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FARQUHAR ATOLL - LAND USE PLAN
The Farquhar Atoll 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.
Farquhar Atoll lies 770 kilometres south-southwest of Victoria. It is the largest true atoll of Seychelles, covering an area of about 17,800 hectares. There are ten islands. The two main islands, North Island and South Island, make up 97% of the landmass of 799 hectares. These are separated by three small islands known as the Manahas. Three other islands lie in close proximity to each other on the northern rim of the atoll, Déposés, Ile du Milieu and Lapins. Banc du Sables is the most easterly island and Goëlettes is the most southerly island. The lagoon has a maximum depth of 14.6 metres. It was named in honour of Sir Robert Farquhar in 1824, appointed governor of Mauritius when it was captured from the French (in 1810). Earlier visitors had named it after Portuguese explorer Joao da Nova who commanded that nation’s third expedition to India during which he encountered Farquhar (in 1504)