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Seychelles – Wikipedia

Country in the Indian Ocean

Coordinates: 435S 5540E / 4.583S 55.667E / -4.583; 55.667

Seychelles (; French:[sl][6][7][8] or [sel][9]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: Rpublique des Seychelles; Creole: La Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelagic island country in the Indian Ocean at the eastern edge of the Somali Sea. It consists of 115 islands. Its capital and largest city, Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932mi) east of mainland Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte (territory of France), Madagascar, Runion (territory of France), and Mauritius to the south; as well as the Maldives and Chagos Archipelago to the east. With a population of roughly 94,367, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country.[10]

Seychelles was uninhabited prior to being encountered by Europeans in the 16th century. It faced competing French and British interests until coming under full British control in the late 19th century. Since proclaiming independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, Seychelles has developed from a largely agricultural society to a market-based diversified economy, characterized by rapidly rising service, public sector, and tourism activities. From 1976 until 2015, nominal GDP grew nearly sevenfold, and purchasing power parity increased nearly sixteenfold. Since the late 2010s, the government has taken steps to encourage foreign investment.

Today, Seychelles boasts the highest nominal per capita GDP of any African nation. It is the first African country with an HDI score exceeding 0.800, and therefore the only country in the continent with a very high Human Development Index. It is the only country in Africa classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank. Despite its relative prosperity, poverty remains widespread, and the country has one of the highest levels of economic inequality and unequal wealth distribution, with the upper and ruling class commanding a vast proportion of the country's wealth.[11]

Seychellois culture and society is an eclectic mix of French, British, and African influences, with more recent infusions of Chinese and Indian elements. The country is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Seychelles were uninhabited throughout most of recorded history. Some scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. This assumption is based on the discovery of tombs, visible until 1910.[12] The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place on 15 March 1503, recorded by Thom Lopes aboard "Rui Mendes de Brito, part of the 4th Portuguese India Armada commanded by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama. Da Gama's ships passed close to an elevated island, probably Silhouette Island and the following day Desroches Island. The earliest recorded landing was in January 1609, by the crew of the "Ascension" under Captain Alexander Sharpeigh during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were said to be occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid on Mah by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Schelles, Louis XV's Minister of Finance.[13]

The British frigate "Orpheus" commanded by Captain Henry Newcome arrived at Mah on 16 May 1794. Terms of capitulation were drawn up and the next day Seychelles was surrendered to Britain. Jean Baptiste Quau de Quincy, the French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.

Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970.

Independence was granted in 1976 and it became a republic at the same time. It has been a member of Commonwealth.[14] In the 1970s Seychelles was "the place to be seen, a playground for film stars and the international jet set".[15] In 1977, a coup d'tat by France Albert Ren ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham.[16] Ren discouraged over-dependence on tourism and declared that he wanted "to keep the Seychelles for the Seychellois".[15]

The 1979 constitution declared a socialist one-party state, which lasted until 1991.

In the 1980s there were a series of coup attempts against President Ren, some of which were supported by South Africa. In 1981, Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries masquerading as holidaying rugby players in the 1981 Seychelles coup d'tat attempt.[15] There was a gun battle at the airport, and most of the mercenaries later escaped in a hijacked Air India plane.[15] The leader of this hijacking was German mercenary D. Clodo, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS.[17] Clodo later stood trial in South Africa (where he was acquitted) as well as in his home country Germany for air piracy.[18]

In 1986, an attempted coup led by the Seychelles Minister of Defence, Ogilvy Berlouis, caused President Ren to request assistance from India. In Operation Flowers are Blooming, the Indian naval vessel INS Vindhyagiri arrived in Port Victoria to help avert the coup.[19]

The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the requisite 60% of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.

In January 2013, Seychelles declared a state of emergency; the tropical cyclone Felleng caused torrential rain, and flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses.[20][21]

The Seychelles president, who is head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The cabinet is presided over and appointed by the president, subject to the approval of a majority of the legislature.

The unicameral Seychellois parliament, the National Assembly or Assemble Nationale, consists of 34 members, 25 of whom are elected directly by popular vote, while the remaining nine seats are appointed proportionally according to the percentage of votes received by each party. All members serve five-year terms.

The Supreme Court of Seychelles, created in 1903, is the highest trial court in Seychelles and the first court of appeal from all the lower courts and tribunals. The highest court of law in Seychelles is the Seychelles Court of Appeal, which is the court of final appeal in the country.[22]

Seychelles' previous president France Albert Ren came to power after his supporters overthrew the first president James Mancham on 5 June 1977 in a coup d'tat and installed him as president. Ren was at that time the prime minister.[23][24][25] Ren ruled as a strongman under a socialist one-party system until in 1993, when he was forced to introduce a multi-party system. He stepped down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, who was reelected in 2006 and again in 2011.[23][24][25] On 28 September 2016, the Office of the President announced that Michel would step down effective 16 October, and that Vice President Danny Faure would complete the rest of Michel's term.[26]

The primary political parties are the ruling socialist People's Party (PP), known until 2009 as the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) now called United Seychelles (US), and the socially liberal Seychelles National Party (SNP).[27]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union (AU), the francophone Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), La Francophonie, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth. From 1979 to 1981, the United States was involved in the failed 1981 coup attempt.[28] Under the Obama administration, the US began running drone operations out of Seychelles.[29] In the Spring of 2013, members of the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa mentored troops in Seychelles, along with a variety of other African nations.[29]

Seychelles is divided into twenty-six administrative regions comprising all of the inner islands. Eight of the districts make up the capital of Seychelles and are referred to as Greater Victoria. Another 14 districts are considered the rural part of the main island of Mah with two districts on Praslin and one on La Digue which also includes respective satellite islands. The rest of the Outer Islands (les Eloignes) are the last district recently created by the tourism ministry.

An island nation, Seychelles is located in the Somali Sea segment of the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600km (994mi) east of Kenya. The Constitution of Seychelles lists 155 named islands and a further 7 reclaimed islands have been created subsequent to the publication of the Constitution. The majority of the islands are uninhabited, with many dedicated as nature reserves. Seychelles largest island Mahe is located at a distance of 835mi (1,344km), from Mogadishu, Somalia's capital over the Somali Sea.[30]

A group of 44 islands (42 granitic and 2 coralline) occupy the shallow waters of the Seychelles Bank and are collectively referred to as the inner islands. They have a total area of 244km2, accounting for 54% of the total land area of the Seychelles and 98% of the entire population.

The islands are divided into groups as follows.

There are 42 granitic islands known as the Granitic Seychelles. These are in descending order of size: Mah, Praslin, Silhouette Island, La Digue, Curieuse, Flicit, Frgate, Ste-Anne, North, Cerf, Marianne, Grand Sur, Thrse, Aride Island, Conception, Petite Sur, Cousin Island, Cousine, Long, Rcif, Round (Praslin), Anonyme, Mamelles, Moyenne, le aux Vaches Marines, L'Islette, Beacon (le Sche), Cache, Cocos, Round (Mah), L'Ilot Frgate, Booby, Chauve-Souris (Mah), Chauve-Souris (Praslin), le La Fouche, Hodoul, L'Ilot, Rat, Souris, St. Pierre (Praslin), Zav, Harrison Rocks (Grand Rocher).

There are two coral sand cays north of the granitics on the edge of the Seychelles Bank: Denis and Bird.

There are two coral islands south of the Granitics: Cotivy and Platte.

There are 29 coral islands in the Amirantes group, west of the granitics: Desroches, Poivre Atoll (comprising three islandsPoivre, Florentin and South Island), Alphonse, D'Arros, St. Joseph Atoll (comprising 14 islandsSt. Joseph, le aux Fouquets, Resource, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Bancs Ferrari, Chiens, Plicans, Vars, le Paul, Banc de Sable, Banc aux Cocos and le aux Poules), Marie Louise, Desnufs, African Banks (comprising two islandsAfrican Banks and South Island), Rmire, St. Franois, Boudeuse, toile, Bijoutier.

There are 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group, south-southwest of the Amirantes: Farquhar Atoll (comprising 10 islandsBancs de Sable, Dposs, le aux Golettes, Lapins, le du Milieu, North Manaha, South Manaha, Middle Manaha, North Island and South Island), Providence Atoll (comprising two islandsProvidence and Bancs Providence) and St Pierre.

There are 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group, west of the Farquhar Group: Aldabra Atoll (comprising 46 islandsGrande Terre, Picard, Polymnie, Malabar, le Michel, le Esprit, le aux Moustiques, Ilot Parc, Ilot mile, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Magnan, le Lanier, Champignon des Os, Euphrate, Grand Mentor, Grand Ilot, Gros Ilot Gionnet, Gros Ilot Ssame, Hron Rock, Hide Island, le aux Aigrettes, le aux Cdres, les Chalands, le Fangame, le Hron, le Michel, le Squacco, le Sylvestre, le Verte, Ilot Dder, Ilot du Sud, Ilot du Milieu, Ilot du Nord, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Macoa, Ilot Marquoix, Ilots Niois, Ilot Salade, Middle Row Island, Noddy Rock, North Row Island, Petit Mentor, Petit Mentor Endans, Petits Ilots, Pink Rock and Table Ronde), Assumption Island, Astove and Cosmoledo Atoll (comprising 19 islandsMenai, le du Nord (West North), le Nord-Est (East North), le du Trou, Golettes, Grand Polyte, Petit Polyte, Grand le (Wizard), Pagode, le du Sud-Ouest (South), le aux Moustiques, le Baleine, le aux Chauve-Souris, le aux Macaques, le aux Rats, le du Nord-Ouest, le Observation, le Sud-Est and Ilot la Croix).

In addition to these 155 islands as per the Constitution of Seychelles there are 7 reclaimed islands: Ile Perseverance, Ile Aurore, Romainville, Eden Island, Eve, Ile du Port and Ile Soleil.

South Island, African Banks has been eroded by the sea. At St Joseph Atoll, Banc de Sable and Pelican Island have also eroded, while Grand Carcassaye and Petit Carcassaye have merged to form one island. There are also several unnamed islands at Aldabra, St Joseph Atoll and Cosmoledo. Pti Astove, though named, failed to make it into the Constitution for unknown reasons.

The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small,[31] classified by Kppen-Geiger system as tropical rain forest (Af). The temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures on Mah vary from 24 to 30C (75 to 86F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900mm (114in) annually at Victoria to 3,600mm (142in) on the mountain slopes. Precipitation is somewhat less on the other islands.[32]

During the coolest months, July and August, the average low is about 24C (75F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31C (88F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.[32]

Clockwise from top left: Seychelles Paradise-flycatcher, bird flocks Bird Island Seychelles, an Aldabra giant tortoise

Seychelles is among the world's leading countries to protect lands for threatened species, allocating 42% of its territory for conservation.[35] Like many fragile island ecosystems, Seychelles saw the loss of biodiversity when humans first settled in the area, including the disappearance of most of the giant tortoises from the granitic islands, the felling of coastal and mid-level forests, and the extinction of species such as the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles parakeet, and the saltwater crocodile. However, extinctions were far fewer than on islands such as Mauritius or Hawaii, partly due to a shorter period of human occupation (since 1770). Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles black parrot, the national bird of the country, is now protected.

The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species, with a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Particularly well known is the coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the "love nut" because the shape of its "double" coconut resembles buttocks, the coco-de-mer produces the world's heaviest seed. The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few locations on Mahe. This strange and ancient plant in a genus of its own (Medusagyne) seems to reproduce only in cultivation and not in the wild. Other unique plant species include Wright's gardenia (Rothmannia annae) found only on Aride Island Special Reserve.

The freshwater crab genus Seychellum is endemic to the granitic Seychelles, and a further 26 species of crabs and five species of hermit crabs live on the islands.[36]

The Aldabra giant tortoise now populates many of the islands of Seychelles; the Aldabra population is the largest remaining. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds. The granitic islands of Seychelles may support distinct species of Seychelles giant tortoises; the status of the different populations is currently unclear.

There are several unique species of orchid on the islands.

Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the world, notably on the outer islands of Aldabra and Cosmoledo. In granitic Seychelles the largest colonies are on Aride Island including the world's largest numbers of two species. Sooty terns also breed on the islands. Other birds include Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and Fairy terns (Gygis alba).[37]

The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded.

Since the use of spearguns and dynamite for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers. Coral bleaching in 1998 has damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery (e.g., Silhouette Island).

Despite huge disparities across nations,[citation needed] Seychelles claims to have achieved nearly all of its Millennium Development Goals.[38] 17 MDGS and 169 targets have been achieved.[citation needed] Environmental protection is becoming a cultural value.[citation needed]

Their government's Seychelles Climate Guide describes the nation's climate as rainy, with a dry season with an ocean economy in the ocean regions. The Southeast Trades is on the decline but still fairly strong.[39] Reportedly, weather patterns there are becoming less predictable.[40]

When the British gained control of the islands during the Napoleonic Wars, they allowed the French upper class to retain their land. Both the French and British settlers used enslaved Africans, and although the British prohibited slavery in 1835, African workers continued to come. Thus the Gran blan ("big whites") of French origin dominated economic and political life. The British administration employed Indians on indentured servitude to the same degree as in Mauritius resulting in a small Indian population. The Indians, like a similar minority of Chinese, were confined to a merchant class.[41]

Through harmonious socioeconomic policies and developments[citation needed] over the years, today Seychelles is described as a fusion of peoples and cultures. Numerous Seychellois are considered multiracial: blending from African, Asian and European descent to create a modern creole culture. Evidence of this harmonious blend is also revealed in Seychellois food, incorporating various aspects of French, Chinese, Indian and African cuisine.

As the islands of the Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois descend from people who immigrated, of which the largest ethnic groups were those of African, French, Indian and Chinese origin. The median age of the Seychellois is 32 years.[42]

French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French. However, nowadays the language is often laced with English words and phrases. Including second-language speakers, Seychellois Creole is the most-spoken official language in the Seychelles, followed by French and English.[43] 91% of the population speaks Seychelles Creole, 5.1% speaks English and 0.7% French.[43] Most business and official meetings are conducted in English and nearly all official websites are in English. National Assembly business is conducted in Creole, but laws are passed and published in English.

According to the 2010 census, most Seychellois are Christians: 76.2% were Roman Catholic, pastorally served by the exempt Diocese of Port Victoria or Seychelles (immediately dependent on the Holy See); 10.6% were Protestant, (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecostal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6%).[44]

Hinduism is the second largest religion, with more than 2.4% of the population.[42] The Hindu following in Seychelles has seen an increase in the community with the organization of the Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam and the consecration of the Navasakti Vinayagar Temple.A reported 6% of the population of Seychelles are ethnic Indians, but only 2.4% are Hindus.[citation needed]

Islam is followed by another 1.6% of the population. Other faiths accounted for 1.1% of the population, while a further 5.9% were non-religious or did not specify a religion.[42]

During the plantation era, cinnamon, vanilla and copra were the chief exports. In 1965, during a three-month visit to the islands, futurist Donald Prell prepared for the then-crown colony Governor General an economic report containing a scenario for the future of the economy. Quoting from his report, in the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector.[45][46]The Indian Ocean Tracking Station on Mah used by the Air Force Satellite Control Network was closed in August 1996 after the Seychelles government attempted to raise the rent to more than $10,000,000 per year.

Since independence in 1976,... per capita output has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labour force, compared to agriculture which today employs about 3% of the labour force. Despite the growth of tourism, farming and fishing continue to employ some people, as do industries that process coconuts and vanilla.

As of 2013[update], the main export products are processed fish (60%) and non-fillet frozen fish (22%).[47]

The prime agricultural products currently produced in Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. These products provide much of the economic support of the locals. Frozen and canned fish, copra, cinnamon and vanilla are the main export commodities.

Since the worldwide economic crises of 2008, the Seychelles government has prioritised a curbing of the budget deficit, including the containment of social welfare costs and further privatisation of public enterprises. The government has a pervasive presence in economic activity, with public enterprises active in petroleum product distribution, banking, imports of basic products, telecommunications and a wide range of other businesses. According to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, which measures the degree of limited government, market openness, regulatory efficiency, rule of law, and other factors, economic freedom has been increasing each year since 2010.[48]

The national currency of Seychelles is the Seychellois rupee. Initially tied to a basket of international currencies, it was depegged and allowed to be devalued and float freely in 2008 on the presumed hopes of attracting further foreign investment in the Seychelles economy.

In 1971, with the opening of Seychelles International Airport, tourism became a significant industry, essentially dividing the economy into plantations and tourism. The tourism sector paid better, and the plantation economy could only expand so far. The plantation sector of the economy declined in prominence, and tourism became the primary industry of Seychelles.

In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. These incentives have given rise to an enormous amount of investment in real estate projects and new resort properties, such as project TIME, distributed by the World Bank, along with its predecessor project MAGIC.[citation needed] Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 19911992 due largely to the Gulf War.[49]

Since then the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, small-scale manufacturing and most recently the offshore financial sector, through the establishment of the Financial Services Authority and the enactment of several pieces of legislation (such as the International Corporate Service Providers Act, the International Business Companies Act, the Securities Act, the Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, amongst others). In March 2015, Seychelles allocated Assumption Island to be developed by India.[50]

Although multinational oil companies have explored the waters around the islands, no oil or gas has been found. In 2005, a deal was signed with US firm Petroquest, giving it exploration rights to about 30,000km2 around Constant, Topaz, Farquhar and Cotivy islands until 2014. Seychelles imports oil from the Persian Gulf in the form of refined petroleum derivatives at the rate of about 5,700 barrels per day (910m3/d).

In recent years oil has been imported from Kuwait and also from Bahrain. Seychelles imports three times more oil than is needed for internal uses because it re-exports the surplus oil in the form of bunker for ships and aircraft calling at Mah. There are no refining capacities on the islands. Oil and gas imports, distribution and re-export are the responsibility of Seychelles Petroleum (Sepec), while oil exploration is the responsibility of the Seychelles National Oil Company (SNOC).

For such a small country, Seychelles has a vibrant art scene that encompasses painters, sculptors, writers and poets, artisans of many types, musicians and dancers.

The Seychelles has a diverse and upcoming group of artists who draw inspiration from the Islands around them.

A National Art Gallery was inaugurated in 1994 on the occasion of the official opening of the National Cultural Centre which housed the National Library and the National Archives with other offices of the Ministry of Culture.

The Minister of Culture then said that an exhibition which featured the works of artists, painters and sculptors was a testimony to the development of art in Seychelles as a creative form of expression and gave a view of the state of contemporary art in Seychelles.

Contemporary Seychelles artists trained in universities the world over since the independence of the country in 1976, particularly, have been free to express themselves in a variety of styles.

Painters have traditionally taken inspiration from the richness of Seychelles natural beauty to produce a wide range of works using mediums ranging from water-colours to oils, acrylics, collages, metals, aluminium, wood, fabrics, gouache, varnishes, recycled materials, pastels, charcoal, embossing, etching, and giclee prints. Local sculptors produce fine works in wood, stone, bronze and cartonnage.

Art in Seychelles, Then and Now Is a recently published hardback that provides a unique overview of both contemporary art in Seychelles as well as exploring aspects of the history and development of visual art.

Fifty artists collaborated in the project through interview and the provision of work which collectively articulates an energised and increasingly diverse range of outcomes.

Generously illustrated in colour, the book annotates the work of practicing artists through their own words and provides a narrative timeline dating back to the first habitation of the islands in the 18th century.

Music and dance have always played a prominent role in Seychelles culture and in all types of local festivities. Rooted in African, Malagasy and European cultures, music is played to the accompaniment of drums such as the Tambour and Tam-Tam and simple string instruments. The violin and guitar are relatively recent foreign imports which play a prominent role in today's music.

The lively Sega dance with its elegant hip-swaying and shuffling of the feet is still popular as is the traditional Moutya, a mysterious, dance dating back to the days of slavery when it was often used as an outlet for strong emotions and as a way of expressing discontent.

The music of Seychelles is diverse, a reflection of the fusion of cultures through its history. The folk music of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentationsuch as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau), European contredanse, polka and mazurka, French folk and pop, sega from Mauritius and Runion, taarab, soukous and other pan-African genres, and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music.

A form of percussion music called contombley is popular, as is Moutya, a fusion of native folk rhythms with Kenyan benga. Kontredans (based on European contredanse) is popular, especially in District and School competitions during the annual Festival Kreol (International Creole Festival). Moutya playing and dancing can often be seen at beach bazaars. Their main languages are Seychellois Creole of the French language, French and English.

Staple foods include fish, seafood and shellfish dishes, often accompanied with rice.[51][52] Fish dishes are cooked in several ways, such as steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked.[51] Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country's cuisine.[52][53]

Additional food staples include coconut, breadfruit, mangoes and kordonnyen fish.[54] Dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers.[54]

The main daily newspaper is the Seychelles Nation, dedicated to local government views and current affairs and topics. Other political parties operate other papers such as Regar. Foreign newspapers and magazines are readily available in most bookshops and newsagents. The papers are mostly written in Seychellois Creole, French and English.

The main television and radio network is operated by the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation which offers locally produced news and discussion programmes in the Seychellois Creole language. Broadcasts run between 3pm and 11:30pm on weekdays and longer hours during the weekends. There are also imported English and French language television programmes imported on Seychellois terrestrial television and international satellite television has grown rapidly in recent years.

The most popular sport in Seychelles is basketball, which has particularly developed last decade.[57] The country's national team qualified for the 2015 African Games, its greatest accomplishment to date. There, the team competed against some of the continent's largest countries such as Egypt.

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal.[58][59] Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children.[58] Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children.[59] Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.[58]

Until the mid-19th century, little formal education was available in Seychelles. The Catholic and Anglican churches opened mission schools in 1851. The Catholic mission later operated boys' and girls' secondary schools with religious brothers and nuns from abroad even after the government became responsible for them in 1944.

A teacher training college opened in 1959, when the supply of locally trained teachers began to grow, and in short time many new schools were established. Since 1981 a system of free education has been in effect, requiring attendance by all children in grades one to nine, beginning at age five. Ninety percent of all children attend nursery school at age four.

The literacy rate for school-age children rose to more than 90% by the late 1980s. Many older Seychellois had not been taught to read or write in their childhood; adult education classes helped raise adult literacy from 60% to a claimed 100% in 2014.

There are a total of 68 schools in Seychelles. The public school system consists of 23 crches, 25 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. They are located on Mah, Praslin, La Digue and Silhouette. Additionally, there are three private schools: cole Franaise, International School and the independent school. All the private schools are on Mah, and the International School has a branch on Praslin. There are seven post-secondary (non-tertiary) schools: the Seychelles Polytechnic, School of Advanced Level Studies, Seychelles Tourism Academy, University of Seychelles Education, Seychelles Institute of Technology, Maritime Training Center, Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Center and the National Institute for Health and Social Studies.

The administration launched plans to open a university in an attempt to slow down the brain drain that has occurred. University of Seychelles, initiated in conjunction with the University of London, opened on 17 September 2009 in three locations, and offers qualifications from the University of London.

The Military of Seychelles is the Seychelles People's Defence Force which consists of a number of distinct branches: an Infantry Unit and Coast Guard, Air Force and a Presidential Protection Unit. India has played and continues to play a key role developing the military of Seychelles. After handing over two SDB Mk5 patrol vessels built by GRSE, the INS Tarasa and INS Tarmugli, to the Seychelles Coast Guard, which were subsequently renamed SCG Constant and SCG Topaz, India also gifted a Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.[60] India also signed a pact to develop Assumption Island, one of the 115 islands that make up the country. Spread over 11km2 (4sqmi), it is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar. The island is being leased for the development of strategic assets by India.[61] In 2018, Seychelles signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.[62][63]

In 2014, Seychelles had the highest incarceration rate in the world of 799 prisoners per 100,000 population, exceeding the United States' rate by 15%.[64] However, the country's actual population is less than 100,000; as of September 2014, Seychelles had 735 actual prisoners, 6% of whom were female, incarcerated in three prisons.[65]

Seychelles is a key participant in the fight against Indian Ocean piracy primarily committed by Somali pirates.[66] Former president James Michel said that piracy costs between $7million $12million a year to the international community: "The pirates cost 4% of the Seychelles GDP, including direct and indirect costs for the loss of boats, fishing, and tourism, and the indirect investment for the maritime security." These are factors affecting local fishing one of the country's main national resources which had a 46% loss in 20082009.[66] International contributions of patrol boats, planes or drones have been provided to help Seychelles combat sea piracy.[66]

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Seychelles - Wikipedia

Seychelles | Culture, History, & People | Britannica

Relief and climateMah IslandMah Island is a tropical island in the Seychelles archipelago that provides inspiration for artists.Contunico ZDF Enterprises GmbH, MainzSee all videos for this article

Seychelles, one of the worlds smallest countries, is composed of two main island groups: the Mah group of more than 40 central, mountainous granitic islands and a second group of more than 70 outer, flat, coralline islands. The islands of the Mah group are rocky and typically have a narrow coastal strip and a central range of hills. The overall aspect of those islands, with their lush tropical vegetation, is that of high hanging gardens overlooking silver-white beaches and clear lagoons. The highest point in Seychelles, Morne Seychellois (2,969 feet [905 metres]), situated on Mah, is located within this mountainous island group. The coralline islands, rising only a few feet above sea level, are flat with elevated coral reefs at different stages of formation. These islands are largely waterless, and very few have a resident population.

The climate is tropical oceanic, with little temperature variation during the year. Daily temperatures rise to the mid-80s F (low 30s C) in the afternoon and fall to the low 70s F (low 20s C) at night. Precipitation levels vary greatly from island to island; on Mah, annual precipitation ranges from 90 inches (2,300 mm) at sea level to 140 inches (3,560 mm) on the mountain slopes. Humidity is persistently high but is ameliorated somewhat in locations windward of the prevailing southeast trade winds.

Of the roughly 200 plant species found in Seychelles, some 80 are unique to the islands, including screw pines (see pandanus), several varieties of jellyfish trees, latanier palms, the bois rouge, the bois de fer, Wrights gardenia, and the most famous, the coco de mer. The coco de merwhich is found on only two islandsproduces a fruit that is one of the largest and heaviest known and is valued by a number of Asian cultures for believed aphrodisiac, medicinal, mystic, and other properties. The Seychellois government closely monitors the quantity and status of the trees, and, although commerce is regulated to prevent overharvesting, poaching is a concern.

Wildlife includes a remarkably diverse array of marine life, including more than 900 identified species of fish; green sea turtles and giant tortoises also inhabit the islands. Endemic species include birds such as Seychelles bulbuls and cave-dwelling Seychelles swiftlets; several species of local tree frogs, snails, and wormlike caecilians; Seychelles wolf snakes and house snakes; tiger chameleons; and others. Endemic mammals are few; both fruit bats (Pteropus seychellensis) and Seychelles sheath-tailed bats (Coleura seychellensis) are endemic to the islands. Indian mynahs, barn owls, and tenrecs (small shrewlike or hedgehoglike mammals introduced from Madagascar) are also found.

Considerable efforts have been made to preserve the islands marked biodiversity. Seychelles government has established several nature preserves and marine parks, including the Aldabra Islands and Valle de Mai National Park, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Aldabra Islands, a large atoll, are the site of a preserve inhabited by tens of thousands of giant tortoises, the worlds oldest living creatures, which government conservation efforts have helped rescue from the brink of extinction. Valle de Mai National Park is the only place where all six of the palm species endemic to Seychelles, including the coco de mer, may be found together. Cousin Island is home to a sanctuary for land birds, many endemic to the islands, including the Seychelles sunbird (a type of hummingbird) and the Seychelles brush warbler. The nearby Cousine Island is part private resort and part nature preserve, noted for its sea turtles, giant tortoises, and assorted land birds. Bird Island is the breeding ground for millions of terns, turtle doves, shearwaters, frigate birds, and other seabirds that flock there each year.

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Seychelles | Culture, History, & People | Britannica

British Family Of Four Relocates To Tiny Island In The Seychelles – Scuba Diver Magazine

Karolina and Barry Seath, together with their daughters seven-year-old Josephine and 11-year-old Georgina sold their home in Putney, southwest London, and are moving to Moyenne Island, a tiny island nature reserve off the north coast of Mahe in the Seychelles.

The family aim to create a coral farm that will repopulate the nearby reef, which has been devastated by climate change and other human-related factors.

They have set up a charity, Coral Reef Conservation UK, after witnessing the destruction of the coral reefs first-hand during family holidays to the Seychelles.

Barry said: Every time we visited the Seychelles, we noticed the coral was getting worse and worse. All the tourists say the same thing they love the beaches, but are really disappointed with the coral. They expect these lush coral reefs, but what they actually find is lots of coral rubble.

We felt the need to make a positive change for ourselves, our children and the world we had largely taken for granted.

The Seath family hopes that helping to rebuild the coral reefs will assist in boosting visitors numbers to the Seychelles in the future, as its tourist industry has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their coral farm in the Seychelles will only be the second in the world the first one is on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is expected to take some three months to build the farm, at a cost of 25,000, but once complete, they aim to grow around 10,000 corals a year. These will be nurtured to a suitable size, and then transplanted on to the local reefs.

Moyenne Island was designated the worlds smallest national park in 2012, after its only inhabitant, British ex-pat Brendon Grimshaw, died. He bought the Seychelles island back in 1962 and lived there for four decades, during which time he planted thousands of trees and introduced native giant tortoises, which are still on the island.

Barry said: The island has an amazing history. There are stories of hotel groups and rich individuals wanting to buy the island from Brendon.

They told him he could just name his price, but he refused every time. He didnt want it to be developed.

We hope to honor Brendons legacy, by using the island as the venue of our first coral farm.

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British Family Of Four Relocates To Tiny Island In The Seychelles - Scuba Diver Magazine

ECOVIEWS: Tortoises of all sizes roam the globe – Gadsden Times

What do you think of when you hear the word "tortoise"?

The giant tortoises that roam like tanks over the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific and the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean? The gopher tortoises of the Southeast that dig long underground burrows to which they retreat for safety? The endangered desert tortoises of the Southwest?

According to research biologist Jeff Lovich, co-author of "Turtles of the United States and Canada," female desert tortoises eat rocks and soils, presumably to acquire calcium for egg production. These represent only a few of the 65 species of terrestrial turtles we call tortoises. To fully appreciate the diversity of tortoises on a global scale, consider these lesser-known examples with special attributes of their own.

In addition to inhabiting oceanic island complexes of the Galapagos and Seychelles, tortoises are native to North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Australias reputation as a home for bizarre animals doesnt extend to tortoises. No tortoises of any kind are found there. Several African tortoises, not as well known as the bulky American ones or the giants of the island complexes, are intriguing in their own right. Morphological or behavioral traits qualify some as unique.

Among the worlds tiniest species of tortoises are the five-toed padlopers. One from South Africa is referred to as the "worlds smallest tortoise." Most adults reach a shell length of less than 4 inches. Africa is home not only to the smallest but also the largest tortoise found on the mainland of any continent. The spurred tortoise, also called the sulcata, can weigh more than 200 pounds. They are native to the territory south of the Sahara across northern Africa.

One group, the African tent tortoises, are beautiful. Their highly domed black shells with bright yellow geometric designs are a colorful example of Mother Natures art. They are among the few turtles to be preyed upon by ostriches. These are small tortoises, reaching lengths only slightly larger than the familiar eastern box turtle. Box turtles are terrestrial, but they are not tortoises. They belong to a family of mostly aquatic turtles found from Canada to South America.

Box turtles are noted for an anatomical trait possessed by several turtle species; a hinge on their bottom shell allows them to close up completely so that their head and limbs are protected, tightly encased in a hard shell. The hinge-back tortoise of Africa also has a hinge mechanism, but one found in no other turtle in the world -- the hinge is on the back of the shell instead of the bottom. The males of the African padloper tortoises are distinctive in changing color during the breeding season. The front part of the face turns orange.

A favorite of mine is the pancake tortoise of east Africa. These little tykes live in rugged terrain with lots of rock crevices. Their shell is flatter and the plates thinner and more flexible than any other tortoise anywhere. Being stepped on by large hoofed mammals is one of their natural threats. When they feel the vibrations of an approaching herd, they quickly run to a rock crevice and wedge themselves in. This behavior also helps them escape predators that are unable to dislodge them. The leopard tortoise of eastern and southern Africa has a striking appearance, with juveniles and young adults living up to its name by having dark spots on a yellow shell. They are also found in mountainous elevations above 9,000 feet, higher than most turtles globally.

One unfortunate feature of most African tortoises, one they have in common with turtles worldwide, is that their numbers in the wild have been dramatically decreased. The decline for some is nearing extinction in the wild. Illegal poaching for the pet trade is a common threat for many. Unregulated land development is a continual problem. Unless these two problems are brought under control, we could lose some fascinating creatures forever.

Whit Gibbons, professor emeritus of ecology, University of Georgia, grew up in Tuscaloosa. He received bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Alabama and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Send environmental questions to ecoviews@gmail.com.

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ECOVIEWS: Tortoises of all sizes roam the globe - Gadsden Times

Which countries are open for summer travel? Here’s the list – CNBC

Many of the world's greatest travel destinations are reopening to international travelers this summer.

But not all openings are created equal. A handful of countries are letting in everyone, while others are inviting only a select few.

Here is a definitive guide to the countries that are now welcoming travelers or have indicated they will before August.

Do consider:

Some of the Caribbean's most famous islands are already open, including Antigua,Jamaica,the U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Lucia.

The Bahamas officially reopens its borders on July 1.

Per Breiehagen

On June 15, theBahamaswelcomed yachts and private flights; everyone else can join from July 1. Bermuda is opening its borders to travelers who comply with these measureson July 1. Also on the first day of July, Aruba welcomes residents of Canada, Europe and other Caribbean islands (excluding the Dominican Republic and Haiti); Americans can join on July 10.

Puerto Rico's borders open on July 15.Travelers to Turks and Caicos will need to wait a little longer; it opens July 22.

Other islands are more commitment-phobic.Keith Mitchell, the prime minister of Grenada,posted on Facebook that the country is considering June 30 as a "possible date for reopening." The French isle of Saint Martin indicated visitors could come as early as July 1, but nothing official has been announced.

Note: Some islands, including St. Lucia and Bermuda, are requiring negative Covid-19 tests within 48 to 72 hours before departure.

After a patchwork of internal border announcements in May, the EU announced Wednesday that non-Europeans would be allowed to enter from July 1.

The travel ban will be lifted "gradually and partially," said European Commission Vice President Josep Borrell. Americans are not expected to make the first cut, instead the Commission recommended lifting travel restrictions for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia first.

Regarding internal borders, Italy and Bulgaria have alreadyreopened their borders to residents of most European countries.Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia have also loosened regulations, albeit to a more restricted list of countries.

Italy has reopened its borders to most European countries but not everyone has returned the gesture.

Suttipong Sutiratanachai

In mid-June, the continent took a giant leap forward to reopen internally for summer travel. On June 13, Poland reopened its borders to EU nations. On June 15, Germany lifted a travel ban to 31 European countries, Greece to 29 countries (including Australia) and the Netherlands to 12 EU countries. Iceland, Belgium, Franceand Switzerlandopened their borders to all EU and Schengen Area travelers, though travelers from U.K. are subject to a 14-day quarantine in France.

June 15 also marks easing of restrictions among the Nordic countries ofNorway, Denmark and Finland.The countries are excluding Sweden, which has taken a more lax approach to contain coronavirus infections.

Spain moved plans to open its borders forward; residents of EU and Schengen Area nations (except for Portugal) can enter starting June 21.The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that includes non-EU countries like Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

A few considerations:

Asia is largely closed to foreign holidaymakers for the time being. Most countrieshave not announced dates when they will open, though the Indonesian island of Bali is said to be reopening in October.

Rumors that Thailand was opening to international travelers on July 1 were squashed last month when Yuthasak Supasorn, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said tourists may return in the fourth quarter of the year "at the earliest."

Opening July 1, the Maldives is allowing travelers in without new visa requirements and fees.

amriphoto

So where can you explore in Asia? Private jets and yachts are already welcome in the Maldives, and commercial airlines are scheduled to resume from July 1. After announcing testing and visa protocols, the country appears to be backing off those requirements for now.

On June 17, Taiwan opened its borders, albeit ever so slightly. Short-term business travelers from select Asia Pacific countries can enter (though shortenedquarantine requirements still apply). Japan is also allowing select business travelers from Vietnam and Thailand to enter as early as July.

Turkey has indicated it will be welcoming tourists in July, as has the Caucasus nation of Georgia (though who exactly can enter Georgia is unclear).

Sri Lanka is preparing to reopen its borders to all nationalities on Aug. 1, if individuals can produce proof of medical insurance, plan to stay at least five nights, and can show a negative Covid-19 test taken less than 72 hours before departure. Travelers to the "teardrop island" will also undergo a second test upon arrival.

On June 11, Cambodia announced foreign travelers could enter upon paying a $3,000 depositto cover a mandatory Covid-19 test, hotel stays (pending results or for as long as 14 days, should anyone on your flight test positive), necessary treatment fees and even a funeral (the latter valued at $1,500).

French Polynesia announced tourists from all countries can arrive from July 15.

The country, which includes Tahiti, Mo'orea and Bora Bora, is requiring travelers to have either a negative Covid-19 test (administered 72 hours before departure) or an "immunity certificate" that proves you've recovered from a previous infection. Travelers may be retested during their stay.

Travel to the U.S. is prohibited for some nationalities; all others may be subject to state-mandated quarantines, such as Hawaii's 14-day quarantine requirement that was extended this week to July 31.

Canada has two-week quarantine requirements too. The border closure for nonessential travel between the U.S. and Canada has been extended through July 21, though it's reported some Americans are entering via a "loophole" that allows travelers to transit through Canada in order to drive to Alaska.

The Riviera Maya in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo is open to international travelers.

Marianna Massey

Mexico is opening state by state, and Quintana Roo home to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum opened this week. Los Cabos officially reopened on June 15, and flights from major U.S. cities, such as Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago, are scheduled to resume in late June to July.

Mexico's travel industry has been hindered by a joint agreement between Mexico and the U.S. that restricts nonessential travel until July 21. Mexico has also been named one of seven coronavirus "international hot spots" a list that also includes the United States.

From Israel to Qatar, much of the Middle East is not open for travel yet.

A trip to Dubai may be possible in the latter half of the summer. It's reported to be opening sometime between July to September.

Popular African tourist destinations, such as Morocco and South Africa, have not announced plans to loosen border restrictions yet.

After widespread reports that South Africa wouldn't open until 2021, the country's tourism officials clarified this week that this was a "worst-case scenario" and that it hopes to welcome travelers by September.

Last week, the Seychelles opened to tourists arriving on a private jet, chartered flight or yacht.Plans to resume commercial flights are set for July.

Commerical flights are expected to resume to the Seychelles in July.

amriphoto

Tunisia is opening land, air and sea borders to residents from Algeria and select European nations, including Germany and the U.K., from June 27.

Tanzania unconditionally welcomed tourists from all nations in May, one of the earliest countries to do so. The country has been criticized for a lack of transparency regarding infection rates, as well as statements by President John Magufuli that the coronavirus could be cured by drinking ginger and lemonade. He also said the virus had been removed from Tanzania "by the powers of God" despite evidence to the contrary.

Much of South America including Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru remains off-limits to international travelers for the time being.

Colombia banned all passenger flights until at least Aug. 31. Argentina has a similar flight ban through Sept.1, though there is talk of bringing this date forward to July.

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Which countries are open for summer travel? Here's the list - CNBC

Here’s how much it costs to buy out an entire luxury hotel during the pandemic – CNBC

From cleaning robots to canceled breakfast buffets, hotels are pulling out the stops to ensure a safe environment for their guests and staff during the global pandemic.

But what about fellow travelers? Are they healthy, are they wearing masks and does it seem like the man in the room next door coughs a lot?

For those who don't want to worry about these concerns and who can afford it a new trend is emerging. The hotel "buyout" secures the entire premises the rooms, restaurants, pool, spa and more solely for your traveling group. And more and more hotels are promoting the option to entice affluent clientele to travel this year.

Cost: 7,000 euros ($7,885) a night

Built in 1180, Kilkea Castle has a richly-detailed history of owners and inhabitants.

Courtesy of Kilkea Castle

One group of up to 26 guests can book all 11 bedrooms and suites in this 840-year-oldmedieval Irish castle.

Located 45 minutes from Dublin Airport, Kilkea Castle has everything castles are supposed to have a manicured rose garden, grand salon, courtyard, horse riding, archery, falconry (always falconry) plus modern updates like a spa, hydrotherapy pool and 4x4 off-roading excursions. The immaculate 18-hole golf course is a nice touch too.

Guests who book the castle have the entire staff at their service and are assured total privacy in the on-site restaurant and bar. A stay includes breakfast, tennis, fishing and access to the 180-estate grounds.

When to book: Kilkea Castle is scheduled to reopen on July 2, though Ireland is imposing a mandatory 14-day quarantine on international travelers at least through July 9.

Cost: From $14,995 a night

Cayo Espanto has seven villas, each different from the other.

Courtesy of Cayo Espanto

Up to 18 guests can have exclusive use of Cayo Espanto, a 4-acre private island resort located 3 miles off the coast of Belize. The island comprises seven villas six on the beach, one over the water each with private dock, pool, butler service and beach area.

At $14,995, buyouts are "cheapest" in the summer and fall; the Christmas and spring rates are costlier. The rate includes all meals and snacks, most drinks, boat transfers and activities such as fishing, snorkeling and use of a sailboat.

To get there, international travelers need to fly to Belize City, take a short flight to San Pedro followed by a 7-minute boat ride. Alternatively, you can fly direct from Belize City via private helicopter for $1,200 each way.

When to book:July 1 was announced as the tentative target date to reopen Belize, but this has not been confirmed.

Cost: From $35,000 a night

Niyama Private Islands Maldives has two islands: Chill (in the foreground) and Play.

Courtesy of Niyama Private Islands Maldives

While the "one resort per island" rule in the Maldives is practically sacrosanct, Niyama Private Islands Maldives breaks the mold by dividing itself over two. There's Play for ocean adventurists and Chill for relaxation and spa seekers.

All 134 villas and pavilions on both islands can be booked for $130,000 per night, which includes all meals (or "full board" in Maldives parlance), a team of personal butlers, water sports, surfing and access to the kids' club.

For those who don't mind sharing a little, 30 villas can be booked for approximately 65 adults for $40,000 per night. It's not an exclusive buyout of the hotel, but this option also includes all meals and butler service, plus a lunch at Subsix, the resort's underwater restaurant.

Smaller groups can buy out Naladhu Private Island; 50 guests can book 20 houses all with private pools for $35,000 per night (for a minimum of three nights). It comes with access to a luxury private yacht for a day of snorkeling and island hopping.

When to book: The resort is now open. Private jets and yachts are already welcome in the Maldives, and commercial airlines are scheduled to resume from July 1.

Cost: 330,000 euros ($372,000) for one week, plus taxes

A buyout of the Six Senses Zil Pasyon gives you access to the entire resort, including the four-bedroom residence (shown here).

Courtesy of Six Senses Zil Pasyon

There is but one resort on Felicit Island the fifth largest in the Seychelles archipelago and that's the Six Senses Zil Pasyon. The hotel can be booked for exclusive weekly stays for up to 20 guests, though additional nights and guests are negotiable.

Granite boulders, elevated terrain and lush forests cover the island, which has 30 one- and two-bedroom villas and two secluded residences. All meals are included as are access to resort facilities and activities ranging from blue water fishing and sunset cruises to guided snorkeling at Koko Island Sanctuary.

Felicit Island is located 30 miles northeast of Seychelles International Airport; from there it's a 20-minute private helicopter ride or one-hour motor yacht trip to reach the island.

When to book: The resort is currently open and accessible to international guests arriving via private jet, chartered flight or yacht. Commercial flights are scheduled to resume in July.

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Here's how much it costs to buy out an entire luxury hotel during the pandemic - CNBC

USS Carney Concludes Time as FDNF-E Asset with 6th Fleet – SEAPOWER Magazine Online

The USS Carney departs Naval Station Rota, Spain, for the last time as a Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe asset on June 27. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Lewis

ROTA, Spain TheArleighBurke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carneydeparted Naval Station Rotafor the last time as a Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) assetonJune 27.

USS Roosevelt, named after the 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, replaced Carney in the first of four scheduled homeport shifts to occur in support of theU.S.Navys long-range plan to gradually rotate the Rota-based destroyers.

Carneys role as one of our forward-deployed destroyers in Spain has been the cornerstone of the United States commitment to our NATO allies and partners and to our combined integrated air and missile defense architecture, said Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commanderof theU.S. 6th Fleet. Through all five years worth of operations and exercises, Carney Sailors set the bar high for readiness, interoperability and combat effectiveness.

Carney came to C6F on Sept. 25, 2015, as one of the first Rota-based FDNF-E destroyers under commander, Task Force (CTF). Carney began operational tasking in the C6F area of operation immediately upon arrival, conducting operations in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Eastern Atlantic Ocean, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf.

The ship conducted 55 port calls throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In an effort to maintain and improve efforts towards Partnership for Peace, Carney conducted six at-sea maritime training exercises and one passing exercisewith partner nations in the Black Sea. Additionally, the ship participated in 11 large-scale exercises in the European theater, improving relations with both NATO allies and partners to include exercise Sea Breeze 2019.

Working in 6th Fleet and under the direction of CTF 65 has been a phenomenal experience, said Cmdr. Christopher J. Carrol, Carneys commanding officer. We were extremely blessed for the opportunities to meet the objectives of the Fleet.

On her seventh and final patrolthisspring, Carney conducted atacticalcontrol shift from C6F to5th Fleet in support of national tasking alongside the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). The unconventional FDNF-E patrol included port visits to the Seychelles and to Cape Town, South Africa, which reinforced the partnership between the U.S. and South Africa. While transiting back to Rota, Spain, Carney became the most recent ship in naval history to circumnavigate Africa instead of transiting north through the Suez Canal.

Carneys departure is a proud moment for all of us, said Capt. Joseph A. Gagliano, commander, Task Force (CTF) 65. In addition to the crew departing with pride for a job well done, we are proud to return Carney in peak readiness condition. Both the ship and crew are ready for any mission.

Carney is scheduled to return to its former homeport of Mayport, Florida.

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USS Carney Concludes Time as FDNF-E Asset with 6th Fleet - SEAPOWER Magazine Online

Four Kids and It = one winning family movie – Boston Herald

MOVIE REVIEW

FOUR KIDS AND IT

Rated PG. On Amazon Prime, VUDU, iTunes and other digital platforms.

Grade: B+

Based on the book by Jacqueline Wilson, Four Kids and It features Michael Caine as the voice of a computer-generated creature that may remind some of the rabbit that Alice follows down a hole in Alice in Wonderland. Also in the film are Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey) as divorced dad David caring for his two children, Rosalind aka Ros (Teddie Malleson-Allen) and Robbie (Billy Jenkins); and Paula Patton (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) as Alice, mother of angry teen Samantha aka Smash (Ashley Aufderheide) and her little sister Maudie (Ellie-Mae Siame). When Brit David and American Alice surprise their children by announcing their relationship and taking everyone unannounced to a blended holiday by the beach in Cornwall, the children are not having it.

Although they are both 13 years old, Smash, who is loud and hostile, wants nothing to do with Ros, and the feeling is mutual. Smash wants to be with her father, who is in the Seychelles. Ros, an aspiring novelist, wants her father to reconcile with her mother, who is a university student again and finding herself. Nine-year-old Robbie, for his part, only remembers long silences and emotional repression.

On a walk on the cliff overlooking the beach, Smash falls down a hole and discovers a tunnel. The other children follow and find themselves on a small, secluded beach, where something steals one of Maudies shoes.

That something is Psammead (the P is silent), a mythical sand creature, who lives under the beach, collecting offerings. Psammead can grant wishes. But he can only grant one wish per day and the wish only lasts until sunset.

Also on the scene is a fun Russell Brand as Lord Tristan Trent III, one of the local gentry, who lives in an enormous mansion with a magnificent view, as he is wont to remind everyone, and is obviously hunting for something on the cliffs and beaches of Cornwall none too successfully.

Four Kids and It, which was filmed in Ireland, is, for the most part, a lot of fun. Director Andy De Emmony of Red Dwarf fame knows a thing or two about making dialogue sparkle. The actors playing the children are quite good, and Goode and Patton have a nice, if not scintillating, chemistry.

Caine is a gifted comic actor as he has demonstrated many times, and his personality comes beaming through the digital CG costume. Floppy-eared E.T.-like Psammead even resembles Caine somewhat.

Scenes in which Smash wishes herself into a being a pop star for a day are impressively staged. A fight involving a backhoe is not well staged or smart, and jokes about Alices terrible cooking grow wearisome.

When a 19th century version of Trent grabs Ros phone and demands, What sorcery is this? I had to laugh. But what on earth is a sequence in which Trent turns into a James Bond villain all about?

Throw in the E.T. ending and, yes, that tacky, kiddie cinema-staple, a gag-worthy gaggle of hugs. Still, missteps notwithstanding, the kids, er, that is the children (and It) save the day.

(Four Kids and It contains fantasy violence and rude humor.)

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Four Kids and It = one winning family movie - Boston Herald

Cabinet Business- 17 June 2020 – News – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

17 June 2020 | Cabinet Business

President Danny Faure chaired a scheduled meeting of the Cabinet today, Wednesday 17th June at which a number of legal and policy memoranda were considered.

Cabinet approved amendments to the Government Exchange Policy for Houses and Land.

Cabinet approved for the undertaking of emergency coastal restoration and rehabilitation works along the 150 metres shoreline of Amitie, Anse Kerlan, Praslin.

Cabinet approved amendments to the Companies (Amendment of Seventh Schedule) Order, 2020.

Cabinet also approved the Companies (Prescribed Forms) Regulations, 2020.

Cabinet approved for the gazetting of the Authorisation and Publication Bill, 2020.

Cabinet approved the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2020.

Cabinet also approved the Broadcasting and Telecommunications (Records of Customers of Prepaid Mobile Services by Operators of Public Land Mobile Network) Regulations, 2009.

Cabinet approved for the Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change and the City of Victoria via the Office of the Mayor, to enter into an agreement with the Syndicat Interdpartemental Pour lAssainissement de lAgglomration Parisienne (SIAAP) and the ECOGLOBAL Foundation Tanzania for the treatment of Victoria waste water.

Cabinet also approved for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in Science and Technology between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Seychelles.

Cabinet was briefed on a number of innovative projects conceptualized by NISTI that will prove beneficial in tackling the effects of COVID-19 on the country.

Cabinet approved the setting up of the National Structure of the African Peer Review (APRM) mechanism for the Republic of Seychelles.

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Cabinet Business- 17 June 2020 - News - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

President Faure chairs meeting with multisectoral representatives – News – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

16 June 2020 | State House

President Danny Faure chaired another consultative session with key representatives of government and private sector at State House this morning. This sixth session follows a series of collaborative meetings on the economic response to COVID-19.

During the session, the Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, Ms Caroline Abel, shared feedback on the points raised in the last meeting following her discussions with representatives of the private sector and the Board of the Central Bank of Seychelles.

Members also reviewed the ongoing implementation of the Financial Assistance for Job Retention programme (FA4JR) that has been extended to December 2020.

Representatives of the private sector expressed their concerns regarding alternative schemes for small and medium sized businesses who are also in need of financial assistance and urged the Government to consider these concerns.

Members present also commented on the proposed establishment of the Seychelles Employee Transition Scheme (SETS) to support those that will be made redundant as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19. The representatives requested a more in-depth explanation of the companys modality and structure to help them to better understand its objectives.

The next consultative session will be held next Tuesday 23 June 2020.

Present for the meeting at State House was the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Mr Didier Dogley, Minister for Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning, Mr Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Minister for Employment, Immigration and Civil Status, Mrs Miriam Telemaque, the Attorney General, Mr Frank Ally, the Special Advisor for Employment, Ms Veronique Bresson, the Chairperson of SCCI, Mr Oliver Bastienne, the Secretary-General of SFWU, Mr Antoine, the Executive Secretary of GETUS, Mrs Tina Hoarau, the Chairperson of SHTA, Mrs Sybille Cardon, the Vice-Chairperson of SHTA, Mr Allen Mason, Secretary General SCCI, Mrs Iouana Pillay, the Chief Policy Analyst for Department of Employment, Ms Susan Morel, Director General for Employment Promotion, Mrs Letimie Dookley and representative of the La Digue Business Association, Mr Jose St Ange.

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Exclusive Use of a Private Island at Six Senses Zil Pasyon, the Ultimate Playground in Paradise – Franchising.com

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June 17, 2020 // Franchising.com // For anyone who has been storing up an amazing celebration or get-together, Felicit Island, Seychelles is a private island to reconnect with each other far removed from the connected world. It is unspoiled yet enhanced with every creature comfort. A destination to be indulged and pampered yet isolated. And now this truly unique experience as in the entire island is offered for exclusive use for just 20 guests. Who to choose?

Set amid undulating and dramatic granite boulders with pockets of jewel-like beaches and untouched nature, Felicit Island is home to the incomparable Six Senses Zil Pasyon. It is a personal playground of uncompromising privacy from which to escape the chaos of todays world.

Comprising just 28 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom spacious pool villas and two striking residences, the island offers exceptional seclusion nestled among the tropical landscape with uninterrupted ocean vistas from private decks and swimming pools.

For a personalized escape, Six Senses Zil Pasyon is offering the exclusive island experience for EUR 330,000 for private groups of up to 20 guests for a one-week stay. The rate is subject to government tax and a service charge.

Included in the total island experience are:

The following activities are there for the taking (included once weekly):

Six Senses Zil Pasyon is located 30 miles (55 kilometers) northeast of Mah International Airport and is accessible only by a scenic 20-minute private helicopter journey or an exhilarating one-hour boat trip on a private motor yacht. For private jets, landing permits are subject to government approval and are the sole responsibility of the client to obtain them.

* Please note that due to government social distancing, rules and regulations may apply to excursions on boats and may be limited to four people per boat. These regulations are subject to change without prior notice. It is also currently prohibited to visit any other islands in the Seychelles based on new government rules due to COVID-19. Please contact the resort for ongoing updates to government policy.

SOURCE Six Senses

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Exclusive Use of a Private Island at Six Senses Zil Pasyon, the Ultimate Playground in Paradise - Franchising.com

COVID-19 Is the Biggest Test African Governments Have Ever Faced – BRINK

Empty streets in Cape Town, Africa during the lockdown from COVID-19. The economic damage from the pandemic has been widespread, with tourism, hospitality and aviation grinding to a halt in nearly all of the African countries.

Photo: Shutterstock

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Africas response to the coronavirus pandemic was quicker and more comprehensive than any other region globally. South Africa was one of the speediest, closing down its borders and putting residents into physical lockdown even before it announced its first death from COVID-19.

The pace at which African leaders acted undoubtedly served populations well. Only 100,000 infections were recorded over the first 100 days, among a population of more than $1.2 billion.

Since May, nations have been lifting restrictions in order to resume economic activity. Case numbers have been accelerating, with more than 100,000 new cases recorded in less than 20 days.

As COVID-19 spreads, the majority of African countries have no option but to prioritize economic needs over the health implications of the virus; the limited fiscal headroom of most African governments doesnt enable them to offer the same sort of safety nets that have been made available in the United States, U.K., Europe and elsewhere.

As with Europe, not all African nations have been equally affected by the virus. Mauritius is worthy of note. As of June 15, with only two active cases, restrictions have been lifted and the nations famous white sandy beaches and blue lagoons are once again open to the public; but the countrys borders remain closed. Mauritius is among five nations where levels of testing are the highest per capita on the continent. The others are South Africa, Djibouti, Seychelles and Cabo Verde. African countries have more than tripled the number of total tests completed from around 785,000 in May to over 2.3 million in June. Maintaining or increasing this momentum may well be crucial for avoiding a second wave.

While there has been a lot of speculation as to whether relatively low infection rates in Africa are the result of demographics, prior experience fighting infectious disease or simply low levels of testing and reporting, what appears to matter most are the actions of governments to encourage their citizens to alter their behavior and to avoid risky situations so as to reduce transmission levels.

The majority of fatalities more than 70% have occurred in only five nations, namely Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan, but the economic damage has been far more widespread, with tourism, hospitality and aviation grinding to a halt in nearly all nations. Other sectors such as mining, fast-moving consumer goods and agribusiness were also hit due to trade disruptions and government restrictions. Car sales have collapsed, hitting automotive sectors in South Africa and Morocco particularly hard. Among notable victims is Kenyas horticulture sector, deprived of export markets to Europe because of international travel restrictions. Small traders, the backbone of many economies, have not been spared, with incomes falling by 80% since the introduction of quarantine measures in many cases. Meanwhile, acute financial market stress, commodity price volatility and currency weakness has dramatically reduced governments revenues.

The most crucial aspect of the continents economic recovery will undoubtedly be fiscal policy support, a field in which some African heads of states are showing deftness and resolve. Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to cut interest rates, followed by Kenya, where the Central Bank has worked with commercial banks to provide relief to individual borrowers as well as corporate borrowers.

COVID-19 Response Plans in Sub-Saharan Africa

Across Africa, 28 countries have implemented tax relief measures, and 16 have adapted their regulations to encourage mobile money transactions. In Togo, the government introduced Novissi, a temporary digital cash transfer program that sent funds to citizens through mobile money. According to Anit Mukherjee, policy fellow at the Center for Global Development and co-author of the centers recent report on state-powered digital payment schemes, as of mid-April, over 1.1 million Togolese citizens 13% of the population had registered for Novissi with around 450,000 people (65% of which were women) proving eligible beneficiaries and receiving up to 35% of the minimum wage.

In the medium term, African markets must maintain fiscal deficits at sustainable levels while introducing measures to stimulate growth. Tough choices lie ahead for African leaders who must balance the impetus for self-reliance in food and essential supplies, with the need to increase regional and continental trade and integration.

Without greater regional trade, efforts to restore growth on the continent will be anaemic. Set to start on July 1, 2020, but postponed to January 2021, the commencement of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area will be a welcome stimulus for Africas post-coronavirus recovery.

Globally, we have seen welcome levels of support from traditional lenders such as the IMF, the World Bank, G-20 finance ministers and non-concessional lenders, particularly China providing both medical assistance, financial stimulus and debt relief. The G-20 group of the wealthiest countries in the world, including China, have granted 40 African nations a debt repayment holiday up to the end of 2020, and possibly longer. That debt is estimated at $20 billion in total, still leaving more than $56 billion to pay, according to Beijing-based consultancy Development Reimagined.

Choosing which industries to support and which to abandon in an effort to structurally transform an economy will be a hallmark of leadership in the coming months. Administrations will want to closely review the role of their parastatals and state-owned enterprises. Some SOEs will be called on to assume ownership of ailing private companies, while others will be quietly merged or abandoned.

The coronavirus pandemic has redefined risk and opportunity on the continent. After years of creeping liberalization, the state is now being challenged to step in as employer of last resort, insurer of last resort and possibly even shareholder of last resort, in areas where the market will not assume the risk. Judging what is viable and acceptable, and at what point state intervention crowds out private enterprise, is a debate that will occupy African societies over the next five years and beyond.

The continent that recorded the greatest increase in regulatory reforms since 2013 now looks set to witness an even greater wave of regulation. What emerges will be determined by the quality of dialogue between government and civil society and the administrative capacity of governments.

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COVID-19 Is the Biggest Test African Governments Have Ever Faced - BRINK

Tiny Tax Haven Accounts for $36B of Cross-Border BTC Transactions – Cointelegraph

Seychelles-based exchanges led the world in cross-border Bitcoin (BTC) transactions in 2019. What Switzerland is to the world of watchmaking, Seychelles is to the world of crypto exchanges.

The small island nation with a total population of less than 100,000, presents a perfect playground for the enterprises that are looking for a place that allows them to optimize their tax liabilities with regulators who operate with a light touch.

The report by Crystal Blockchain examined flows of Bitcoin between exchanges around the world. Seychelles exchanges led in terms of both funds sent and received.

International Flow of Bitcoins. Source. Crystal

It should be noted that the report considers Binance (BNB) to be a Seychelles exchange. In 2019, 12 local exchanges received $15.83 billion worth BTC from foreign exchanges and sent $20.83 billion worth of BTC. The 25 U.S.-based exchanges took the silver with $18 billion total cross-border turnover.

The most active international trade routes are Seychelles EU, Seychelles US, and Seychelles South Korea, each connection producing volumes in excess of $2 billion.

As regulators around the world move to tighten control over digital assets, it will be interesting to watch what effect it will have on the world of crypto exchanges. Whether more trading will migrate to the jurisdictions that offer better investor protections or perhaps, the opposite happening as a form of protest against the governments overreach.

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Tiny Tax Haven Accounts for $36B of Cross-Border BTC Transactions - Cointelegraph

All at sea: the future of cruises in the age of contagion – Globetrender

From cheap deals and health screening, to group charters and party ships, the cruise industry is working hard to rebuild its appeal. Anthony Pearce, co-founder of Cruise Adviser magazine, reports on what lies ahead

Since the beginning of the outbreak of the Covid-19, cruise ships have provided visual representations of the pandemics devastation the images of a quarantined Diamond Princess off the port of Yokohama in early February will linger long in the mind.

As the virus spread, borders were closed and lockdowns introduced, ships were caught up in a global panic and forced to take circuitous routes back to land after ports refused access regardless of whether cases of coronavirus had been recorded on board or not.

In April, in a piece that infuriated the travel industry, The Guardian described cruise ships as floating dungeons and ideal incubators of infectious diseases. The article argued that even prior to coronavirus, cruise ships had fairly common outbreaks of norovirus, a vomiting bug.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes these outbreaks as relatively infrequent, but does note that close living quarters may increase the amount of group contact, while people joining the ship may bring viruses to other passengers and crew, as appears to be the case in Australia, where infected cruise guests helped to spread Covid-19.

Some have since accused cruise lines of being too slow to cancel itineraries, with some ships continuing to sail after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus to be a pandemic on March 11. But, to put it in context: that same day, Viking Cruises became the first to suspend its operations some 12 days before the UK entered lockdown and others followed suit soon after.

Its obvious now, in hindsight, that the whole world should have acted sooner and taken different steps to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, says Andy Harmer, director of the Cruise Line International Association (Clia), UK and Ireland. Cruise lines took immediate and aggressive action in response to this crisis with policies and protocols that went above and beyond the actions of other industries.

However, cruises proximity to the outbreak and the criticism that has followed will no doubt have a long-term effect on customers willingness to get back on board.

According to a survey by The Independent in April, of those who have previously sailed, three in ten said they would not do so again. In lieu of a vaccine, cruise lines must ask: how do they protect their guests, deal with potential outbreaks in future, and convince customers to come back on board?

Prior to Covid-19, the cruise industry had been experiencing record growth: the total number of ocean-going cruise ships on order was estimated to be 124 an investment of about US$69 billion.

This had been spurred on by two things: the fierce loyalty of the cruise customer, who returns time and time again to the holiday type and their preferred brands; and the growing new-to-cruise market, which is estimated to account for about 40 per cent of passengers.

Richard Bransons Virgin Voyages has been particularly designed to appeal to this younger demographic, but its launch has been (unsurprisingly) delayed until at least October. With pent-up hedonism abound among more virus-resistant millennials and Gen Zs, it hopes to do well.

It is undoubtedly past customers who will provide the launchpad from which the industry re-emerges. Getting first-timers on board will be a considerable challenge even with cruise lines promoting incredible offers.

We certainly believe we can get new-to-cruise guests onboard and have seen this through a number of new customer enquiries during lockdown, Francesco Galli Zugaro, founder and CEO of Aqua Expeditions, a small-ship specialist, adding: We have always been very transparent with our guests on our strict health and safety policy; this will be even more important moving forwards.

Zugaro says that small-ship cruise lines and those offering group charter were well placed in future, noting that its ships only visit remote destinations, far removed from crowded areas, with a focus on nature and wildlife regions.

Similarly, luxury lines, who operate ships where space is in abundance and who target customers more likely to have avoided a loss in earnings during lockdown, may be better equipped to weather the storm.

Wybcke Meier, the CEO of the Germany brand Tui Cruises, told The Telegraph that she is convinced that in the long-term the demand for premium and luxury cruises will not change, predicting that we will see the demand for cruises return to pre-crisis level within 12 to 18 months.

Cruise operators will need to be rigorous in their sanitation procedures and inventive in their planning. Uniworld has announced that all guests will be required to complete health screening prior to embarkation; disinfectant wipes will be available throughout the ship; while gloves, face masks and bottles of hand sanitiser will readily available for all guests.

The luxury river line also added that shared food items such as butter and communal snacks such as cookies will now be served individually; restaurant dining will be reserved (to ensure guests are sat with the same people each day); and for excursions, the maximum occupancy per bus will be reduced.

Avalon, another luxurious river cruise line, has promised similar things, adding that it will reduce capacity on board; a sentiment echoed by Royal Caribbean International, which operates the worlds largest cruise ships. The lines president and CEO Michael Bayley has also said that, to begin with, there will no buffets on its ships. (Interestingly, Virgin Voyages banned buffets from the outset.)Carnival Cruise Line has said it plans to resume service on August 1 with eight ships less than a third of its fleet, which is the largest in the world noting that it is taking a measured approach, focusing our return to service on a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests.

For now, much is out of the cruise lines hands. The CDC, whose no-sail order in the US was first issued on March 14, originally for a month, says it does not have enough information to say when it will be safe for cruise ships to resume sailing and has not discussed timetables with cruise lines. For now, its a case of waiting and planning.

The cruise industry is resilient and Im confident that when the time is right, we will welcome back people who enjoy cruising and also newcomers, says Harmer. There is no doubt that the cruise industry will emerge stronger for the challenges we have faced and the lessons we have learned along the way in confronting this unique virus.

The important task for cruise lines and travel agents will be effectively communicating the enhanced protocols and measures that show customers the industrys dedication to the health and safety of guests and crew.

Although cruise ships might be able to get people on board, the reality is, they might not be welcome to unload their passengers when going port to port. In anticipation, the Seychelles has announced it will be closed to cruise ships until 2022 in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19 across its islands. Globetrender predicts that it wont be the only one.

Rheanna Norris, associate analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, says: The decision to ban cruise ships from visiting the Seychelles via its Victoria port could spark a major downturn for this tourism-reliant economy. Cruise ships do not only bring visitors to its 115 islands, but also encourages spending on entertainment and food service, alongside accommodation and inspiration for repeat trips.

Arrivals to the Seychelles via cruise ships quadrupled between 2017 and 2018, with further increases forecasted for 2020 and beyond. This new legislation will eradicate this increase and the islands will rely on tourism by air travel only.

According to GlobalData, tourism accounted for 25.5 per cent of the Seychelles GDP in 2019, making it one of the most tourism dependent countries in the world. Alongside existing travel restrictions and a global slowdown in travel, banning cruise ships is further bad news for this luxury destination.

This strategic move will help the Seychelles other key economic sector: fishing. As its port in Victoria is its only point of entry for the rest of the world, its priority is to not compromise the maritime industry and to protect the nation from the global pandemic at all costs.

The Seychelles still have a point of entry for tourism via air, and it has already embarked on the road to recovery. With assistance from the government, civil society and Seychelles Investment Board, tourism businesses can look to adapt to the future and inevitable changes in travel.

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All at sea: the future of cruises in the age of contagion - Globetrender

Seychelles prepares the reopening of its National Museum during the COVID-19 pandemic – India Education Diary

Signage put in place in the National Museum of Seychelles to promote safe physical distancing and hand sanitizing measures while visiting the museum Seychelles National Museum/Beryl Ondiek

Following a lockdown that started on 9 April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Museum in Seychelles is preparing to reopen to the public on 1 June 2020. In doing so, Seychelles will be the first country in the Eastern Africa Region to reopen its museum during the pandemic.

Following Guidance for Workplaces on resuming normal business issued by the Seychelles Department of Health, staff of the Seychelles National Museum have spent the last two weeks preparing the museum with preventive measures to protect employees and visitors from the spreading the Coronavirus.

Physical distancing is required within the museum spaces and information on handwashing is provided. Visitors are encouraged to use credit cards instead of cash, our ticketing agents will now work from behind plexiglas shields, and we will require temperature checks for all visitors to the museum.Ms. Beryl Ondiek, Director of the National Museums of Seychelles

The International Council of Museums has issued guidelines for reopening museums, which contain some basic measures that can be taken to protect the health of both visitors and staff, and are meant to compliment national regulations, which vary depending on the specific evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include tips for preparing for the arrival of the public, adapting the flow of visitors, strengthening health measures, restricting some access if necessary, as well as measures for reception and security staff, cleaning and conservation measures, and guidance for office staff.

UNESCO has been tracking actions taken by museum around the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including efforts to safely re-open to the public. Together UNESCO and ICOM have undertaken global surveys to monitor the impact of the crisis on museums.

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Seychelles prepares the reopening of its National Museum during the COVID-19 pandemic - India Education Diary

How can we avoid pandemics in the future? – World Economic Forum

The Seychelles, a string of 115 verdant, rocky islands in the Indian Ocean, recently announced in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that it would protect 30% of its turquoise waters from commercial use.

Safeguarding some 410,000 square kilometers (158,000 square miles) of the sea will benefit wildlife on the shore and in the water, including 100,000 giant tortoises and some of the worlds last pristine coral reefs. But, beyond helping such species, establishing the new Marine Protected Areas which was made possible through an innovative debt-swap deal will also bolster the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of the Seychellois, who number fewer than 100,000 but host more than 350,000 visitors each year.

Currently hosting only a handful of tourists stranded by the pandemic, the country is under a lockdown aimed at preventing the further spread of the virus. President Danny Faures decision to press ahead with this protection effort, even as his country deals with a public-health emergency, serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of nature to peoples physical and economic wellbeing and not just in the Seychelles.

The human, economic, and social consequences of the rapid and devastating global spread of the coronavirus will last for years. And with the pandemic still unfolding, the most urgent priority is to support those directly affected by the virus and its associated hardships.

But this pandemic has also provided us with compelling proof of how closely our fate is linked with the health of the natural world. And right now, our relationship with nature is broken. We have cut down forests, overgrazed grasslands, built ports and roads, and expanded our cities at a rapid rate, destroying countless natural habitats. At the same time, we trade wildlife globally, moving common and endangered species alike across the world as if they were inanimate commodities.

All of this is bringing us into closer and more frequent contact with viruses that can spread from animals to people, including the COVID-19 coronavirus and dozens of other deadly and debilitating illnesses, from HIV to Ebola. Likewise, our degradation of marine ecosystems causes blooms of pathogens that can cause potentially fatal diseases such as cholera.

The good news is that far-sighted political leaders and the United Nations are already formulating nature-focused action plans that could help to stop the next pandemic before it starts. These strategies include conserving ecosystems and wilderness that are still untouched by human activity, clamping down on wildlife trade (including by educating people about the risks of consuming wildlife), and restoring and protecting significant areas of land and ocean.

The world already safeguards 15% of its land and 7% of the ocean. But, for the sake of our health and prosperity, we must do more. Indeed, there is increasing agreement among countries that we need to return half the planet to nature and use the other half responsibly, and that we should start by protecting at least 30% of it by 2030.

The growth in protected area coverage on land and in the ocean between 1990 and 2018.

Image: Protect the Planet Report 2018

Both nature and people would benefit. Research shows that abundant animals, plants, insects, and microbes living in complex, mature ecosystems can limit the spread of disease from animals to people.

But natural places do much more than provide a safety net against illness. They also shield us from the destructive power of extreme weather, safeguard us from our own pollution, and supply us with food, medicine, and leisure opportunities.

The Seychellois depend on the land and sea for their incomes and food. Fishing employs 17% of the workforce and provides the population with a low-cost, sustainable source of protein. Tourism, which is concentrated along the Seychelles coastlines and is driven by natural beauty on land and underwater, employs some 25%.

Safeguarding 30% of the countrys waters will end harmful activities within the fully protected areas while bolstering sustainable fishing around them. And keeping the countrys natural places pristine including, in addition to its seas, its mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes can help to ensure that the Seychelles remains the natural paradise that draws responsible visitors.

When the worst of the pandemic has passed and the world embarks on the hard work of nursing its people, societies, and economies back to health, we must not overlook the need to care for nature and let nature care for us. A healthy environment is our best antiviral, and protecting more of it will help us to rebound from this pandemic and stop the next one before it starts.

Many countries are already demonstrating how we can build stronger bonds between nature, our economy, and our health. And the Seychelles marine-protection initiative offers hope that if every country, no matter how small, does its part, the planet can be safer and more prosperous for all of us.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with our Terms of Use.

Written by

Enric Sala, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society

This article is published in collaboration with Project Syndicate.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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Seychelles bans all cruise ships till the end of 2021 amid the spread of COVID-19 – Happytrips

Now, due to the spread of the Coronavirus, the archipelago announced that it will not allow cruise-ship passengers on its shores until 2022. Referring to this, Didier Dogley, the countrys Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, said that the ban is effective immediately, and will remain in place till the end of next year. Reportedly, the government will also introduce stimulus measures to boost the travel industry of the country, until it gains the impetus.

As per the news reports, the Seychelles Ports Authority welcomed the governments decision, which has been looked upon as a move to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 from spreading further. An official in the know-how stated that the cruise industry has been a catalyst for spreading this disease across the world, and that the cruise industry is marching toward a catastrophic drop in revenue because of Coronavirus spread.

Apart from banning the cruise ships on its shores, Seychelles international airport will also not open till June 1.

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Seychelles bans all cruise ships till the end of 2021 amid the spread of COVID-19 - Happytrips

President Assents to Legislation: Children (Amendment) Act, 2020 and Defence (Amendment) Act, 2020 – Office of the President of the Republic of…

19 May 2020 | Legal Affairs

President Danny Faure has today assented to two Acts which were passed by the National Assembly last week, and which were received today for his assent.

The Children (Amendment) Act 2020 was passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday 12th May. This Act provides for the further protection of children, for the abolition of corporal punishment against children, and for giving effect to the requirements of international conventions on childrens rights.

The Defence (Amendment) Act 2020 was passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday 13th May. Under the Act, the Seychelles Coast Guard will serve as a military service organisation of the Seychelles Defence Force, and will contribute to the defence of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Seychelles, particularly in relation to the maritime zones of Seychelles. The Coast Guard will also have the necessary powers for law enforcement relating to any crimes within the Seychelles maritime zones.

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President Assents to Legislation: Children (Amendment) Act, 2020 and Defence (Amendment) Act, 2020 - Office of the President of the Republic of...

Cabinet Business- Thursday 21st May 2020 – News – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

21 May 2020 | Cabinet Business

President Danny Faure chaired a scheduled meeting of the Cabinet yesterday, Wednesday 20thMay at which a number of legal and policy memoranda were considered.

Cabinet was briefed on the next phase of the easing of restrictions implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures concerned re-opening of the airport as from June 2020.

Cabinet approved employment strategies to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market.

Cabinet was apprised of the trend in welfare applications and spending levels over the last three months with February 2020 as the baseline.

Cabinet was also presented with the quarter 3, 2019 Multidimensional Poverty Index survey results.

Cabinet approved an additional 6 products to be added to the list of essential commodities, specifically for hygiene and sanitary purposes.

Cabinet approved for the drafting of regulation for the implementation of per second billing by licensed mobile service providers.

Cabinet approved for the signing of the Agreement between the Government of the United States of American and the Government of the Republic of Seychelles concerning Counter Illicit Transnational Maritime Activity Operation.

Cabinet also approved for the ratification of the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the communications procedure.

Cabinet approved Seychelles initial country report on the implementation of the African Charter on the right and Welfare of the child.

Cabinet approved the National Climate Change Policy.

Cabinet also approved the Seychelles National Sports Policy 2020-2024.

Cabinet approved revision to the Sale of State land and Land Bank Policy.

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Cabinet Business- Thursday 21st May 2020 - News - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

President Faure chairs meeting to address maritime security matters – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles

19 May 2020 | Defence

President Danny Faure chaired a meeting this morning to address maritime security matters, together with relevant ministries and agencies. The meeting follows on from measures announced by the President in response to the threat of COVID-19. It was held with the aim of reviewing the existing system in place and maintain effective maritime monitoring.

President Faure was briefed on the existing situation and measures currently in place in line with the Public Health Regulations, including the restriction of entry and exit into and from Seychelles via sea. The officials in attendance also detailed the limitations that need to be addressed in order to maintain the safety of Seychelles maritime space. Officials present committed to reviewing existing regulations and proposing amendments where necessary in order to guarantee stringent protection of maritime security. It was also agreed that coordination between key ministries and agencies involved would be strengthened.

The President reiterated his commitment to keeping the Seychellois community safe from the threat of COVID-19, and the urgent need to ensure the integrity of Seychelles Economic Exclusive Zone, particularly given its primary role as the countrys source of economic opportunities. He also emphasised the need to keep citizens informed of the measures in place on a regular basis.

Present at the meeting this morning was the Designated Minister, Mrs Macsuzy Mondon, the Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr Charles Bastienne, the Chief of Defence Forces, Colonel Clifford Roseline, Commissioner of Police, Mr Kishnan Labonte, Director General of the Seychelles Intelligence Service, Mr Benediste Hoareau, Principal Secretary in the Office of the Vice President, Ms Rebecca Loustau Lalanne, Principal Secretary in the Office of the Designated Minister, Ms Sheryl Vengadasamy, CEO of the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (SMSA), Captain Joachim Valmont, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Romano Songor, the interim Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), Mr Cyril Bonnelame, Commander of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Col Simon Dine and the Director for National Information Sharing and Coordination Centre (NISCC), Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Benoiton.

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President Faure chairs meeting to address maritime security matters - Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles


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