National Workshop on Mainstreaming Ecosystem Approach and Contribution to Inscribing Senganeb and Dungonab as a UNESCO World Heritage Natural Centre

A national workshop on Mainstreaming Ecosystem Approach and Comanagement Principles in Living Marine Resources Legislations and Policies in Sudan organized in December 2015 has significantly contributed to the national process of inscribing Sanganeb and Dungonab Bay Mukkawar Island Marine National Parks as World Natural Heritage Centre. Before the workshop, coordination was made with the NC to invite the national team of experts from the federal government, the UNESCO Chair for Marine Science, and National Committee for Education, Science and Culture in Khartoum, who are in charge of national submission of application to consider the area as a World Heritage (natural) Site. A session in the workshop was allocated for discussion of issues related to responding to the recommendations by the UNESCO World Heritage evaluation of the previous applications, most of which are related to issues being addressed by the current SEM project activities.

This national workshop, held during 14-16 December 2015 in Port Sudan, came as part of one of the essential component 2 interventions to sustain the community driven process, while and the livelihoods supporting subprojects will require building capacities to promote legislations, policies and management for living marine resources, and to facilitate implementation of co-management and ecosystem based approach principles. The workshop provided training and guidelines to apply these principles of Ecosystem Approach and Co-management in promoting legislation and policies, and in the identification and development of sustainable livelihoods options at Dungonab National MPA. The workshop was also linked to another one-day workshop held on the following day December17th, and discussed monitoring activities, biodiversity and finance issues associated with the MPA management plan, being addressed by components 1 and 3 of the SEM Project.

The workshop was attended by 45 participants from the national stakeholder agencies and community and the project team and consultants. The workshop program included two main parts; the first focused on ecosystem approach and co-management principles in living marine resources (LMR) legislations, policies, which was based on discussion and validation of the national assessment report on the subject carried out recently by the project component, and training provided by the workshop on these principles. The second focused on application of ecosystem approach and co-management principles in identification and management of alternative livelihood subprojects, which is being implemented as a main intervention at Dungonab and Mukkawar Island Marine National Park (DMMNPA) project pilot site in Sudan. To this end the workshop achieved the following objectives:
? Introducing the national specialists and community stakeholders to the principles and guidelines of Ecosystem Approach and Co-management.
? Presentation and discussion of the findings of the national assessment and review of LMR legislations, policies and management, confirm inclusion of further priority issues and recommendations for policy and legislation coherence, taking into consideration mainstreaming of EBM and co-management principles;
? Discussing follow-up actions and options for national process involving stakeholders and national governmental agencies to support mainstreaming of EBM and co-management principles in LMR legislations and policies.
? Training the participants on application of ecosystem approach and co-management principles in identification and development of alternative livelihood subprojects for coastal communities
? Discuss follow up activities and work plan for the relevant project component interventions and activities

Following the workshop a taskforce meeting joined PERSGA coordinators for LMR and Biodiversity Programmes, the national team, and SEM consultants for legislation revision and development of DMMNP. This meeting identified several SEM outputs that are particularly responding to these recommendations, including mainly development of the MPA management plan, and establishment of community based activities, which were reflected and emphasised in the resubmitted documents to the UNESCO World Heritage secretariat. This has significantly contributed in supporting the application, whereby the last Annual Session of the UNESCO World Heritage held in June 2016 in Istanbul has approved to inscribe Sanganeb and Dungonab Bay Mukkawar Island Marine National Parks as a Natural World Natural Heritage site, which was considered a great success for the Republic of Sudan in collaboration with PERSGA.