Expert Meeting on Sanganeb Atoll and Dungonab Bay-Mukkawar Island National Parks in Sudan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

February 25, 2016
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Category: News

UNESCO World Heritage Centre-On 25 February 2016, scientific experts convened at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, to strengthen scientific partnerships to support the nomination of Sanganeb Atoll and Dungonab Bay-Mukkawar Island National Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The meeting gathered a group of Sudanese experts representing the Red Sea University, the Wildlife Conservation General Administration, the National Man and Biosphere (MAB) Committee, the National Commission for UNESCO, the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Red Sea & Gulf of Aden (PERSGA); the NGO Sudia and international experts from the Cousteau Society (Equipe Cousteau), The Deep Aquarium (UK), the University of Windsor (Canada) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This meeting aimed at strengthening local management capacities and scientific partnerships to support the Sudanese marine protected areas of Sanganeb Atoll and Dungonab Bay-Mukkawar Island and at encouraging sustainable development and ecotourism to the benefit of local communities, taking advantage of the richness of the unique marine life and concentration of manta rays and sharks.

In view of identifying key information gaps, the meeting discussed the technical results of previous field studies to define the “Outstanding Universal Value” of the sites, the scientific field missions completed with the financial support of The Deep Aquarium as well as the technical needs for the forthcoming capacity building activities for local communities.

In order to support planning and decision-making, the meeting also presented and discussed a communication tool developed for data handling, tourism and conservation management as well as for education purposes, in form of a locally managed Website.

The meeting concluded with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between Cousteau and the Red Sea University, under the auspices of UNESCO.

The meeting was organized by the Cousteau Society with the support of the Darwin Initiative (UKAid) and the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage.

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