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RSCN organises workshop for staff of Socotra Archipelago Reserve in Yemen

By Maria Weldali - Jun 16,2021 - Last updated at Jun 16,2021

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature organised in Jordan an 18-day-long intensive training workshop for the staff of the Socotra Archipelago Reserve in Yemen (Photo courtesy of RSCN)

AMMAN — The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) organised in Jordan an 18-day-long intensive training workshop for the staff of the Socotra Archipelago Reserve in Yemen with a view to equip participants with “a solid understanding and capacity to achieve integrated management and conservation” of nature.

The workshop is part of the second phase of the sustainable management programme for the conservation of nature and the promotion of sustainable development in the Yemeni island of Socotra, which is currently being implemented by the RSCN in the archipelago after the signing of an agreement with the UNEP, according to an RSCN statement sent to The Jordan Times.

The statement also said that the implementation of the programme’s second phase is supported by the Global Environment Facility in the partnership with the Environment Public Authority of the Republic of Yemen.

“We are very excited about the project, especially given that Socotra is considered as one of the 10 most important islands known for their exceptional and unique biodiversity,” RSCN Director General Yehya Khaled told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

He added that a team from the RSCN paid a visit to Socotra with the aim to consider the needs of the island’s local communities, as well as to evaluate the efficiency of its nature reserves, pointing out that the RSCN has a long experience in managing protected areas.

“The programme started in 2020’s last quarter,” he noted.

The programme concentrates on four main components including: The development of capacity to manage the island’s protected areas in a complementary manner, the protection of Socotra’s endemic species from invasive ones, the implementation of integrated land use plan, in addition to developing the efficiency of the protected areas, Khaled added.   

According to the statement, Socotra has a rich and distinct flora and fauna. The island contains more than 300 species of endemic flora, 10 endemic bird species, 27 reptile endemic species and 60 endemic butterflies “that are nowhere to be found expect on the island of Socotra”.

Director of RSCN’s Biodiversity Watch Centre Nash’at Hmeidan pointed out that the workshop consists of a series of important issues concerning the management of protected areas, while taking into account world best practices in the field of protected areas management.  

Hmeidan, who is also Socotra’s project manager, added that the workshop familiarises its participants with various aspects of the integrated management of protected areas and builds up their field experiences by taking them to the Kingdom’s nature reserves run by the RSCN.

The workshop also focuses on developing protected areas’ ecotourism strategies and implementing laws in reserves, the statement said.

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