LMR legislation and Policies the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

PERSGA organized the 2nd regional workshop on “Review of Legislation, Strategies, Policies and Management Plans for Living Marine Resources (LMR) in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden” during 4th-6th May 2015 at PERSGA HQ in Jeddah. The workshop involved the international consultant, the regional study team including the regional and national consultants and representatives of the national agencies in PERSGA member states, and the regional LMR coordinator and experts at PERSGA. It focused on discussion of the draft regional and national assessment reports, and recommendations regarding gaps in legislation, policies and management to be addressed by the member states. It also discussed setting up standard guidelines for the future assessments in the framework of adaptive management to be achieved, and work plan for the follow-up actions to be implemented as demonstration activities in the project pilot countries.

The project “strategic ecosystem management of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden” (SEM project) is a GEF supported regional project executed by the PERSGA and implemented by the World Bank. The project is focused on supporting actual on-the-ground activities to facilitate transition from current management practices to ecosystem-based management, demonstrating the added value through institutional reforms and participatory demonstration activities in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region. The current workshop came under implementation of component (ii) of the project, which principally seeks to support institutional and technical capacity needed for communities to use and protect living marine resources to increase net benefits derived from the resources in a sustainable manner. The sustainability of the ecosystem based management and the community based activities that will be developed through stakeholders participation shall be supported by effective fishery legislation, strategies and management policies and practices. Therefore, one of the essential interventions to be undertaken by the project is the review of national laws and management strategies, policies and practices for the fishery and aquaculture sector in PERSGA countries, in order to attend policy options and facilitate relevant principles and instruments for ecosystem based management.

To achieve this intervention, PERSGA hired an international consultant to lead the review process in the region and provide technical assistance to a regional team of experts and representatives of national agencies undertaking the review in the member states. An initial regional workshop held in November 2014 joined the international consultant with the regional team, and introduced the participants to the methodology and approach of the study, and the relevant background on international/ regional conventions and protocols, policies and initiatives, as well as principles of co-management and ecosystem approach to be considered in the review assessments. Following that the national consultants worked to carry out assessments in their respective PERSGA countries. The process included extensive reviews of legal and policy documents, collection of data through structured questionnaires with national agencies and stakeholders, which enabled preparation of national assessment reviews. Based on this reviews, the international consultants will worked to synthesize the final report of the regional review.

This was covered through a series of presentations focused on the principles of ecosystem based approach, and the relevant international/ regional conventions and initiatives, such as CBD, FAO Code of Conduct, etc. The program also included group discussions on issues related to harmonization of environmental and fishery laws, the guidelines and questionnaires for data collection, and the assessment methodologies to be adopted by the study.