Chairperson of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), Mohamed Salah, participated in the closing workshop of the Strategic Ecosystem Based Management Project of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (SEM) held on Monday.
The discussion, held in Hurghada, was arranged by the Regional Organisation for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA). International and regional experts in environmental affairs, and representatives of the World Bank attended the event which aimed at reaching a final estimation for the SEM project and its achievements in the region.
The objective of the workshop was to present and discuss the progress and achievements of the SEM, assess weaknesses, identify constraints and challenges, and issue recommendations. The project fulfils an important need in the region for managing the coastal ecosystem of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
During his speech on the meeting, Salah stressed Egypt’s keenness in joining the project to maximise the concept of societal participation in managing marine resources, in order to ensure development and sustainability of the process in accordance with the requirements of local community, as well as supporting and developing the current environmental monitoring systems.
He added that SEM set an example for achieving conservation and sustainability of marine resources, as well as contributed in the success stories of societal participation in the Egyptian protected areas.
Salah noted that despite the limited budget of the SEM project, the outcomes of the project exceeded the expectations of such projects. The SEM also provided job opportunities for the local community and enhanced their income, as well as integrated the local residents in the system of tourism industry in the Red Sea governorate.
He stressed the need to achieve the optimum and sustainable use of our marine and resources in the light of the outcomes of the SEM project. He added that the project contributed to achieving cohesion in managing marine protected areas in the region, in addition to raising the environmental awareness and forming a data base of the marine resources.
PERSGA is an intergovernmental body includes Egypt, Djibouti, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The body is dedicated to the conservation of the coastal and marine environments found in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Gulf of Suez, Suez Canal, and Gulf of Aden surrounding the Socotra Archipelago and nearby waters.
The organisation aims at improving the sustainable management and use of the RSGA’s coastal and marine resources. Sustainable management will reduce threats to the environment, improve livelihoods of participating coastal communities, and improve institutional, legal, and financial arrangements in this regard.