Started on the first Sunday of April 2012 , a 3 days regional workshop on "Effective Management of Marine Protected Areas", was organized by PERSGA at its headquarters in Jeddah. The workshop was attended by fifteen high and mid level managers and practitioners in charge of marine protected areas in PERSGA member States, , which includes Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Djibouti, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It was organized with support of and collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program-Regional Office for West Asia.
PERSGA is coordinating a regional network of 12 MPAs in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, established previously through a special Regional Protocol, and distributed in all member states. These MPAs comprises unique and vital places for the conservation of the marine biodiversity, the living resources and the endangered species. The MPAs list includes also areas with particular importance for research, tourism and education by their key habitats such as coral reefs, mangroves, lakes or sabkhas and sharms, as well as critical habitats for fish breeding and food.
The workshop objectives were to train participants on to the us of the newly developed “Guidelines for the Establishment and Management of Marine Protected Areas”. The Guidelines was developed in collaboration with UNEP-ROWA and describes procedures and required steps to initiate a MPA, including among others, the area deliniation, declaration, legal issues, and the development and implantation of the MPA management plan; including the participation of the local communities in the preparation phases and the decision making process.
Through producing the new regional Guidelines in Arabic language, PERSGA is seeking to put into effect the proficient management of the present declared MPAs and enhance the regional networking, cooperation and the exchange of experience among PERSGA states. The workshop was focused also to provide participants with necessary tools and material to undertake training of national capacities in their respective countries on how to use the new Guidelines in the MPAs management at the national level.
The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden