The Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) is a non-profit charitable organisation that was established as a public trust by the government of Seychelles in 1979. SIF manages and protects the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Aldabra Atoll and the Vallée de Mai and has the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, as Patron. SIF is managed by a Board of Trustees of 15 members who are appointed by the President. This board represents individuals and organisations from both Seychelles and overseas who are concerned with the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, and bring relevant expertise and knowledge to the management of SIF.

SIF is the longest established local organisation working in nature conservation in Seychelles and has taken a pioneering management approach by twinning the two sites. The foundation is mandated and dedicated to ensuring that the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Seychelles are well-managed protected areas where conservation, research, education and tourism are sustainably balanced. A major focus is on scientific research to direct, support and improve the evidence base for conservation management of the unique biodiversity and ecosystems of these two very different sites.

To successfully operate and protect two World Heritage sites which are more than 1000 km apart, each with their specific set of challenges, SIF relies on income generated primarily by entrance fees and sales from the Vallée de Mai. This is supplemented by project funding, grants and donations. Aldabra does provide some direct income through visitor impact fees but piracy in the Western Indian Ocean has compromised this source of revenue in recent years. SIF’s work with and management of these sites will continue to be dependent on visitor numbers and the generosity of our supporters and funders for the foreseeable future.

World Heritage

Across the world there are unique sites of inspiration and wonder that form part of our universal natural and cultural World Heritage. These sites are special as they have outstanding significance and value, irrespective of where they are located. Under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) the World Heritage Convention was adopted in 1972. This convention seeks to identify, protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage around the world that is considered to be of outstanding universal value to humanity. Seychelles ratified the World Heritage convention in 1980 and has two World Heritage Sites; Aldabra Atoll (inscribed in 1982) and the Vallée de Mai on Praslin (inscribed in 1983). Aldabra and the Vallée de Mai were inscribed onto the World Heritage List as natural sites as they satisfy several of the selection criteria set out by the World Heritage Committee. They are not only outstanding examples of ongoing evolutionary and biological processes, but contain the natural habitats of threatened species and are places of exceptional and universal beauty. For more details on these criteria please see the pages for Vallée de Mai and Aldabra.

World Heritage status brings greater recognition to areas of natural and cultural value and requests a global commitment to their continued protection and management. The Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) has been responsible for the management and protection of both of Seychelles’ World Heritage Sites for over 30 years. Guided by the convention and the outstanding universal values assigned to each site, SIF has been instrumental in the conservation and management successes of these two sites. Management plans, management effectiveness assessments and reporting systems set by UNESCO have been implemented and completed by SIF, and the local population are encouraged to engage with the preservation of this natural heritage through public awareness and outreach activities. The UNESCO sites also provide for a range of economic opportunities for Seychellois. More information on UNESCO’s World Heritage can be found here.

Board of Trustees

  • Chairman Hon Bernard Georges
  • Mr Aurele Andre
  • Colonel Jean Attala
  • Mr Guy Esparon
  • Prof Nick Graham
  • Mr Bernard Jackson
  • Mr Romano Laurence 
  • Ms Sheriffa Morel
  • Mrs Marie-May Jeremie
  • Ms Isabelle Ravinia 
  • Mr Paul Rose 
  • Sir Tim Smit
  • Dr Anna Spenceley
  • Prof Lindsay Turnbull
  • Dr Frauke Fleischer-Dogley

Partners and supporters

Long-term Research Collaborations

  • University of Zurich, Switzerland – Dr Dennis Hansen, Prof. Gabriela Schaepman-Strub, Prof. Arpat Ozgul, Dr Gozde Cilingir, Dr Christina Grossen, Dr Torsten Scheyer (research into the ecology, genetics and conservation of the Aldabra giant tortoise and its ecosystem; habitat mapping, vegetation and climatic research, paleoecology of Aldabra)
  • University of Exeter – Dr Christopher Kaiser-Bunbury (coco de mer and palm forest ecology and conservation; invasive plant management), Prof. Brendan Godley (turtle ecology & conservation, marine ecology), and MSc student collaborations
  • University of Oxford – Prof Lindsay Turnbull (plant ecology, island conservation)
  • Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent, UK – Dr Jim Groombridge and Dr Jim Labisko (conservation genetics, amphibian ecology)
  • London Natural History Museum – Dr David Gower (amphibian ecology and conservation)
  • CIBIO, Portugal – Dr Sara Rocha and Prof. James Harris (reptile genetics, biogeograpy and ecology)
  • University of Pisa, Italy – Cheryl Sanchez and Dr Paolo Casale (turtle ecology and conservation)
  • University of La Reunion – Jennifer Appoo, Dr Sebastien Jaquemet and Prof Matthieu Le Corre (seabird ecology and nutrients)
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland – Prof Peter Edwards (coco de mer genetics and conservation)
  • Dr Jeanne Mortimer (marine turtle ecology)
  • University of Seychelles