Home stretch for the creation of the Marine Protected Area in Taza National Park
The seminar was attended by numerous representatives of the Algerian government and by the partners of the project including Mr Paolo Lombardi, Director of WWF Mediterranean. Were present: representatives of the Algerian National Commission of Protected Areas, the Director of the protection of fauna and flora of the Direction Générale des Forêts, Mr Amar Boumezber, representatives of the Ministries of Environment, Tourism, Fisheries, Coast Guard, representatives of the University of Bejaia Jijel, the ESSMAL, fishermen's associations, the Commissariat National du Littoral, municipalities and the press.
The participants reaffirmed the need to accelerate the classification process of the Taza MPA to preserve the important biodiversity of the area while stimulating the development of a sustainable economy in the region.
Professor Alfonso Ramos of the University of Alicante in Spain, an expert on this project in Algeria, stressed the biological wealth of this area and the need to protect it. He added that a good collaboration with the fishermen of the area is essential in this effort.
The dialogue with the fishing industry must therefore be pursued with a view to finalizing the implementation of a charter for responsible and sustainable fisheries. Representatives of the Ministry of Fisheries continue to confirm their support to this program.
The seminar also recommended that further MPA awareness-raising environmental education activities be put in place for summer tourists. The first underwater trail in North Africa was also inaugurated in Taza during the seminar. It aims to promote the development of new sustainable tourism activities in the area. This project is the result of a collaboration between the League of Rescue, First Aid and Underwater Activities in the wilaya of Jijel, deeply involved in the promotion of responsible diving practices in the region, Taza National Park and the MedPAN association. Outdoors information panels and underwater leaflets are available for tourists.
The 2nd Jijelian coast underwater photography contest was also held this summer under the banner "Together for the Protection of Nature". 14 diving clubs participated, and the 1st prize went to Mehdi Hemani and Mahmoud Sehouane of the Algiers Espadon club. A coffee table book highlighting the creativity and talent of these photographers was published.
The work carried out by Taza National Park and its partners is also showcased globally at the World Exposition held in Yeosu in Korea until August 12. Passing through the Algerian pavilion, visitors can discover images of the creation of the marine area. Watch the video.
An inter-ministerial commission and a local Wilaya-level commission will be set up to validate the classification application. The law stipulating the creation of the Taza marine area and its integration into Park territory, should be voted in the coming months. Several applications will also be examined by the commissions for the creation of other marine areas in Algeria.
Taza National Park reaffirms its commitment to maintain and strengthen its scientific collaboration with universities and also its cooperation with other Mediterranean MPAs within the MedPAN network. The management plan that will be implemented is the result of a close Mediterranean cooperation in the framework of the MedPAN South Project led by WWF and a strong support from local partners of the project since its inception.