A consultation meeting was organized in Aqaba, Jordan, from September 1st – 2nd 2014 for the PERSGA SEM Project, which PERSGA executes in collaboration with the World Bank and with GEF support. The meeting was inaugurated by the Environment Commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, H.E. Dr. Mohannad Hararah. He was joined at the meeting by the project’s National Coordinators, contracted consultants and the Project Coordination Unit (PCU).
H.E. the Environment Commissioner urged participants from Jordan and all other countries to work together enthusiastically to get coastal communities actively involved in the co-management of their valuable natural resources.
The Project will establish the essential legislative structure, develop the planning skills needed for management of marine protected areas and teach the monitoring skills that underpin an ecosystem-based approach to managing coastal resources. Holding the meeting at the Aqaba Marine Park allowed for an appreciation of the positive lessons learnt from activities already conducted at the Park. These include the creation of good working relationships between the different stakeholders working within the Park, facing the challenges that arise from their various operations, facilitating their continuing presence to the best possible satisfaction of all stakeholders while still applying stringent environmental management standards that maintain the integrity of the Marine Park as a whole. The meeting was highly interactive and successful in achieving its objectives. Important milestones for executing the first set of activities were established.
Following the Consultation Meeting, the PCU expedited working closely with the National Coordinators to initiate the National Steering Committee Meetings. The First National Steering Committee Meeting was carried out on in Jordan September 3rd, 2014. The committee members expressed substantial support for the Project and their ambition for effective involvement in the Project’s activities. H.E. Dr. Mohannad Hararah participated in part of this meeting.