It's a hot day on Cousin Island Special Reserve. Seychelles is on a 21-day lockdown due to COVID-19 and everyone is at home social-distancing. On the sand, a warden sits counting the empty shells of Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) eggs, the contents of a recently hatched nest. Next to him, the conservation officer keeps a record: whole shells, fragments, unhatched eggs, and dead hatchlings.
Nature Seychelles' Chief Executive Dr. Nirmal Shah is one of ten MPA practitioners worldwide who have given their first-hand reports on the impacts of COVID19 and the Financial crisis on marine protected areas.
Over 200 of the world's conservation and animal groups have written to the World Health Organization (WHO) calling on it to ask countries to take a highly precautionary approach to the multi-billion dollar wildlife trade and put a permanent ban on all live wildlife markets and the use of wildlife in traditional medicine.
By Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah - Chief Executive, Nature Seychelles
Origin Story (Zoo: English = of animal; noses: Greek = disease)
In 2006, in an article entitled, “Animal Diseases are spreading to Humans” published in The People, the ruling party newspaper in Seychelles, I warned authorities that: “Diseases like avian flu which, are able to be transmitted from animals to humans (zoonoses) have the potential to be a major global threat”. I said that “..the prospects are scary for Seychelles..”
The BirdLife partnership (Nature Seychelles is BirdLife's Partner in Seychelles) has marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by calling for the UN to take a bold and unprecedented step: declare a healthy natural environment a fundamental human right. The leading global conservation partnership made the call in an open letter to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.