From 9 to 12 October 2018, World Heritage managers from the Africa and Arab region met at Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park in Sudan. The meeting focused on sharing expertise in balancing conservation of the site's unique natural values with the reduction of poverty among local communities that are directly dependent on the World Heritage area.The Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2016. It includes a highly diverse system of coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, beaches and islets. Dungonab Bay hosts a globally significant population of dugongs while the site provides a habitat for seabirds, marine mammals, fish, sharks, turtles and manta rays.
During a 3-day exchange, managers from the Banc d’Arguin National Park in Mauritania and iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa shared their long-standing experience in how to use World Heritage status to leverage jobs, generate income and attract necessary support to provide for environmental protection of the World Heritage site's unique biodiversity. In iSimangaliso, tourism businesses in and around the Park have grown by more than 80% in the last 10 years, and after 18 years of World Heritage designation, the Park provides12,000 jobs.
“The expert meeting provided an opportunity for all stakeholders to understand what the concept of World Heritage really means. It was a unique experience to discover the many similarities between Mauritania and South Africa’s marine World Heritage sites. It was a very successful event and an excellent starting point for Sudan moving forward in the future.”
says Nasr Eldin Mohamed Al Amin, Manager of Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park
Managers and experts visited local communities living in the World Heritage property, and discussed ways to improve livelihoods through ecotourism, secure sustainable fishing practices and attract financing to implement the management plan.
World Heritage marine managers share a wealth of solutions and best practices on how to deal with the conservation challenges they face. Bringing these success stories together in ways that make them suitable for replication in other marine areas is a central part of the World Heritage Marine Programme’s work.
The meeting was organized in close collaboration with the UNESCO Office in Khartoum and the Sudanese National Commission for Education, Science and Culture.
This initiative was made possible thanks to the Government of Flanders and its UNESCO Flanders Funds-in-Trust. The project received additional support from the Annenberg Foundation.