RIYADH, November 4, 2013 – A new project will improve the governance and management of marine environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The US$3 million Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Strategic Ecosystem Management project, a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant, is phase II of the regional project which aims to improve regional development utilizing an incentive-based ecosystem approach.
The grant agreement was signed by Farrukh Iqbal, World Bank Country Director for the GCC and Professor Ziad Abu Ghararah, Secretary General of the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA).
“Countries that share the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are closely connected and continuously exposed to trans-boundary ecological and anthropogenic stress,” said Africa Olojoba, World Bank project team leader and Environmental Safeguards Focal Point for the MENA Region. “The project will enable the countries to coordinate and work together to properly monitor, manage, and protect the fragile environmental resources, especially within the marine protected network”.
Phase I of the Red Sea GEF project developed a solid platform for collaboration through PERSGA. With this new project, PERSGA now proposes to continue the regional development by applying an incentive-based ecosystem approach to marine resources management, establishing an operational framework for the management and future expansion of the region’s marine protected areas network, and restoring and maintaining sustainable levels of fish stocks.
“The project will provide opportunities for women to get technical training, enhanced access to services, and provision of alternative livelihoods in such areas as fish processing and small-scale aquaculture,” said Farrukh Iqbal.
The project is of high strategic importance to the region and World Bank Group’s commitment to the Global partnership for Oceans. The project activities are closely aligned with MENA’s regional strategy that includes strengthening institutional capacity and strategic priorities for the GEF-4 International Waters focal area.