Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa the President of Sri Lanka, traveled to the Vallee de Mai on Praslin to enjoy the natural splendor of this internationally renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. The President was in the company of Vice President Danny Faure as well as Minister Mitzy Larue and Mr. Loustau-Lalanne the Chairman of SIF, together with Dr. Frauke Fleischer-Dogley the CEO, and the entire staff of the SIF Vallee de Mai welcomed him to the Vallee de Mai.
The CEO of SIF Dr. Fleischer-Dogley escorted the President on a short tour around the visitors center and thereafter spent a little extra time inside the forest. President Rajapaksa was eager to see the place that the Coco de Mer came from since he had planted that very morning a Coco de Mer nut at the Barbaron Biodiversity center found on Mahe. President Rajapaksa got the chance to see the female as well as male Coco de Mer trees and in fact one of the personnel at the Vallee de Mai exhibited the de-husking of a huge Coco de Mer nut. Dr Fleischer Dogley together with Mr. Loustau-Lalanne explained to President Rajapaksa the significance of this forest to Seychelles’ biodiversity and why it was very special. The President observed his visit as he signed in the visitors’ book placed at the entrance gate of the forest. Later When the President was asked if he had loved his experience, he commented saying that the forest is remarkably beautiful, and that he was very impressed with the destination.
Mr. Loustau Lalanne also revealed to the President an account of the latest anti-poaching move that was hosted at the Vallee de Mai to commemorate World Environment day. President Rajapaksa was fascinated and delighted that such activities were being conducted and well supported by the neighborhood local community. In addition, Vice President Faure talked to President Rajapaksa in regards to the significance of environmental conservation as part of Seychelles’ long term development plan
the vice president added that A clean as well as safe environment is the heritage as they leave for the good of the generations to come in the future . He said that Environmental protection will reap some benefits for the people and make certain the status of Seychelles’ as a innovator in environmental conservation. He pointed out that they are involved in resolute action at the national as well as international levels to encourage environmental protection plus conservation. Vice-President Fauresaid that they put specific focus on education, to ensure that the children recognize that the decisions as well as the actions being taken today will influence on their lives in the future.
Finally, a Coco de Mer nut and a book written by Dr. Dogley on the background as well as biology of this Coco de Mer where presented to The President. In his final remarks, Dr. Fleischer-Dogley said that they were privileged to share this internationally important world heritage site with a well known public figure like the President of Sri Lanka. He added that this was a pleasure to host him and that they hope that their token would remind him of the experience he had at this site.