On 21 March 2018, the UNESCO Khartoum office and Sudanese National Commission for Education, Science and Culture (NATCOM) with the support of the Division of Ecological Sciences at UNESCO HQ organized a workshop to review the stature of the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) in Sudan.
The title of the workshop was “Biosphere Reserves (BRs) towards Sustainable Development”, and it took place in the Grand Holiday Villa hotel in Khartoum, attracting about 50 participants linked to Sudanese national parks from different parts of Sudan.
Opening the workshop, Prof. Abdin Salih, Sudan’s member of the Executive Board of UNESCO, welcomed the attendees and gave a brief introduction about the biosphere reserves (BRs) and their importance for safeguarding biodiversity of the planet. He thanked Dr. Pavel Kroupkine, the Representative of UNESCO to Sudan, Dr. Miguel Clusener-Godt, the Director of the Division for Ecological Sciences in the UNESCO HQ, and Dr. Salwa M. Abdelhameed, the Chair of the Sudanese National MAB Committee for supporting the MAB Programme in Sudan.
Then, Dr. Pavel Kroupkine, the Representative of UNESCO to Sudan, welcomed the participants and stressed on the importance of joining the efforts of the academic sectors, professionals and the counterparts for the benefit of the future of the BRs in order to keep them for the next generations.
He thanked Dr. Miguel Clusener-Godt, the Director of the Division for Ecological Sciences in the UNESCO HQ, Dr. Antonio Abreu, the UNESCO Expert, who worked in the Red Sea coast of Sudan, and the Sudanese Wildlife Conservation Administration for their support for the MAB Programme in Sudan. Dr. Siddig Mohammed Gasm Alseed, the representative of the Ministry of Tourism, Antiquities, and Wildlife, valued the MAB Programme very high and expressed the Ministry’s satisfaction by the MAB committee.
He explained the country’s understanding of the purposes of the BRs since their establishment in Sudan in 1973, which include scientific research, monitoring, protection, and safeguarding of the Sudanese nature. Dr. Abdelmahmoud Alnour, the representative of NATCOM, briefed the participants on the establishment of BRs in Sudan, their socio-economical and environmental importance, and their contribution to the 2030 Development Agenda.
He appreciated the efforts of UNESCO in supporting the organization of new reserves in Sudan and making possible the joint Sudanese-Ethiopian project around transboundary issues of Al Dinder (Sudan) and Attish (Ethiopia) BRs. Brigadier General Mr. Kahl M. Alamin Mukhtar, the representative of the General Directorate of Wildlife Conservation Administration in the Ministry of Tourism, Antiquities and Wildlife, concluded the opening session mentioning that the UNESCO MAB programme serves the 2030 Development Agenda of the country.
He overviewed different successful practices of other countries in reserve protection. He attracted an attention to such challenges for reserves, as desertification, poverty, and diseases.