November 2015 – North Island, Seychelles is delighted to announce its recognition as a Silver Responsible Tourism Award winner for the ‘Best in Wildlife Conservation’ category, announced at a special ceremony held at World Travel Market in London to mark World Responsible Tourism Day (4 November 2015).
The ‘Best for Wildlife Conservation’ category awards operators and conservation organisations committed to conserving habitats. The judges recognised North Island for creating not just a luxury experience for its guests, but also a “five-star habitat for its endemic residents” which have either been reintroduced or have made their own way back to the Island as its ecosystem has been restored.
“North Island has been recognised for using tourism to recreate an ecosystem of considerable conservation value by eradicating the feral rats and reintroducing critically endangered bird species which are growing in number”, said Chair of the judging panel, Professor Harold Goodwin.
“We are extremely proud of this prestigious recognition for the decade and more of hard work and commitment that has gone into our Noah’s Ark Island Rehabilitation Programme”, commented Nick Solomon, General Manager. “Removing alien plant and animal species, and replacing them with indigenous flora, has helped return North Island to its original pristine state – an achievement which we have shown can be entirely compatible with establishing and running the world’s leading tropical island hideaway”.
North Island’s conservation success stories not only involve iconic species such as Endangered Seychelles white-eyes, sea turtles and giant tortoises, but also the less glamourous work of clearing invasive vegetation, and replacing it with seedlings lovingly grown in the Island’s nursery. Of the Island’s 201 hectares (518 acres), some 60 hectares (30% of the surface area) will have been restored by the end of 2015.
The increasing Seychelles white-eye population and the numbers of turtles nesting on the Island’s beaches each year are testament to the Island’s continued commitment to conservation. Being recognised as a World Responsible Tourism Silver Award winner proves that luxury tourism can go hand-in-hand with successful long-term conservation projects.
Click here for the full list of World Responsible Tourism Award winners for 2015.