Seychelles tourism industry to learn about managing its environmental impact


An innovative 2-day program organized by Nature Seychelles, with Empretec Mauritius as workshop facilitators, aims to introduce practices that will help hotels and others in the hospitality industry to reduce their impacts on the environment, as well as make cost savings in energy and other systems. Entitled, “Adding value to your business through Environmental Management Systems,” it will be held on June 22 and 23, 2010 at the Nature Seychelles Headquarters at Roche Caiman. The workshop will be opened by Alain St. Ange, Seychelles director of tourism marketing.

This awareness and training program is financed by the regional RECOMAP project, “Implementing Environmentally Friendly Best Practices in coastal zones of the Indian Ocean,” which is being undertaken in Mauritius, Madagascar, Tanzania, and the Seychelles. In Seychelles, it draws the participation of members of the Seychelles Hospitality & Tourism Association (SHTA), which includes management and staff from hotels, restaurants, and guest houses, as well of other organizations, private representatives, and government officers.

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The program will cover several modules to do with introducing what is known as EMS – Environmental Management Systems – in tourism businesses. EMS forms an important part of international environmental certifications and standards like the ISO system. Dr. Nirmal Shah the chief executive of Nature Seychelles who has had experience in using the environmental standard, ISO 14001, says that this 2-day program will enable participants to approach EMS as a do-it-yourself (DIY) activity. “Since many small to medium enterprises have difficulties in putting in place systems for the ISO standard, this program can provide a pain-free entry point into what could be the first critical phase of meeting the standard,” he said. According to Shah, a tool kit in the form of an EMS Manual for the hospitality industry will be also provided to participants to enable them to hit the ground running.

The program will be run by Empretec Mauritius (EM), which forms part of a network of 32 Empretec Centers worldwide under the guidance of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). EM is a non-profit-making, non-governmental organization, self-financed, member-based grouping of professionals, managers, and entrepreneurs. Nature Seychelles the local partner manages Cousin Island Special Reserve, which has won international awards for its long running eco-tourism program and for the successful marrying of conservation and tourism.

Please contact Nature Seychelles, Tel 601100, for more information.