Why: The Seychelles make up an archipelago of 115 islands, which lie two hours off the coast of Tanzania in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Despite mitigation and adaptation measures, sea-level rise, increased cyclone intensity and temperatures, and changes in ocean chemistry from will result in a less diverse coral ecosystem while the islands begin to disappear, says Sylvanna Antha, a research officer at Seychelles National Parks Authority. Ronald Jumeau, Seychelles Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing State Issues, is fearful that the Seychelles may soon experience similar climate change–driven devastation as the Pacific island states of Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Solomon Islands. “The very existence of small islands and low lying coasts is at stake.”
What to do: Board a Twin Otter jet from the main island of Mahe and set down on Denis Island, one of the northernmost islands in the Seychelles. Check into your secluded beach cottage at this private island’s estate, then get geared up at the dive center for encounters with white tip sharks, manta rays, sailfish, and dolphins in one of the most beautiful dive sites in the Seychelles. Circumnavigate the 350-acre Denis Island by canoe, spying on magpie robins and paradise flycatchers, and feel good knowing that few destinations take conservation more seriously than the incredibly self-sufficient Denis Island.
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