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ALPHONSE LAND USE PLAN
The Alphonse land use plan is being developed under the GOS GEF UNDP program. It is part of a project Expansion and strengthening of the protected area subsystem of the outer islands of Seychelles and its integration into the broader land and seascape (Outer Island or IO project). The project seeks to promote the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and marine biodiversity in the Seychelles’ Outer Islands by expanding the protected areas system and strengthening protected area management, supported by broad-scale ecosystem planning and sustainable land management activities to conserve ecosystem functions.
Alphonse Group comprises of three islands namely, Bijoutier, St. Francois Atoll and Alphonse Atoll. The Alphonse Island, considered as the main island of the Alphonse Group is the northernmost island located 7° degrees south of the Equator with a distance of 400km (250 miles) South West of Mahé and can be seen at the southern extension of the Amirantes Ridge. The triangular-shaped island is situated 3km north of St. Francois Atoll, separated by the Canal du Mort with a depth of 126m. The St. Francois Atoll covers 5, 400 hectares of which one-third is lagoon and two-thirds reef flats. Two islands can be found on the St. Francois Atoll; these include the Bijoutier Island in the north (405km southwest of Victoria) and a further 5km south is the St. Francois Island.