.

In the 1995 publication I had noted that “There is a possibility of an increase in the frequency and intensity of storm surges. The worst scenario would be simultaneous occurrence of a flash flood and a surge in sea level due to meteorological or geological phenomenon”. In this publication I had included a graphic showing the effects of a storm surge coupled with high tide on the coastal zone. It looks exactly like what happened on Mahe recently.

I had also said that “...a fivefold increase in intensity” of tropical cyclones can be expected.” “..there is the likelihood of a narrowing  of the cyclone free zones”. Therefore “the main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue could be in the direct track of tropical cyclones”. All of these statements were based on the best available scientific evidence.

Why did Anse a la Mouche and Beau Vallon take the brunt of the storm? Well they didn’t because there were areas on Praslin and elsewhere that were battered as well. But these places may have variations in coastal morphology which magnify the effects, whist others may be insulated. In fact when the tsunami, a natural geological phenomenon, occurred,  Anse a la Mouche experienced some of the maximum water levels at the  coast as well as what  is known as wave run up.  The tsunami wave surge damage reached a height of 3.5 meters there and it had the longest inundation distance.

But it’s not only that! The worse impacts of the storm surge were seen in areas where infrastructure has been placed on what is known as dunelands or the dry beach. These include roads like at Anse la Mouche where some parts are situated on the dune lands, and buildings and walls such as those at Beau Vallon built on the dry beach.  Climate change impacts on these types of unwise coastal developments could lead to more disasters in the near future.

We have put ourselves in the way of forces that no one can control. The best we can do is to plan new developments according to that famous set-back line we always talk about but few respect. And as for the older infrastructure they need to be moved back or some abandoned if possible.  

Photo: Anse a la Mouche

Nirmal Shah

Originally appeared in author's column in The People, 30th March 20102

Partners & Awards

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Our History

Since 1998.

Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

@CousinIsland Manager


Roche Caiman, Mahe

Contact Us

Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 4601100

Fax: + 248 4601102