The Curieuse Island Expedition base is home to the GVI Seychelles Terrestrial Expedition. Curieuse Island and its surrounding waters are a national park and have remained free from development over the years. Home to a population of Giant Tortoises as well as the most extensive area of mangrove system remaining within the inner granitic islands, Curieuse is of significant biological importance. Along with neighboring Praslin Island it is the only place in the world where the Coco de Mer palm can be found. A slow growing palm which produces the largest nut in the world, the Coco de Mer can be found all over the island. Curieuse also has several important nesting beaches for Hawksbill and Green turtles. The endangered Hawksbill is a frequent visitor and during nesting season can be seen dragging itself up local beaches during daylight hours.
It is with a view to protecting this amazing biological diversity that GVI has established a Terrestrial programme on Curieuse Island. As the expedition base is located in such an ecologically sensitive area GVI is determined to minimize our impact on the environment as much as possible and has instigated a number of initiatives with this in mind.
This month has seen the installation of a new photovoltaic system at the GVI Curieuse Island base, the first step towards achieving our goal of becoming carbon neutral. The solar panels are already busy turning sunlight into valuable electricity reducing our need to rely on a generator for power. Other developments include the completion of our new water catchment system, allowing staff and volunteers to collect rainwater. This is of particular importance as fresh water is extremely limited on the island. The harvested water will be used for numerous purposes including watering the organic garden that is starting to take shape.
Over the following months GVI will continue to develop green initiatives on Curieuse Island. The long term goal is to become carbon neutral and minimize our impacts further so that GVICurieuse is viewed as a working example of a model research station.
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