Climate Adaptation is Key to Saving Mother Earth

Most youths find topics like sustainable tourism, climate change, and environmental pollution boring. However, for 27-year-old Victoria Alis from Seychelles, these topics are the driving force behind her work as a climate space leader in her country. Victoria is a young, ambitious Sustainability and Environmental Consultant driven by ocean conservation and building climate resilience in her home country, which she says has inspired her love for the color blue.

She opened up about her connection to the coastal and marine ecosystem since her childhood, which serves as her inspiration and motivation to preserve the natural heritage and create a better life for both mankind and the ocean.

Victoria has four years of experience working with several local NGOs like Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF) and The Ocean Project Seychelles, which focus on attaining sustainable tourism and tackling issues that affect the health of our oceans and seas. She revealed that her life as an environmentalist has been an experience she would love to relive over and over.

Building climate resilience in a country effectively requires cross-sectoral inclusion, and this has proven to be quite a challenge. Seychelles’ financial dependence on the tourism sector and with tourism’s impact on the environmental and socio-political conditions in the country, makes tourism a vital stakeholder in addressing climate change.

This is why Victoria, through SSTF, has recently launched a project that looks at sensitizing tourism stakeholders on their vulnerability and responsibility in this climate crisis, making them understand their role and practical ways they can help build climate resilience.

Victoria during one of her engagements in Seychelles

COVID-19 has created many challenges in making the crisis a priority for the tourism private sector, seeing as many businesses have barely been surviving. Nevertheless, no matter what the obstacles or the circumstances, the private sector needs to understand that tourism will eventually crumble if we do not take appropriate action NOW.

Victoria has also worked with Sustainability for Seychelles, another local NGO that has played a crucial role in creating awareness and providing education on sustainable climate practices, across both public and private sector bodies. She recently conducted a workshop with students from the Seychelles Tourism Academy to inform them of the Nationally Determined Contributions and provide them with practical ways they can take action in their field of work.

While this space is becoming more and more dynamic, Victoria Alis believes there is still a need for more youths to get involved and take action at a local level. She highlights the need for accountability from all sectors and citizens in adopting climate-friendly practices and staying up to date with climate change trends.

She would like to see climate literacy and climate action mainstreamed across all sectors, adopting a holistic approach. She urges both the public and private sectors to invest in measures that lead to adaptation and build resilience to prepare for what the world has yet to experience.

Interview of Victoria Alis a climate leader in Seychelles.

Organized by Africa Youth Climate Assembly.

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