Jordan, September 2014
SEM Project PCU started a series of meeting in the countries to launce the National Steering Committee Meetings and get these meetings running autonomously managed by the National Coordinators. The meetings also targeted discussion of detailed project activities with the members of the National Steering Committees in their first meeting in every country.
National Steering Committee Meetings were launched in Jordan by organizing the first meeting on Wednesday September 3rd 2014. The meeting was attended by the JNSC members as stipulated in the Decree of the Board of Commissioners of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority. The meeting was inaugurated by H E the Environment Commissioner at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority Dr. Mohannad Hararah. For urgent commitments Dr. Hararah couldn’t be present at the start of the meeting. Mr. Abd Allah Abu Awali, Director of the Aqaba Marine Park, Jordan’s National Coordinator in the Project delivered the opening address of H E the Commissioner apologizing that the Commissioner couldn’t be present at the start but would join the meeting as soon as he could. Mr. Abu Awali welcomed the JNSC members emphasizing that every effort was taken to make sure that the JNSC adequately represents the Stakeholders. He briefed the meeting on the Aqaba Marine Parks activities and the challenges that it faces due to the sharp limitation in coastal area in Jordan. Mr. Abu Awali acknowledged collaboration of the different stakeholders, which makes running of the Aqaba Marine Park possible. He thanked PERSGA for initiating the SEM Project and assured the PCU representatives that the Aqaba Marine Park that hosted the first consultation meeting of the Project will always be available to help and will be happy to welcome participants from other PERSGA member States for exchange of expertise.
After about one hour of the start of the meeting H E Dr. Mohannad Hararah arrived. He apologized for not being able to be present from the beginning and reiterated the welcome and support expressed by Mr. Abu Awali.
The meeting included two presentations. The first presentation was delivered by Dr. Ahmad Khalil on Principles of Ecosystem Based Management. The second presentation was delivered by Dr. Mohammad Badran on Introduction of the SEM Project.
Dr. Khalil pointed out in his presentation that the Ecosystem Based Management is centered around the community participation and maintaining connectivity between social and ecological systems. This includes recognizing connections among terrestrial, coastal, and marine systems, as well as between ecosystems and human societies. There are three key phases of EBM. These include visioning, planning and an implementation. Visioning, is characterized by identification of the target geographic area and key concerns, development of an understanding of the ecosystem and existing management practices as well as identification and setting of overarching goals for the process. Planning involves ecosystem and governance options assessment. Measurable objectives are identified, while threats, management options and potential tradeoffs are prioritized. These are translated into a management strategy for EBM implementation. Implementation includes application, monitoring, evaluation, and adaptation of the management. Sustainable financing and business models are also developed in this phase in order to ensure EBM implementation over time.
Dr. Badran, SEM Project Regional Coordinator, thanked the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and the Aqaba Marine Park represented by H E the Commissioner of Environment and the Park Director for arranging the meeting and welcomed the participants conveying greetings of H E PERSGA Secretary General Prof. Ziad Abu Ghararah. Dr. Badran then delivered his presentation pointing out that the importance of the project and its development objective of improving management of marine resources in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden following the ecosystem based management principles, which stem from the participatory approach and affective engagement of Stakeholder including the community, government and civil society Through the key points of his presentation Dr. Badran explained the importance of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Ecosystem and the role of EBM in sustaining coastal and marine resources and facilitating involvement of local communities in the management activities to achieve the goals of rational use of the resources and enhancing sustainable development. He emphasized that the Project will contribute significantly to supporting efforts of PERSGA Member States in protection of biodiversity and establishing principles of sustainable management of marine and coastal resources that could benefit from pilot activities to be carried out through the Project. On execution of the Project, Dr. Badran emphasized the role of the National Steering Committees as the representative of the stakeholders and will have key influence on the national activities of the Project. PERSGA has established a Project Coordination Unit that is responsible for the day to day activities of the project and is directed by the Project Steering Committee that joins PERSGA Focal Points and the Secretary General. Contracting consultants and purchase of goods and services is the responsibility of the PCU, but is conducted in close coordination with the National Coordinators who in turn coordinate with the National Steering Committees.
The Meeting was concluded with open discussion and some recommendations that focused on the role of the National Steering Committee and emphasized that the JNSC shall work immediately, led by the National Coordinator and assisted by the National Consultant for assessment of monitoring needs, to identify the national priorities in monitoring and equipment needed. This should integrate stakeholders in conducting ecosystem based type of monitoring; and activities within the AMP should receive special attention and may participate in monitoring as this is a requirement in the law of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority.
Djibouti, December 2014
National Steering Committee Meetings were launched in Djibouti by organizing the first meeting on Thursday December 18th 2014. The meeting was attended by all the DjNSC members as stipulated in the Decree of His Excellency the Djiboutian Minister of Environment. The Meeting was inaugurated by H E Mr. Dini Omar, Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment. Mr. Dini emphasized the importance of collaboration between Djibouti and PERSGA pointing out that PERSGA is very active in different areas of environmental developments in Djibouti. He explained the importance of the Project to Djibouti as it will add to other ongoing Projects and will synergize to generate significant added value. Monitoring activities and monitoring equipment that will be delivered through the Project will help in establishing a sustainable monitoring program. The opening address of H E Mr. Dini was followed with a presentation of the National Coordinator Mr. Adam Elmi who discussed in some detail PERSGA interventions in Djibouti and the expected benefits of the SEM Project
Dr. Badran, SEM Project Regional Coordinator, thanked Mr. Dini, Mr. Hussein and Mr. Aden for their efforts in arranging the meeting and welcomed the participants conveying greetings of H E PERSGA Secretary General Prof. Ziad Abu Ghararah. Dr. Badran then delivered a presentation pointing out that the importance of the project and its development objective of improving management of marine resources in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden following the ecosystem based management principles. The presentation was on the same lines of presentations delivered in Jordan, Sudan and Yemen.
The Meeting was concluded with open discussion and recommendations. Major points of discussion included that the project will review fishing legislations in PERSGA countries and will help the countries update their legislations and regulations concerning fishing and fisheries. This will be done through a participatory approach in which the local community and the fishermen themselves will be partners in the legislation update, since these legislations touch and affect their life directly and this is the idea of the ecosystem based management. Besides the Project will focus on awareness and outreach so that fishermen would understand that the lows are put in place to protect their health and their living resources, allowing them to rationally exploit the ecosystem and leave it healthy and productive for the coming generations. The DiNSC emphasized that the monitoring component of the SEM Project is their highest priority. The workplan for implementing monitoring activities shall be discussed and prepared as soon as possible. It was recommended to enhance female stakeholders participation and the private sector participation in the DjNSC. The DjNSC emphasized the role of exchange of expertise through the Project and recommended arranging mutual visits between PERSGA member countries in order to exchange knowledge and learn from existing examples in the field of monitoring and enhancing the community awareness and technical capacity.
Yemen, September 2014
National Steering Committee Meetings were launched in Yemen by organizing the first meeting on Tuesday September 9th 2014.The meeting was attended by all the YNSC members as stipulated in the Decree of the Chief Executive Officer of Yemen Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Sameer Alkebsi the SEM Project National Coordinator in Yemen welcomed PERSGA Delegation and the national participants members of YNSC. Then he gave a brief about the project stressing on the importance of forming the National Steering Committee consisting of representatives from community as well as academic and research institutions which will advise on the project activities that will be implemented at the national level, in order to achieve the best outcomes of these activities according to National priorities in Yemen and to the best benefits of coastal community in Kamaran Island. Eng. Yasser Alghobair the General Manager of EPA – Hudayedah Branch made the official opening of the meeting welcoming the participants and thanking PERSGA Delegate for their efforts and for taking the trouble of travelling to participate in the meeting. Eng. Yasser stressed on the importance of the SEM project and the role of the NSC in the implementation of its activities. He also urged the NSC members to work hard on the issues that will be handled during the project, taking into account the priorities and needs at the national level. At the end of his opening address he expressed his confidence that the Project will be successful and achieve its goals and will have significant positive impacts on the conservation of the unique ecosystem of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and preserving its natural resources for the present communities and future generations.
Dr. Badran, SEM Project Regional Coordinator, thanked Eng. Yasser and Mr. Sameer for their efforts in arranging the meeting and welcomed the participants conveying greetings of H E PERSGA Secretary General Prof. Ziad Abu Ghararah. Dr. Badran then delivered a presentation pointing out that the importance of the project and its development objective of improving management of marine resources in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden following the ecosystem based management principles. The presentation was on the same lines of presentations delivered in Jordan and Sudan. The Meting concluded with open discussions and recommendations that stipulated the YNSC emphasizing that the consultants should work very closely to the National Coordinator and that the National Steering Committee should be regularly updated on consultants activities. Reports should be delivered to the NSC as soon as cleared by the PCU. The NSC shall give feedback on the consultants reports as timely as possible. NSC feedback could be by correspondence and there should be time limits. The YNSC also emphasized the role of exchange of expertise through the Project and recommended arranging mutual visits between PERSGA member countries in order to exchange knowledge and learn from existing examples in the field of MPA management and enhancing the community awareness and technical capacity.
Sudan, September 2014
National Steering Committee Meetings were launched in Sudan by organizing the first meeting on Sunday September 07th 2014. The Minister of Environment, Wild Life and Tourism of the Red Sea State was keen on meeting PERSGA Delegation and express his support to the Project. But because he had other urgent commitments that would prevent him from participating in the Meeting, he invited PERSGA Delegation to his Office before the meeting. H E expressed his full support to the Project and urged the PCU to work hard for achieving the best possible outcomes from the Project that could be of direct benefit to conservation of the valuable marine and coastal resources and to generate sustainable income to the coastal communities, particularly in the two villages that encompass the Pilot Site in Sudan: Donqonab and Mohammad Qol.
The head of PERSGA delegation thanked H E the Minister for his support and ascertained him that the Project will not save any effort to achieve the optimum benefits for sustainable development in the region. This needs strong collaboration of all and affective communication. H E the Minister expressed his interest that the National Coordination Team in Sudan would be supported with some young specialists from the Ministry with strong capabilities in electronic communication, which would provide training for these young specialists on projects coordination skills. Directions were given to add Ms. Zienab Fadul and Ms. Reem Mohammed to the Project Coordination Team in the Ministry.
The meeting took place at the Red Sea University and was attended by the SNSC members as stipulated in the Decree of the Minister of Environment, Wilde Life and Tourism of the Red Sea State. The meeting was inaugurated under patronage of H E the Minister of Environment, Wilde Life and Tourism of the Red Sea State, Mr. Abd Allah Konah. For urgent commitments H E couldn’t attend the meeting and delegated the Director General of the Ministry Mr. Nasr el Dien Al Awad to deliver his opening address. Mr. Al Awad, Sudan’s National Coordinator in the Project apologizing that H E the Minister couldn’t be personally present. Mr. Al Awad welcomed the SNSC members emphasizing that every effort was made to have the SNSC adequately represent the Stakeholders. He briefed the meeting on Sudan’s involvement in the Project and the benefits that the communities in Donqonab and Mohammad Qol are expected to get from the Project. He thanked PERSGA for initiating the SEM Project and assured the PCU representatives that Ministry of Environment, Wilde Life and Tourism of the Red Sea State will always be available to provide every possible support to the Project. Dr. Mohammad Al Amin, the National Scientific Advisor of the SNSC, Director of the Marine Research Institute at the Red Sea University, also welcomed the participants and expressed strong commitment of the Red Sea University to support the Project and facilitate the project benefits to reach all stakeholders.
The meeting included one presentation delivered by Dr. Mohammad Badran, SEM Project Regional Coordinator, on Introduction of the SEM Project. Dr. Badran thanked the Ministry of Environment, Wilde Life and Tourism of the Red Sea State for arranging the meeting and welcomed the participants conveying greetings of H E PERSGA Secretary General Prof. Ziad Abu Ghararah. He also thanked PERSGA Focal Point in Sudan, Administration of the Marine Environment Protection, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Physical Development. Dr. Badran then delivered his presentation which was on the same lines of the presentation delivered in Jordan. The Meeting was concluded with open discussion and recommendations. The main points emphasized in the SNSC were the importance of exchange of expertise through the Project and arranging mutual visits between PERSGA member countries in order to exchange knowledge and learn from existing examples in the field of MPA management and enhancing the community awareness and technical capacity.