Mural painting project to raise awareness of coral reefs and IYOR in Seychelles

Mural painting project to raise awareness of coral reefs and IYOR in Seychelles

A Mural painting project took place on 21st November at the roadside wall of Pointe Larue Secondary School to celebrate International Year of Reef (IYOR) in Seychelles.

Initiated by WiseOceans, this IYOR mural was a joint partnership between the Seychelles IYOR steering committee, the Seychelles Art Foundation and Pointe Larue Secondary School, with the aims to create an inspirational piece of art to raise awareness of coral reefs and IYOR 2018 in Seychelles.

It is also part of the programme of this year’s Ocean Festival Seychelles and a side-project of ‘UP!Seychelles’, an environmental public art installation project funded by the GEF Small Grants Programme; and conducted by Seychelles Art Foundation.

Around 20 students and art teachers from Pointe Larue Secondary School turned up for the painting, along with volunteers who also helped out on the preparation of the wall days before. Mr. George Camille, the local artist who designed the painting on the wall, guided the participants to use their bushes and rollers to bring this incredible tribute to the coral reefs to life.

Seychelles is a nation with the ocean at its heart. In 2016, Seychelles experienced a coral bleaching event caused by prolonged increased sea temperatures, with 60% of monitored reefs in Seychelles recording high or extreme bleaching. As life in Seychelles relies heavily on coral reefs, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change have declared 2018 the IYOR in Seychelles, taking the opportunity to come together as a small island nation to celebrate and protect the coral reef ecosystem.

Coral reefs are at great risk from increasing threats including pollution, destructive fishing practices, boat anchors, land reclamation and much more. However climate change poses the greatest threat to coral reefs globally. The Mural project is intended as a call for action – by doing everything you can to reduce your carbon footprint, conserving energy, not wasting water and eating less meat, you are directly helping to protect coral reefs for future generations.

The mural will not be realized without collaborative effort from the community; from Anba Lao, Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust and the British High Commission Victoria who generously donated funds towards the mural; to all the local artists, school students and friends who volunteered their time and effort to clean, prepare and paint the wall.