It’s a long way from the equatorial islands of Seychelles to the frigid expanse of the North Pole. But what happens in the Arctic affects us all, and this former Seychelles president knows it.
James Michel was president of Seychelles from 2004 to 2016. Since stepping down, he founded the James Michel Foundation to focus on blue economy (sustainable use of ocean resources) and climate change. He is the author of “Rethinking the Oceans: Towards the Blue Economy”.
Seychelles’s 105 islands are especially vulnerable to rising sea levels which are exacerbated by the loss of polar ice. So it is not surprising that Mr. Michel has become yet another vocal supporter of the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS).
“It is an honour and a pleasure to commit the full support of the James Michel Foundation to the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS),” says Michel. “In so doing, my Foundation aligns itself unreservedly with other like-minded organisations and individuals whose goals and objectives are to save our planet from both manmade and natural disasters. The Arctic—no matter where we come from and where we live—is the common heritage of all humans. Its fate and future have serious consequences for all of us, not least for Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). We are all too aware of these consequences.”
SIDS nations are particularly vulnerable to the heating of the Arctic Ocean and the loss of the reflective polar ice cap. Rising global ocean temperatures are causing mass bleaching events for coral reefs in tropical waters around the world. As oceans warm, air temperatures also climb and accelerate the melting of land-based ice in the polar regions. The loss of the vast ice sheets cause billions of cubic meters of water to flow into the oceans which contribute to sea-level rise and disrupt the lives of millions in coastal regions and island nations.
“As the polar ice caps melt, our low-lying islands face the imminent threat of being submerged and our people becoming environmental refugees,” says Michel. “Some, for selfish short-term gains and profits, through their reckless activities and actions, are accelerating this process at an alarming rate. We cannot allow this to happen.”
“We are honoured that President Michel has given his support for MAPS,” says Parvati. “Mr. Michel understands that we are all interconnected and that the health of our oceans matters for all life on Earth. The James Michel Foundation’s dedication to working together with people all over the world to protect Nature is truly inspiring. We are delighted to partner with such an open-hearted statesman to realize MAPS.”
The James Michel Foundation joins a growing SIGNMAPS coalition which also includes the Jane Goodall Foundation, Mission Blue, Climate Reality Canada, World Ocean Observatory, OceanCare, and much more.
Parvati.org is a not-for-profit dedicated to a healthy world. Its first order
of business is the realization of MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary,
an effective step to cool our planet and keep our oceans alive.