| MedWetCoast Quarterly Progress Report
Palestian Activities in the MedWetCoast Framework
Period covered : June- November 2002
Monday 24 February 2003, by Web Team
The Palestinian component within the MedWetCoast regional project comes to its end. During the last five month’s followed the second RAC meeting the project activities focused on finalizing the MP. Other activities have been implemented related to the coordination with other projects and stakeholders. In addition public awareness activities have been conducted. Different issues were raised and considered as a major theme of the project. These themes would be clarified as follow:
The Management Plan:
Following the recommendation and deadline proposed in the second RAC meeting in June, the project team drafted the final draft of the management plan (MP). Despite all of the constraints related to the political situation and the limited budget allocated to the Palestinian component, the project implemented and finalized the MP according to the work plan agreed among the RFU, the international expert and the project management. The first step of the MP was followed the Integrated Management Planning (IMP) hold in Amman last March 2002, by conducting a training session for EQA staff and other stakeholders. The aim of this training was to broaden the concept of IMP among various stakeholders and staff. Also it aimed to receive feed back, comments and recommendations from the audience in issues related to defining the general vision, objectives and problems that could be tackled in the management plan. In June the MP coordinator and the project management met with the international expert Dr. Nick Riddiford in Al-areesh/ Egypt. This meeting intended to discuss the general framework of the MP and how we could proceed in finalizing the MP due time. In early October the first draft sent again to the international expert for his comments and feed back and a meeting was organized in Egypt also as Dr. Riddiford couldn’t come to Gaza due to the ongoing situation. Two days of intensive work between the local team and the international expert was led to put the final recommendations and comments which reoriented the team to finalize and draft the MP document. The final draft sent to Dr. Riddiford for final revision, and expected to be finalized by mid December.
Water Quality and Quantity Monitoring:
The water quality and quantity monitoring program has started at the early beginning of the project, during the period from June till October 2002 regular field visits and monitoring were conducted as continuation for the water quality-monitoring program. On October 2002 heavy rain has fallen on the Wadi Gaza catchments and caused a flash flood of the Wadi, the discharge was measured and the total volume of it was estimated.
The BTI spreading in Wadi Gaza:
Combating mosquitoes in Wadi Gaza used to be very harming practice to the environment, since it was done using oil and very toxic pesticides. With the full supervision and assistance from Wadi Gaza project team, the Municipalities implemented the spreading of the BTI instead of the old traditional harmful methods. The program continued from June till early October 2002 and it was successful.
The training session of IMP implemented in EQA’s offices in early June was a pre-step to start for the management plan preparation. The training session held in two days and included 18 stuff members of EQA and other stakeholders from outside. Two training program and one seminar was canceled due to the changes in the RFU. The GIS expert supposed to attend training in remote sensing in Tour du Valat in France last August. This training was postponed to unknown date. The second session related to wetland strategy, which was proposed to be held in Albania in October-November also was postponed. Those two sessions was part of the work plan for this year and as the project due time, the project staff would loose these two opportunities. However the project conducted in cooperation with the local Botanist expert training schedule for five of EQA’s staff members. This training included three lectures and two field visits.
Coordination between the USAID project and the GEF project strategy, perspective and main guidelines were followed up as to compatibility and coherence to achieve the GEF project objectives. Coordination extended also to include various ministries, NGO’s and local community groups in the preparation of the management plan. Another achievement was implemented in coordination with GEF/SGP. This activity focused on the exploration of cultural and historical value of Wadi Gaza area and the potential for eco-tourism activity that could be conducted in the future. Moreover, new project proposal introduced for fund raising which focused on major activities to be launched in the next two years.
Several activities has been conducted related to public awareness such as; material, leaflets, video film and information sheets. Also under full supervision of the project management, local NGO implemented field trip to Jordan. This trip included visits to five natural reserves sites, meetings with local community, distribution of environmental materials, lectures and workshops. In addition, EQA implemented environmental summer camp which was conducted between July and August for two weeks.
Wardens and Site Protection:
As the budget allocated for the wardens within the GEF project was used up, the UNDP and as part of the USAID project activity contracted 12 wardens for one year. This would strengthening the overall protection and control of the site. Also, they are supposed to clean and remove all disposable materials from the site.
For additional information please contact Sami Qadan, Project Manager of the MedWetCoast Project.
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