Press release


February 2, 2013

President James Michel has been awarded the Sustainable Development Leadership Award at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in India this afternoon. The award is traditionally presented by the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, however as President Michel was not able to attend the award ceremony, it was presented by the Indian Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid and was received on behalf of the President by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam.

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Director General Dr RK Pachauri said that the Sustainable Development Leadership Award 2012 is awarded to President Michel in recognition of ‘his outstanding contributions towards sustainable development in Seychelles and placing Small Island State issues on the global agenda.’

“TERI commends President James Michel for his visionary and strong leadership in the implementation of sustainable environmental, economic and social renaissance programmes during challenging times, and notes the exemplary standard that this sets for everyone else in the global community. President James Michel co-chairs the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) which brings together world leaders to promote action on conservation and sustainability of islands. Under his leadership, GLISPA has mobilized political support for the blue economy and marine protected areas within island regions of the world. Sustainable development that reduces the vulnerability of Small Island States to climate change, food and energy crises remains at the forefront of President Michel’s agenda. His exemplary leadership appeals to the conscience of world leaders for the future of humanity,” said Dr Pachauri.

The President has said that he is deeply honoured to receive  the award and accepts it on behalf of the people of Seychelles as well as dedicating the award to them.

“Today’s occasion is one of special significance and pride. It is an acknowledgement of the decades-long cordial relationship of friendship and cooperation between Seychelles and India, and the strong bonds between TERI and us.  I also see it as a recognition of our achievement as one of the best governed countries in Africa, stemming from the hard work and commitment we have put in a human-centred approach to development,” said President Michel.

Mr. Michel noted that Seychelles’ resources are limited, but its people  have the will and the commitment to forge ahead and to lead by example.

“We have shown that by making the environment the central tenet of our development policy, economic, social and moral progress can be secured. In so doing, Seychelles will continue to show the world how peace, solidarity, compassion, tolerance and respect for the environment can shape the future of mankind…The TERI Award conveys a clear message: we cannot play politics with the environment. Let us pay heed to the evidence available and act now, before it’s too late.”

President Michel also said that he is deeply honoured to join Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as a past recipient of this prestigious award, in the quest for a more sustainable planet.

“It is a quest which finds resonance in the words of the Mahatma: “The earth, the air, the land and the water are not an inheritance from our fore fathers but on loan from our children. So we have to hand over to them at least as it was handed over to us.”

At the time of their tenure, former recipients of the award include the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Prime Minister of Japan,Yukio Hatoyama, President of the Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, President of Finland Tarja Halonen and Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, Shoichiro Toyoda.