On 30 November 2017, UNESCO released a report on Potential Biosphere Reserves in Sudan, Red Sea Coast and Islands. This report was prepared by the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences with support of the UNESCO Khartoum Office in September – November 2017, and included relevant materials of existing literature as well as results of a field study.
The activity were planned in March 2017, when two senior officials of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences in UNESCO visited Sudan for Fact Finding Mission. Visiting Red Sea State they assessed situation with the Red Sea Coast as very promising for the Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO (MAB), and decided to recruit an International consultant for assessing and reporting on potential Biosphere Reserves in the vicinities of Sudan’s Red Sea Coast and nearby islands. The consult started from September 2017 with existing information collection and review, followed by a field visit to the Sudan’s Red Sea Coast. The activity was supported by the Sudanese National MAB Committee, National Commission for Education, Science and Culture, UNESCO Chair for Women in Sciences and Technology, UNESCO / Cousteau Eco-Technie Chair for Environment, UNESCO Chair Marine Biology and Oceanography, Institute of Environment Studies of University of Khartoum, Wildlife Research Center, UN Environment Sudan, UNDP Sudan, Red Sea State University, Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Wildlife in Red Sea State, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Federal Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, its Wildlife Authority.
The report recommended different options for creating Biosphere Reserves on the Sudanese Red Sea Coast: (i) Dungonab Bay with extension to Mohammed Qawl, (ii) marine area including Sanganeb Atoll and Sha’ab Rumi, (iii) Suakin, including both, land and marine area, and, finally, the option of creating a global biosphere reserve that includes all areas mentioned above together with Port Sudan.
UNESCO shall coordinate with Sudanese national partners selecting optimal approach, and preparing all components for creation the Biosphere Reserve(s) on the Sudanese Red Sea Coast.