It is the stuff of dreams, fairies and celebrities only. But even so, Seychelles successful environmental NGO, Nature Seychelles has managed to wriggle herself into this great showcase.
[ROCHE CAIMAN 19/05/2008] It is the stuff of dreams, fairies and celebrities only. But even so, Seychelles successful environmental NGO, Nature Seychelles has managed to wriggle herself into this great showcase.
The world’s celebrated TV show NBC Today, hosted by celebrity anchors Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira and news anchor Ann Curry featured Seychellois environmental expert and Nature Seychelles indefatigable CEO, Nirmal Shah, in the first week of May.
The show estimated to be watched by over 40 million viewers worldwide, has a magnetic pull within the American continent and is renown for providing its audience with a window on the world by broadcasting from remote locations around the globe. Both live and recorded broadcasts have been beamed from far-flung outposts in all continents. For the last four years, the “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” has become a brand name signaling the live transmission of Matt’s annual travels around the globe.
It is a must see prime time TV show in the US and Canada. “NBC Today” TV crew who were here led by both Matt and Ann Curry, visited Nature Seychelles headquarters at Roche Caiman during the Grand opening of the latest touristic attraction in Mahe, the Sanctuary at Roche Caiman (SARC). This coincidental visit is what turned out to be the scoop for the beloved US TV network last week.
Nature Seychelles CEO Nirmal Shah appeared on world stage fielding questions on a wide variety of environmental issues, ranging from wetland management, environmental education, youth involvement in eco-concerns and ecosystem restoration. At the time of the broadcast Shah was in the United Kingdom presenting a paper at the “Avian Reintroduction Biology Symposium” under the invitation of the Zoological Society in London.
“To be on NBC’s Today Show” is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Having our CEO articulating our objectives and our work tenets on the world stage is testimony that what we have been doing for the last decade has not been in vain. It is recognition that we adhere to world standards in all our projects.” Says Kerstin Henri, Nature Seychelles Projects Coordinator.
Congratulatory messages from all over the world are still streaming into the Nature Seychelles ‘in-box’ since Nirmal appeared.
“Well done sir and congratulations to Nature Seychelles. Its gratifying when good work is recognized” writes Hazell Thompson Head of the Birdlife Africa Partnership Secretariat office in Nairobi Kenya.
Chris Jacobs in the US recalls with nostalgia his time at Roche Caiman he writes:
“I just wanted to let everybody at Nature Seychelles know that you are now famous in the US....especially you Mr. Nirmal. Boy was I surprised to see you on the Today Show with Matt Lauer this morning! It's quite the popular show here; watched by millions each morning... especially during the week of "Where in the World is Matt Lauer"! Last I was in Seychelles Roche Caiman was in the building stages...I imagine a lot has progressed since then. I'm anxious to return with my family. I hope all is well and again, it was lovely to see you on the Today Show!”
The NBC Today show which spans across the Americas attracted comments from Canada too. Alan Metcalfe who met the Shahs some three decades ago, had his mind travel back in time when he saw Nirmal’s interview with Lauer: “Perhaps you remember us - the Metcalfe family, Bert and Lise Piggs relatives from Canada. We met you in 1978-79. We visited you and your father. It is 30 years and we have very fond memories. We were watching Today on NBC and they were doing a piece on Seychelles and who appeared but Nirmal. What a coincidence. It is clear you have done very well.” Says Metcalfe.
Julius Francis the Executive secretary of the highly influential regional scientific marine agency the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) where Shah sits as a board member could only utter: “Congratulations. Many of us may only dream appearing in The Today Show!”
Mrs Henri surmises: “Having Nature Seychelles featured on The NBC Today Show is an echo to the world that our work transcends borders, and that in the world scope of things we in Seychelles have substantial significance on the global environmental stage.” [ENDS]