The Seychelles archipelago is endowed with a rich diversity of terrestrial and marine flora and fauna. The rich biodiversity is the result of a long natural evolutionary processes shaped by land separation, geographical isolation and island emergence. The flora is characterized by 1000 species of plants of which 250 are indigenous (with 85% being located in the national parks) and 750 introduced plant species.
The endemic fauna is characterized by 12 globally threatened endemic birds, 5 endemic bat species, 7 endemic caecilians, 5 endemic frog species, 2 freshwater fish, 2 sub species of terrapins with more than 20 lizards of which 14 species and subspecies are endemics. The arthropods are equally diverse represented by a diversity of insects, scorpions, spiders and fruits flies, many of which are endemic. Equally, the marine environment is diverse with over 1000 species of fish of which 400 are confined to reef, 55 species of sea anemones, 300 scleractinian corals, 150 species of echinoderms and 350 species of sponges. The protection of the biodiversity and the implementation of conservation measures remain a priority to the country.
Given the uniqueness and the paramount importance of our biodiversity, Government has set aside almost 50% of its land territory as protected area. It has over 80% of its land territory forested composing mostly of natural forests and plantations established for commercial purposes. About 90% of the forests are natural with plantations covering about 4,800 ha. The forest ecosystem protects biological diversity and protects inland water ecosystems and important watersheds. These areas are managed by Government, NGOs and the private sector. Government is also to increase the MPA to 30% of its EEZ, of which 15% will be no take zone.
The Ministry has the responsibility to ensure the protection and sustainable management of the country’s biodiversity in the face of increasing threats by natural phenomenon(e.g. climate change). Biological (e.g. alien invasive species) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. forest fires). It has to take appropriate measures to promote the protection, preservation and improvement of the environment, ensure a sustainable socio-economic development of Seychelles by a judicious use and management of the resources and promote public awareness of the need to protect, preserve and improve the environment. It has to safeguard its natural heritage for future generation.