25/02/2015 Harmonization of Environmental and Socioeconomic Monitoring in RSGA

Within the framework of implementing the Strategic Ecosystem based Management of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (SEM) Project, PERSGA has organized a regional workshop on "Harmonization of Environmental and Socioeconomic Monitoring in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Countries". The workshop took place at PERSGA headquarter in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia during the period 25- 26/02/2015, and was attended by about twenty five specialists from the participating countries, as well as a number of national and international consultants.
 
In preparing for this workshop, PERSGA has carried out a study to assess the current status, needs and priorities of environmental and socio-economic monitoring and also worked on updating the PERSGA Standard Survey Methods (SSM) manual for Key Habitats and Key Species in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden which was developed in 2004. The main objective here is to develop simple and usable monitoring techniques. The workshop came within the implementation of component 3 of the SEM project, which is concerned with the environmental and socio-economic monitoring in the coastal areas of the region. It also includes a review of monitoring methods and evaluation of the current status of monitoring activities in the countries in order to identify the strength weaknesses and assist the countries to enhance their national monitoring programs. In addition the Project will be providing tools and instruments and signing contracts with national laboratories to perform monitoring activities.

This monitoring will be implemented according to the ecosystem based approach and according to the priorities and needs of the countries fulfilling the results indicators of the Project The workshop was highly active and witnessed a fruitful discussion between the participants drawing the basic outlines of the monitoring indicators that will be measured. These indicators might vary from one country and another according to the national priorities and specific environmental conditions in each country; but they will clarify the picture of the relationship between the coastal communities, especially in protected areas, and the environments in which they are living. Hence, the environmental and socio-economic monitoring through the project will focus on giving an active role to these communities in contributing to the execution of monitoring activities. 

In a related context, PERSGA has been active in coordinating monitoring efforts of the member states for a long time and created a dedicated database for the purpose of collecting monitoring data of the national programs activities carried out on repeated basis.The SEM project comes to enhance the interest of PERSGA in this pivotal activity in the conservation of coastal and marine environment, which provides the scientific basis for coastal management and promotes environmental awareness based on reliable scientific information

The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden