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Training for IUCN EAGL experts conducted in Abu Dhabi

Training for IUCN EAGL experts for the Green List Standard for Protected and Conserved Areas was conducted in Abu Dhabi on the sidelines of the First Regional Biodiversity Forum which was recently organised by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), in cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA).

The EAGL network consists of 13 members who were selected on competitive grounds through the means of ‘call for proposal’. The 13 EAGL members are regional experts who are specialised in biodiversity and protected areas. They came from Jordan, UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Palestine, Lebanon, Oman, and Kuwait.

They have extensive experience and knowledge in protected and conserved areas management to put under the disposal of IUCN for the best interest of the environment in the West Asia region and Middle East, where the EAGL group will operate.

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, said the formation of the EAGL network saying that "the efforts exerted by EAD in the activation and application of the Green List Standard for Protected and Conserved Area in the Arab region come in the framework of Abu Dhabi government’s keenness to enhance and lead the join environmental actions". "It also aims at supporting this global initiative which reflects positively on the environment and contributes to improving the effective management of protected areas" she added.

Mr. James Hardcastle, IUCN’s lead on the IUCN Green List Programme Development, said that, "the Green List is a voluntary standard that ensures all certified sites fulfil three major criteria: good governance, effective management, and sound design and planning. In addition, the standard requires that the site demonstrates successful results from conservation efforts. The certificate is valid for 5 years, where the site should continue making improvements to the protected and conserved area on the Green List."

"Protected Areas cannot provide benefits to nature and society if they are not managed effectively; therefore, a set of 17 criteria for the assessment of management effectiveness, equity and conservation results was established. This is not only to provide protection for wildlife and its ecosystems but also to evaluate its role in the provision of the services to people and communities." James added,"The IUCN and EAD have a joint plan to support the protected areas in UAE to join the Green List Programme in 2018. In addition, IUCN hopes that across the region we will have 15 candidate sites out of which successful sites will be evaluated to be on the Green List. These successful sites will be announced and awarded at the 14th meeting of the Conference of Parties on Biological Diversity which will be held in November this year in Egypt.'' Representing IUCN, ROWA in the training, Dr. Hany El-Shaer, the Regional Programme Coordinator, said,"The decision to form the Arabic EAGL network was to cater to the Arab region and it complies with IUCN global criteria for the selection of its members. The network is vital to the nomination and announcement of protected and conserved areas in West Asia and the Middle East on the global Green List. It is hoped that Arabic version of the Green List and its related EAGL network will encourage more sites and locations in the region to apply the international standard to their protected areas and join the Green List Programme."


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