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05/22: Towards the adoption of a Law on Protected Areas in Libya


On Monday 16 May 2022, a national consultation workshop on the draft law of protected areas in Libya was organised by UNEP/MAP-SPA/RAC and the ministry of Environment of Libya.






The event was held under the auspices of His Excellency Dr Ibrahim Al-Arabi Mounir, Minister of Environment of Libya, who opened the workshop and declared that "through this draft law, Libya is aspiring to achieve the establishment of an integrated national network of protected areas that plays an effective role in protecting the natural marine heritage."

The workshop served to present and discuss the draft law, and to come up with relevant recommendations with regards the declaration of new protected areas. The law, once adopted, will allow creating new protected areas through a proposal of establishment that could be submitted by a governmental or non-governmental entity to the National Council for Protected Areas for assessment and approval. Once approved by the national Council of Protected Areas, the proposal is submitted to the Council of Ministers to issue a declaration Decree.

The workshop was held as part of the Child Project 3.1. "Management support and expansion of marine protected areas in the state of Libya" implemented by SPA/RAC, IUCN and WWF, in collaboration with the ministry of Environment of Libya, and with the support of the Med Programme project led by Barcelona Convention UNEP/MAP and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Several research and monitoring activities were conducted in Libya during the past 20 years, with the support of SPA/RAC. These efforts have led to the identification of biodiversity hotspots sites along the Libyan coast and to the declaration of the first two marine protected areas in Farwa and Ain Al Ghazala.  Between 2012 and 2014 efforts have been made to issue a national marine and coastal protected area strategy and draft the first comprehensive national legislation on the Libyan protected areas selection, finance and management.

The project “Management support and expansion of marine protected areas in the state of Libya” builds on previous experience and success to provide the state of Libya with an effective structure of MPA governance based on existing national regulations and built on agreed objectives resulted from nation-wide consultations with all stakeholders.

The project will also address the capacity barriers that hinder the sustainability and effectiveness of the MPA network in Libya, namely through the establishment of MPA management support mechanisms in 3 priority MPAs (Ain El Ghezala, Gara island and Farwa lagoon).

SPA/RAC is particularly leading the component on improving governance and management support. This will be based on the implementation of the Libyan Protected Areas National Strategy, on finalizing the consultations and approval of the national law on protected areas and developing management plans for 3 potential sites through a step-by-step participatory planning process to ensure the effective protection of ecological and socioeconomic values of the areas.