How Seychelles is encouraging visitors to offset their carbon footprints
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By Seychelles News Agency
Seychelles has partnered with the Global Impact Network to encourage visitors to the islands to offset their carbon footprints with sustainable actions like tree-planting and buying locally made goods.
In a short ceremony on Friday to coincide with World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5, Seychelles' Tourism Minister, Sylvestre Radegonde, launched the initiative through a tree planting activity.
Global Impact Network is an app that allows individuals and organisations to take action anywhere and for any ecologically oriented cause.
Radegonde said that the world must act fast "to restore what mother nature has blessed us with."
The minister added: "Climate change impact is becoming more and more apparent, and each of us individuals through impact actions can make a difference. Tourism and biodiversity can become natural partners here in Seychelles."
The chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis, said the destination's objective is to encourage responsible tourism.
"As a proud, environmentally-conscious destination, this initiative is an opportunity for us to encourage our visitors to engage in activities which promote sustainable development. We want them to make an impact and we aim to make our visitors become Seychelles ambassadors when they return to their home, telling the world how our small nation is helping the fight against the global environmental crisis the world is facing, each one of us individually, one at a time," said Francis.
The app developed by Global Impact Network allows users to track, measure and showcase sustainable actions through fun and achievable challenges about real-world issues.
"Global Impact is the world's first social impact network tracks, measures and showcases positive impact for sustainable development. A tool that empowers, citizens, organisations and governments to change the world. I think Seychelles is taking a step in the right direction," said Tatianna Sharpe the chief executive of Global Impact Network.
Francis explained that the initiative aims to reach two main groups of visitors. Those that are already aware of the importance of adopting environmentally sustainable practices and those that can benefit from education on these issues through participating and activities.
"The platform will also encourage the local population who also want to know more about their impact on the environments. The Global Impact Network will be very beneficial to local suppliers, businesses, organisations and event organisers looking to increase the visibility of their products, services or activities," said Francis.
According to Francis, these visitors would be those who already have an appreciation for the environment and are already taking active steps towards reducing their carbon footprint.
"They are more likely to be young travellers and millennials looking for carbon offsetting opportunities. These could include anything from tree-planting activities, beach clean-ups, purchasing locally produced goods and services or even something as simple as educating themselves on relevant topics and issues."
The STB chief executive added that "travellers seeking for adventurous and authentic experiences will be able to access those and share their experience with other users. These travellers will more likely be comfortable using new technology platforms and are looking to use those to make a more meaningful contribution to society."
People using the app to showcase their sustainable actions in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – will be awarded four badges. These include the advocate badge, beach clean-up badge, tree planter badge - only available in Seychelles - and the local produce badge.