The Disaster Risk Management Division hosted the first Forest Fire Contingency Plan workshop, today, Thursday 28th March 2024 at the Seychelles Olympic House.

The aim of this workshop was to conduct a National Information Audit with key stakeholders and outline the sets of guidelines for the Forest Fire Contingency Plan.

Through active participation of the stakeholders’ present, DRMD was able to conduct a National Inventory of Resources for Forest Fires, including equipment that needs to be updated and purchased to effectively manage forest fires throughout Seychelles.

The workshop also provides the stakeholders the opportunity to express their past and current challenges in managing forest fires. The key challenges raised were the lack of effective communication devices and the lack of specialized group within the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Service Agency (SFRSA) to manage forest fires.

Other points outlined in this workshop were the need to re-establish and improve the maintenance of the firebreaks throughout Mahe and Praslin, as well as effective trainings of all key stakeholders in managing forest fires.

The amendments of the laws and regulations in regards to forest fires were also discussed, whereby, Mr. Steven Azemia from the Environment department, clarified the amendment of the Lighting of Fires Act, 2019, in regards to the fines and imprisonment of any perpetrator guilty of causing a forest fire. According to this act, anyone without a permit for lighting a fire other than for recreational use (barbecue to be specific) can be fine up to Rs 1,000,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 7 years.

The workshop ended in agreement of the creation of a national committee that will be active to prepare, manage and implement measures in place to mitigate the effect and cause of a forest fire in Seychelles.

Following this workshop, a national guideline for forest fire will be drafted with the establishment of the National Committee.

Representatives present were the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority, Zil Air Seychelles, Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Seychelles Police Force, Seychelles Fire and Rescue Service Agency, Public Utilities Corporation, Seychelles Land Transport Agency, Ridge to Reef project and Red Cross Society Seychelles. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *