Press release


December 7, 2010

In the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor, and on behalf of President James Michel, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean Paul Adam received a special award for maintaining eco safety, presented by Mr. Mendsaikhan Enkhsaikhan, former Prime Minister of Mongolia, in the name of the 1st World Eco Safety Assembly last Saturday.

Other laureates in this category included Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, UN Under-Secretary, and the Governments of Maldives and Cambodia. Kansas City Government, Canadian Richmond Municipal Government and the Chinese city of Guangdong Tanxia got the title of International eco-safety demonstrative cities.

The United Nations and more than 70 countries, including Seychelles, support the work of the International Eco-Safety Cooperative Organization, the main institution behind this event which was attended by more than 500 delegates. The Director General, Professor Jiang Mingjun, visited Seychelles twice and took the measure of the Government’s efforts to address eco-safety issues.

The landmark award ceremony was the culmination of the World Eco-Safety Assembly (WESA) being held in Cambodia.  The award for maintaining eco-safety has been presented to the President as recognition for his leadership in the field of environment and the long-standing efforts of the President and the Seychelles Government to foster sustainable development. 

President Michel has welcomed the award as recognition of the contribution that Seychelles is making towards global sustainability. The fact that the ceremony was held on the eve of the Cancun negotiations on climate change reminds the world of the importance for the international community to give more support to small islands in the struggle to achieve true sustainability: “Seychelles and other island states are facing a struggle for existence in the face of climate change.  This award highlights how much we have to lose if we do not take concrete steps on climate change.”

In his message to the Eco-safety Assembly, President Michel noted the increased economic pressures of the world should not be a barrier to addressing the issue of climate change: “While the developed world is right to be concerned about troubled economies.  The true challenge of sustainability lies in our natural environment.  If we cannot save our environment first, eventually there will be no economy to save.  This applies as much to the world economy as it does to small islands.  The only difference is that islanders see this as part of our daily lives.” 

Both Minister Adam and Ambassador Philippe Le Gall took the floor during the plenary sessions of the Assembly to explain Seychelles’ rhetoric-free position on what global warming really means for the international community and the necessity to strictly and pro-actively abide by the UN concept of “common and differentiated responsibility”.

Minister Adam, read a statement from President Michel in which he stressed the challenge of sustainability of island economies, the importance of shared responsibility in finding solutions for climate change, the need to enhance understanding of our natural environment and also the need for innovative Private Public partnerships to allow technology transfer in the fields of renewable energy.

The Angkor Resolution of the World-Eco Safety Assembly stressed the indelible links between nature, culture and human activity which have to preserved and nurtured sustainably.  The Resolution also attempted to propose innovative solutions to the question of sustainability as well as climate change, such as innovative financing practices as well as enhanced protection for global heritage and the natural environment.

The Ankgor resolution was adopted during the 3-day meeting in Cambodia and will serve as a template for the future work of the International Eco-Safety Cooperation Organisation (IESCO).