Training Program on Marine Protected Areas Governance in PERSGA Region

A five day training program was conducted at Wdi El-Gemal-Hamta National Park during the period October 9th -13th 2016, on the Egyptian Red Sea cost on the marine protected areas management and governance. The training program included presentations on the SEM Project activities and PERSGA MPAs network and a presentation on the living resources in the Egyptian Red Sea with special emphasis on the southern portion. Five national presentations were made focusing on the status and management effectiveness of the MPAs in each PERSGA member country and also on the status of the resources of the park, and on the monitoring activities inside the park. Two presentation were given on the role of NGOs on the conservation and management of the Red Sea resources with special references to marine living resources; and on the other one on the socio-economic status inside Wadi el-Gemal NP and how they can monitor and help the local communities by achieving many livelihoods subprojects (e.g. hand craft, digging wells for animals, building eco-lodges and cafeteriasetc). Then, the trainers described and discussed with the trainees the methods of the surveillance and monitoring of the living marine resources inside the park (e.g. coral reefs, coral reefs resilience and bleaching coral reef fishes, marine mammals, sharks, marine turtles, mangroves and seagrass). Participants visited important terrestrial sites and flagships inside Wadi El-Gemal-Hamata National Park such as the fishers village (Al-Qolaan Village) to identify the role of locals in the conservation of mangroves and other marine resources, and also to see the role of local women in the rising of the family income by selling the handcrafts. Then, they visited the main buildings of the park with special references to the Visitor Centre, (to see outreach & educational materials of the Park), then the participants visited Ras Hunkorab area (an eco-lodge area) to see the tents, the information centre and all facilities for a day trip presented to the guests by locals and all materials of these facilities are manufactured by local communities. Inside the park they know how is the cooperation between the park authority and an investor (wind surf and kiting project) that owned the land before the declaration of the area as a national park. Trainees have also received on the ground demonstrations how to survey and monitor key marine species and key marine habitats inside the park.