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  • "This is one of the most critical blue carbon sites here in Kenya," says Mwanaharusi Mwafrika, the project coordinator of the Vanga Blue Forest Project, to an attentive audience of the Locally Empowered Area Protection (LEAP) project implementing partners drawn from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Seychelles. "We wanted to show you what a blue carbon ecosystem looks like and how it's being used...
  • Each time Athina Antoine is diving she looks for an individual coral from the genus pocillopora, which she outplanted in 2019 at Nature Seychelles' coral reef restoration site on Cousin Island Special Reserve. She says it's a symbol of hope for her. It reminds her that the effort she and her fellow Reef Rescuers are putting in to save the island's reefs is worthwhile.
  • The presence of turtles at Cousin Island Special Reserve brings a sense of joy and wonder to all who see them. Staff and volunteers describe being deeply moved each time they see a turtle nesting.
  • As I approached, Chris Tagg, our conservation officer, was shovelling sand out of a hole. "Did he finally snap?" I wondered. I knew he hadn’t had a wink of sleep as some of us had been up until 3 am the previous night waiting for a Green turtle (Chelonia mydas, Torti d'Mer in Creole) to nest.
  • Nature Seychelles has made two women from the Netherlands - Janet Mulder and Nancy Willekens - “Friends of Cousin Island". This is an accolade that honours individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the special reserve. Janet and Nancy were recognized for organizing a fundraising campaign to conserve Hawksbill turtles and Aldabra giant tortoises. A third woman, Krista Kuijers, was...
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  • FAD clean-up expedition bears fruit

    The Saya de Malha vessel made its return to Port Victoria yesterday after a 10-day expedition of the first FAD clean-up exercise in Seychelles which has been described a success. The crew left Mahé for the Amirantes group of islands on October 18, 2022, in order to physically collect and[…]

  • Full enforcement of fishery management plan kicks in on October 1

    (Seychelles Nation 23.9.2022) Effective October 1, 2022 any person who contravenes the Fisheries (Mahé Plateau Trap and Line Fishery) Regulations, 2021, under the Fisheries ACT (Act 20 of 2014) will be committing an offence and if found guilty, will be fined up to R20,000. The plan, which prescribes measures for the[…]


A once in a lifetime opportunity

Up for a challenge? Research with the #ReefRescuers

Volunteer Scientific Researcher web focus

Dive into coral reef restoration with our Reef Rescuers. We have a unique opportunity for an MSc student (ongoing) to run a particular research aspect of the project alongside the team. Learn more

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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
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Our people

Nature Seychelles is made up of a team of core staff, project staff, volunteers and interns. The following is the management team.

Shah 200x200Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah - Chief Executive

Nirmal is a well-known figure in the Seychelles conservation scene having an encyclopedic knowledge of Seychelles biodiversity as well as a wealth of experience in environmental management. He was formerly the Assistant Director of Fisheries Research, the Director of the Seychelles Conservation and National Parks service as well as the Managing Director of an environmental firm, ENVIRO where he worked on projects covering almost every aspect of environmental management. He was the coordinator of the Seychelles National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan process and of the Environmental Management Plan of Seychelles 2000-2010. He has worked for international organizations such as the World Bank, IUCN, UNEP, Sida, and UNESCO.



KerstinKerstin Henri - Director

Kerstin was previously the country’s Environmental Management Plan (EMPS) Coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is a professional resource economist who has coordinated the implementation of some of the major environmental projects in Seychelles including those funded by the GEF and the World Bank.




Luca 200x200Dr. Luca Saponari – Senior Science and Technical Field Officer, Reef Rescuers 

Luca is a marine biologist specialized in coral reef ecology and restoration. He has a Ph.D. in Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Milano-Bicocca and 6-years of experience working in a high luxury resort in the Maldives as an in-house marine biology researcher. His research focus is to study the role of coral predators as stressors on reefs, the use of technology such as drones and underwater photogrammetry to monitor reefs, and the improvement of resilience of coral reefs through restoration. Additionally, his goal is to engage local communities and the tourism sector in the implementation of global awareness and conservation strategies in a climate crisis scenario. He is also a Divemaster with experience in research and scientific diving.



Roshni 200x200Roshni Yathiraj -  Scientific and Technical Field Officer, Reef Rescuers

Roshni is a coral restoration practitioner and PADI Divemaster. After earning her Masters of Applied Sciences in Marine Environment from the University of Tasmania in 2012, she moved to the Andaman Islands in India. For 4 years, she worked as an independent researcher, affiliated with the Nature Conservation Foundation, on a Species Recovery Program for the endangered Dugong. She was then engaged as Project Manager with ReefWatch Marine Conservation. For the 5 years that followed, she and her team worked towards building India's first artificial coral reef, assisted by mineral accretion technology. Roshni is passionate about expanding her understanding of fragile coral ecosystems and working towards conserving their diversity.


Sam RamkalawanSam Ramkalawan -  Project Coordinator, Reef Rescuers

Sam joined the Nature Seychelles team as the Technical & Advocacy Manager for the Reef Rescuers project. He holds a BA in Business & Psychology and since graduating has worked with the leading companies locally in the fields of Telecommunications and Banking, where he gained experience in Project Management, Data Analysis, and managing small teams. He took part in the Aldabra Clean-Up Project, for which he also doubled as a videographer and has since become more interested and involved in Zoology and conservation. He recently joined the Victoria Hub of the Global Shapers, hoping to make a positive impact through both his professional and personal lives.




Lize reefrescuersLize Fourie -  Land-Based Nursery Manager, Reef Rescuers

Lize holds an MSc in Aquaculture from the University of Stellenbosch, as well as a Post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the Gordon Institute of Business. Before joining Nature Seychelles, Lize worked as the project manager for the Seychelles Fishing Authority on their various aquaculture facilities. She brings technical expertise, project management experience, and scientific proficiency to the team.





Athina 200x200Athina Antoine: Technical Assistant - Reef Rescuers 

Athina joined the Nature Seychelles team in 2017 as a field assistant. Athina is from Seychelles. She attended the Seychelles Maritime Academy for two years and studied marine engineering, and is certified as a marine engineer. Her goal is to make a positive change for marine life, and that's why she decided to join the Reef Rescuers to start working in active conservation of coral reefs. She has now embarked on a career path as a biologist, specialized in diving.





Liz MLiz Mwambui - Communications Manager

Liz is an experienced Communications Specialist and has worked in corporate communications, public relations, marketing, public awareness, and advocacy. She holds an MA in Communications for Development from Malmo University, Sweden, and a Bachelor's Degree in Design from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. A confessed tree hugger, she has a long relationship with conservation non-profits having worked at East Africa’s oldest conservation NGO, the East African Wild Life Society, and as a consultant with several environmental NGOs and social enterprises in Kenya. 




corinne 200x200Corinne Julie - Technical & Advocacy Manager - LEAP

Corinne joined the Nature Seychelles team in 2020 as the Technical and Advocacy Manager for the Locally Empowered Area Protection (LEAP) project. With over a decade of experience teaching in Seychelles, she undertook a Masters in Sustainability and Management in the UK under the Chevening Programme, aiming to increase her involvement in community-based projects.





rafaelaRafaela Gameiro - Conservation Officer - LEAP

Rafaela joined Nature Seychelles as a conservation officer for the LEAP project. She holds a Master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Algarve in Portugal where she specialized in reproductive/courtship behaviour in fish. Rafaela first came to Seychelles in 2017 for an internship in coral reef restoration. After that, she went on to Thailand and the Maldives to get more experience in marine conservation where she also obtained her Dive Master certification. She returned to Seychelles in 2019 and worked as a project officer and science officer for local NGOs before coming to Nature Seychelles where her job is to survey both the marine parks of Baie Ternay and Port Launay with regards to the health and overall state of the reef, the mangrove and the Seagrass ecosystems, and involving the local community in management.


Jack LEAP 200x200Jack Coupland - Field Based Science Officer 
Having spent his formative years growing up on the coast of Kenya, Jack became obsessed with all things Indian Ocean and would take any opportunity to be in or on the water. This has led him to pursue a career in marine conservation, working with various NGOs and research institutions in coastal communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa. This experience has taught him the importance of engaging and including local communities in conservation efforts and he is thrilled to be a part of the LEAP team.


Eric Blais - Cousin Island Special Reserve Coordinator

Eric has previously worked as the conservation officer for Cousin Island Special Reserve and has returned as coordinator for the reserve. A native of Rodrigues, Eric also worked on the Shoals Rodrigues project and has a wide range of skills in marine conservation, fisheries, sustainability and MPAs.




Tagg 200x200Chris Tagg - Science and Conservation Officer, Cousin Island Special Reserve

Chris Tagg started work on Cousin in June 2021. Chris holds a BSc in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation and an MSc in Biodiversity Conservation from Bournemouth University. Initially coming out to Seychelles in 2015, he has since worked on several islands. His past experience in Seychelles has included invasive species removal, herpetofauna research, and volunteering twice on Cousin where he thoroughly enjoyed the work and island itself. When the opportunity to come and work as the Science and Conservation officer arose, it was immediately seized upon. Chris has a passion for conservation and ecology with interests in birds, herpetofauna, and invasive species impact. He strives to constantly develop his skill set to become a practical well-rounded ecologist.  

Dailus 200x200Dailus Laurence - Chief Warden, Cousin Island Special Reserve

Dailus has been with Nature Seychelles for seven years, starting off as a warden, and working his way through the ranks to senior warden for one year, and later being promoted to the chief warden. During this time, he gained much experience in conservation both land and marine, and valuable knowledge on sustainable living on small island developing states. A graduate of the Maritime Training College, he is also a certified PADI advance diver and a past participant of the Earthwatch program in the Seychelles.




sarahhhhDr. Sarah Frias-Torres, Research Associate, Reef Rescuers Project

Dr. Sarah Frias-Torres is a broadly trained, fieldwork-oriented marine ecologist and biological oceanographer. Her research interests include (1) Effects of global climate change in tropical marine ecosystems, (2) Coral reef and mangrove ecosystem resilience, (3) Behavioral ecology and conservation biology of marine megafauna, (4) Life histories, reproduction, and parental care in fishes, (5) Marine biodiversity and, (6) Development of novel low-cost high-tech ocean sensors. Dr. Frias-Torres is committed in making her research available to the general public through science outreach, such as writing magazine or newspaper articles and documentary filmmaking.



Dr. Phanor Montoya-Maya - Research Associate, Reef Rescuers 

Dr. Phanor H MONTOYA-MAYA is a marine biologist specialized in coral reef ecology and reef connectivity. He has a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Kwazulu-Natal South Africa, an M.Sc. in Ichthyology from Rhodes University South Africa, and a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Colombia. Phanor volunteered as a scientific diver at the USAID/UNDP-GEF- funded coral reef restoration project in Cousin Island, Seychelles (Reef Rescuers) for 6 months, and in October 2014 he was appointed as the new Reef Rescuers Scientific & Technical Officer. Prior to this work, Phanor worked as a research assistant at the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban, South Africa, and as a coral specialist for the National Geographic Pristine Seas expedition to southern Mozambique. He has knowledge of marine invertebrate biology, coral reef surveys, coral reproduction and recruitment, multivariate analysis, ecological genetics, conservation outreach, and citizen science. He is also a scuba diving instructor and a commercial diver

Partners & Awards

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Our History

Since 1998.

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

@CousinIsland Manager


Roche Caiman, Mahe


We accept donations. Your support and generosity help us continue with our work in nature conservation in Seychelles. Email nature@seychelles.netdonate

Contact Us

Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 2519090