26 potential sites of conservation interest identified in Libya with support of the GEF MedProgramme
Last 26th January IUCN-Med in collaboration with SPA/RAC and WWF-North Africa organised a national workshop in Tripoli with the support of the Nature Conservation Department of the Libyan Ministry of Environment. The goal of the workshop was to present the results of the field survey conducted by a national team of experts led by Dr. Abdulmaula Hamza to assess sites of potential conservation interest. Along the Libyan coast, 26 sites have been identified, most of which have already been designated as marine protected areas under ministerial Decree no. 72/2021. This assessment has been carried out on the basis of previous studies including the 2012 IUCN & SPA- RAC survey as well as field survey for the purpose of this project. The final selection of sites will support the national strategy of marine and coastal areas.
The Libyan coast has been identified as one of several hotspots of marine and coastal biodiversity in the Mediterranean
This workshop comes under the implementation of the GEF MedProgramme Child project 3.1 in Libya “Management, Support and Expansion of Marine Protected Areas in Libya”, which is implemented by the three conservation organisations in coordination with the Ministry of Environment in Libya.
The workshop was inaugurated by the Minister of Environment H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Arabi Mounir, in presence of Dr. Riyad Al-Hamisi, representative of the Decision Support office of the Prime Minister’s office. Around 40 participants representing research institutions, universities and civil society organisations attended the workshop to discuss several important aspects related to mitigating site degradation and setting up a new governance system that encourages the involvement of all stakeholders to ensure effective management of marine and coastal protected areas, in accordance with the recommendations of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, which aims to reach 30% protection by 2030.
Supporting the expansion of marine and coastal protected areas in Libya by identifying potential sites of conservation interest
The Libyan Minister of Environment reaffirmed its commitment to establish several effectively managed marine and coastal protected areas, as a national contribution to the global goal in the Mediterranean region. In the next phase - until 2025 - the project will focus on three pilot sites, namely Farwa Lagoon in the west, Gara Island at the centre and the bay of Ain Alghazala in the eastern part of Libya, which are all considered highly diverse and relevant sites for the conservation for species and habitats, but also for local communities.
Articulated around four main components which reflect the priorities adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, the MedProgramme aims to kick start the implementation of priority actions to reduce the major transboundary environmental stresses affecting the Mediterranean Sea and its coastal areas, while strengthening climate resilience and water security and improving the health and livelihoods of coastal populations.
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Towards a representative network of marine protected areas in Libya
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