Thursday, 16 February 2017

New beginnings for GIF

My first month as Green Islands Foundation General Manager

New faces at GIF- Wilna and Terence 
It has been a little over a month since I took over the position stepping in a very big pair of shoes left by Arjan de Groene. January was equally a busy start for GIF with the monitoring of threatened fish species kick-starting  and with preparations to move on to the shooting phase of the mynah eradication on North island. As I came in, I jumped straight into things with the guidance and help of our Project manager, Jennifer.

Under the GEF-Satoyama project, GIF is coordinating a project looking at threatened species in artisanal fishery. This project aims to assist fishermen to propose co-management measures to the authorities on how improve artisanal fishery in the future. It is important to note that through the project, the fishermen themselves identify species of concern and will propose these actions.

Wilna helping out Frank

I got the chance to accompany Frank, project assistant for the GEF-Satoyama project at the artisanal fishing port to see some of the activities, conducted fish measurements and talked to our partners, the fishermen, fish processing operators who will  help us with data collection during the year. This project is  relevant for us as GIF, as it will help directly influence fishery management in Seychelles. I am still learning to tell apart the groupers by creole and scientific names so hopefully will be able to do in the next few months.

On North island, things are busy as the number of mynahs caught in traps start to dwindle. Preparations to move into the shooting phase are now underway. We recruited new volunteers to take over from Maxine and Jeremy in the coming weeks. Maxine and Jeremy have been on North Island for the last six months, tirelessly catching mynahs in traps and kept going even when catch were low. We thank them for their efforts and for taking the project this far. The mynah eradication will pave way for further conservation work on North island and I look forward to working with the dynamic team there namely, CJ and Tarryn to take this work further.

Wilna carrying out surveys in the field

I had the pleasure at the start of February to welcome Terence Mahoune, the new environment officer on Denis island. I worked with Terence previously on Aldabra and Assumption islands. Terence joins us with extensive field experience and knowledge and am sure he will feel at home on Denis. GIF has an agreement with Denis island to work on several conservation projects.

I wish to thank all our partners, board members, staff on islands and at GIF office that have welcomed me since I took on the General Manager position at Green Islands Foundation. It is pleasure to join exciting projects and work with an enthusiastic team to push forward sustainable development principles. I hope that with my extensive experience working with Seychelles environment and species, I am able to take GIF forward and contribute to making Seychelles industries more sustainable. 

New conservation officer on Denis Island

My name is Terence Mahoune, I am currently the new Environment Officer for Denis Island. My love for nature has driven me to pursue a career in nature conservation and as such I am proud to offer my services and expertise to Denis Island and Green Islands Foundation.
Terence in his new role

Previously, I had the opportunity to be involved with various research and monitoring projects at Aldabra Atoll, one of the World Heritage Sites, and over the year have gain many skills and built up my career and personal achievements. 

I embark on this new position with Denis Island with great enthusiasm and willingness to carry on with the great work that is being done here. The self-sustainability and ecotourism achievement on Denis Island is inspiring and environmentally sound. The restoration, rehabilitation and endemic species conservation project on Denis Island consolidate the status of the island, I am motivated with all that is happening here and  I am happy to be part of this team.

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