29/04/2014 Strengthening Resilience of Coastal Ecosystems to CC Impacts in Yemen

PERSGA held a national training workshop “Strengthening Resilience of Coastal Ecosystems to the Impacts of Climate Change” during 29-30 April 2014 in Hodeida, Yemen. The workshop came in the framework of the capacity building component of the on-ground project “Building Ecosystem Resilience for Adaptation to Climate Change in Yemen”, which is implemented by PERSGA and executed by PERSGA National Focal Point, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in the Republic of Yemen. It was organized at Hodeida Training Center in collaboration with the EPA branch in Hodeida.

The Workshop was attended by 25 participants from relevant institutions including EPA HQ and branches of Hodeida, Aden, Hijja; Ministry of Fish Wealth; Hodeida Port; Navy, University of Hodeida and others. The training team from PERSGA included Dr. Maher Abdul Azizi, the Regional Coordinator of Biodiversity & MPAs, and Dr. Ahmed Khalil, the Regional Coordinator for Living Marine Resources and Climate Change.

The workshop aimed at providing the participants with background on the impacts of sea level rise and other climate change parameters on coastal and marine environment; the concept of Ecosystem based Adaptations (EbA); and training on methods for coastal vulnerability assessment; toolkits for building resilience; and application of coastal EbA solutions for key coastal habitats of the region, mainly coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass.  The workshop also intended to facilitate discussions on necessary tools, national policy frameworks and options for vulnerability assessment studies and coastal EbA implementation in Yemen.

The program of the workshop included a combination of background lectures, plenary discussions, video films and group work exercises. The training program included two main parts with each part offered a period of one day. The first part was focused on climate change parameters in marine environment, sea level rise impacts and vulnerability assessment. The second part was focused on the concept of coastal EbA, and demonstrating toolkits for building resilience of coastal habitats and planning for coastal EbA with emphasis on coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass in Yemen. 

The background lectures introduced the concepts and approaches for Climate Change impacts and vulnerability assessments in coastal areas; EbA core principles, and toolkits for building coral reef, mangrove and seagrass resilience and identification of adaptation options based on theses ecosystems. This in addition to the outlining international and regional frameworks and providing case studies demonstrating how ecosystem resilience and EbA issues can be considered in national planning, including conservation and management plans for coastal marine habitats and adaptation to climate change of the region. The group-work exercises in the Workshop provided practical training on coastal vulnerability assessment and building resilience approaches and tools. Case studies and issues for exercises were selected from the country to provide a closer outlook of vulnerability assessment and coastal EbA issues at local levels. 

The main follow-up activities recommended by the workshop include provision of guidelines and develop action plans for building resilience of key coastal ecosystem in Yemen, as well coastal vulnerability assessment for climate change impacts in marine and coastal environment, considering other parameters such as ocean acidification. The participants also valued the training workshop, indicating that the existing gaps in capacities and knowledge in the country shall be addressed by organizing more training events through PERSGA and EPA collaboration and the current on-ground project.

The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden