Could sustainable tourism promote the Marine Protected Areas of the Red Sea?
To answer this question, Cousteau supported a Training Workshop about Sustainable Tourism, which was held on March 20th-23rd 2016 at the El Khabeer International Conference Hall of The Red Sea University in Port Sudan, Red Sea State of Sudan.
The Red Sea was explored by Cousteau since in 1956, during the filming of “The Silent World” (Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival; Oscar in Hollywood) and “World without Sun”. In the early 2004, the Cousteau vessel Alcyone anchored on the atoll of Shaab Rumi for an expedition in Sudan, which provided the opportunity to revisit sites where, 50 years earlier, Cousteau had passed through.
In 2007, Cousteau has gathered a multidisciplinary team of scientists to carry out the most comprehensive survey of the Sudanese coast and underwater environment ever to be attempted in this region. From there the Society have been supporting and promoting projetcs of sustainable development to follow the Cousteau’s legacy.
The workshop, as one of these projects, had its opening ceremony chaired by the Representative of the Wali and Minister of Ficance as well as by The Red Sea University Vice Chancellor and by The Red Sea University Faculty of Marine Science & Fisheries Dean. The Head of the Department of Biological Oceanography Faculty of Marine Sciences & Fisheries of Red Sea University was the master of ceremony.
Ms. Dominique Verdugo, an Ecotourism Expert sent by Cousteau, brought her experience to collaborate with the Sustainable Tourism training. She underlined the perfect timing for this training on sustainable tourism due to the UN World Tourism Organisation Secretary General recent announcement at ITB Berlin.
In line with the recent approach integrating social and environmental concerns, this training that counted with 24 participants, enabled participants to learn about sustainable tourism for development including ecotourism.
The course focused on the evolution of the tourism industry towards sustainability as well as on the fundamental tools and practices linked to sustainable tourism development. Despite a vast range of very different backgrounds and interests, participants started to discuss Port Sudan most important challenges as an emerging and developing tourist destination. After four days of training and field work, all the participants and coordinators concluded this experience with the same aim to protect what we love and as Jacques Cousteau said:
“The real cure for our environmental problems is to understand that our job is to salvage Mother Nature.” Jacques Yves Cousteau
This workshop was organised by The Red Sea University with the technical support from SUDIA and Cousteau and the financial support from the United Kingdom Government.
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