The World Heritage Centre launched today the Arabic translation of the publication “Managing effectively the world’s most iconic Marine Protected Areas. A Best Practice Guide”. There are currently three World Heritage marine sites in the Arab region, in Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen.
The publication lays the groundwork for a common approach to a more pro-active, future-oriented management of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world. Today, one of the most challenging questions posed to World Heritage marine sites is how to balance conservation of a site’s irreplaceable Outstanding Universal Value with increasing or shifting demands for socio-economic development and use. Apart from a few remote sites that are off limits for exploitation due to their geographic location, virtually all World Heritage marine sites around the world are confronted with this challenge.
The step-by-step guidance provides a tangible approach for bringing the Outstanding Universal Value of a site to the heart of its management system. Best practice illustrations throughout the guide show how Outstanding Universal Value is key to setting management objectives and can align private sector partners, NGOs and government institutions behind shared and common conservation goals. More broadly, the guide outlines how using area-based tools, such as marine spatial planning (MSP), can help to plan for and achieve environmental, social and economic objectives that lead to sustainable use and effective management of MPAs over time.
The translation was made as a follow-up to an expert meeting held in Sudan in October 2018, where World Heritage managers from the Africa and Arab regions met at Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park. 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 need for technical guidance in Arabic on marine planning and marine World Heritage was highlighted during the expert meeting.
There are currently three World Heritage marine sites in the Arab region, Banc d’Arguin National Park (Mauritania), Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park (Sudan), and Socotra Archipelago (Yemen).
The original publication was developed in 2015 and has been translated into French, Spanish and Indonesian. The publication was translated in close cooperation with the UNESCO Office in Khartoum and was made possible thanks to the UNESCO Flanders Funds-in-Trust.