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Cousine Island  Hot Featured
Hotels 5 Green Stars
  
Information
Eco Stars: 5 star
Stars: 5 star
Location: Africa
Country: Seychelles

Cousine Island

Cousine Island is the only island in the region with a conservation based model into which the hotel structure fits. Cousine contributes directly to the regionsí biodiversity conservation simply by doing what it does on a day to day basis. The island is recognised nationally and internationally as one of the most ecologically important private islands in the world. The islandís ecologists are consulting to national and international groups on a wide range of ecological and conservation issues. No other private island in the region works at this level, and again this is testament to how seriously Cousineís own management treats the issue of conservation.

In this luxury, eco friendly property the owners believe that eco-tourism is not about sitting and watching, but rather that it should involve direct and tangible efforts. The four exclusive villas on Cousine ensure that there are no more than ten guests on the island at any time ensuring that human impact is strictly controlled and minimized. It also adds to the feeling of privacy, isolation and ownership. The Pavillion with views of the neighbouring islands features a bar, pool, library, lounge and airy dining area offering delicious food. The Island is also available for exclusive use.

Guests are invited to participate with the conservation work on the island to whatever extent they feel most comfortable. This can take many forms, from the simple but important act of the planting of a tree from the islandís nursery of endemic species, to assisting the island ecologists with the monitoring of critically endangered marine turtles or by simply relaxing on the beach enjoying the natural surroundings. Guests always leave Cousine with a deeper knowledge of environmental issues than they had when they arrived. Even if guests choose not to be involved at all, they are still supporting the ongoing conservation and restoration programs simply by visiting Cousine!


Green Star Rating Results:
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Overall Rating: ★★★★★ (5)

Energy Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - Cousine Island currently uses three 60kw generators that supply power to the island, as well as using solar power for heating water. It is Cousine Islandís aim to reduce carbon emissions by lessening generator usage and converting more to renewable power resources, such as solar power and wind power.

The Cousine Island staff have been educated in energy saving through the switching off any electrical appliances when not needed or in use and about the necessity of using electrical appliances in a conservative way. Guests are given reading material on the conservation efforts of the island, including energy saving. Lights are fitted with energy saving bulbs and where possible energy saving appliances are also used.

Water Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - Cousine Island has extensive rain water catching facilities and can store up to 350 000 litres of rainwater, enough to carry the island through the dry season. The rain water is filtered through a UV and Sediment filter and is safe for drinking and bathing.

All staff are educated on the necessity of saving water and this is enforced by the taking of water readings on a daily basis in order to determine the water usage of various areas of the island (including the kitchen, laundry, staff houses as well as the guest villas). Guests are also encouraged to save water and are given information about water saving. On request their water usage is also given to them. Chemical usage is also limited to protect not only the guests, but all indigenous fauna and flora on the island.

Gardens are limited to a small fruit and vegetable garden for usage in the lodge and by staff and only rainwater is used. The vegetation on the island has been mostly restored to natural vegetation, a process which is ongoing. The swimming pool is also filled using rainwater.

Disposal Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - Cousine Island re-uses products wherever possible, without compromising on hygiene and safety. This for example includes the cleaning of polystyrene boxes for the transport of frozen goods. The staff is educated on the proper disposal of waste and the dangers of littering. The beach is also cleaned on a daily basis to remove all litter washing ashore.

All waste on the island is divided according to whether it is bio-degradable, burnable, recyclable or non-burnable products. All bio-degradable waste is used to make rich compost for the fruit and vegetable garden which feeds the island.

All non-burnable and recyclable waste is transported to Praslin and disposed of by STAR, the waste management company of Seychelles. Approximately 400 Ė 500 trees are planted per year on the island.

Eco-Active Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - Cousine Island was originally purchased in 1992 with the sole purpose of creating a safe environment for marine turtles to nest in. Due to the loss of bio-diversity in the Seychelles and the great potential threat to numerous endemic species, restoration of the degraded ecosystem on the island started. A great number of exotic fauna and flora was removed from the island and indigenous vegetation was replanted on the island plateau with over 5 000 trees established to create a suitable habitat for the endemic land birds.

This process is still ongoing with more slower growing trees being planted in order to diversify the habitat and make it more suitable for a variety of bird species. A number of threatened bird species have been re-introduced onto this island, including the Seychelles Magpie Robin, the Seychelles White-eye and the Seychelles warbler. The rehabilitation of the vegetation has also seen to the return of great numbers of seabirds who come to breed on the island every year. Giant Tortoises living in poor captive conditions within the Seychelles are purchased and released on the island giving them their freedom they so rightly deserved.

Two conservation staff members are permanently employed to monitor and continue the rehabilitation of this fragile environment and numerous researchers . All activities on the island is with the Cousine Island mission in mind: To promote nature conservation and the wise use of natural resources of the island and its surroundings.

Cousine Island is of biological importance both nationally and internationally. It is a rarity in global terms, in that is one of the only islands in the Seychelles and possibly the world, free of alien mammals, except for the presence of man. Every effort is made to ensure its survival as a nature reserve and to allow visitors to become an integral part of this unique place on earth. Cousine Island is also the proud winner of the 2007 World Travel Award for the Indian Oceanís leading Eco-Tourism Destination.

Protection Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - Cousine Island takes pride in itís conservation programme and guests are not only encouraged to appreciate and enjoy this environment, but also to be educated through guided walks with the conservation staff and actively participate in conservation efforts, including the planting of trees and assisting in monitoring programmes.

The conservation programme managed by Cousine Island is not only of local importance, but global in its protection of a diminishing eco-system and life forms (see the section above for more details). Guests are however not only encouraged to enjoy and learn more about the island itself, but trips to other islands is also organised for guests on request.

Most of the staff on Cousine Island is from the local population and Cousine Island sources products locally. Cousine Island also continues this concept through the education of its staff in environmentally safe practices in the hopes that they will take it home with them and teach it to family and friends. Cousine Island, in partnership with Nature Seychelles, also established an Environmental Centre on Praslin, the second largest island in the Seychelles, to help educate both visitors to the Seychelles and more important, children about the nature of the Seychelles and the importance of protecting this unique environment.

Cousine Island also believes in conservation through cooperation with neighbouring islands and belong to a number of national conservation groups established for the protection of various species where information and knowledge is shared between the various members.

Contact Details

Name:
Cousine Island
Address:
P.O. Box 977
Victoria
Mahť
Seychelles
Telephone:
+248 321107
Website:
www.cousineisland.com
E-mail:
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