Officials meet to advance Aqaba Marine Reserve's UNESCO World Heritage bid

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A high-level meeting was convened to discuss the latest developments regarding the Aqaba Marine Reserve's candidacy for the UNESCO World Heritage List, Petra reports. 

The session focused on reviewing feedback from UNESCO and strategizing on the next steps to meet the organization’s criteria.

The meeting, held in Aqaba, Jordan, was attended by Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, the Chief Commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), and representatives from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and British international experts.

Key discussions revolved around coordinating with relevant authorities and experts to finalize the submission according to the specified timelines. Detailed plans and schedules were set for each stage of preparing the final draft to ensure a comprehensive and timely submission to UNESCO.

This initiative aligns with the High Royal directives and is part of ongoing efforts by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and ASEZA to secure the Aqaba Marine Reserve's place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

During the visit to the reserve, officials examined work plans aimed at enhancing tourism management, preserving the marine environment, and educating visitors about the significance of environmental conservation and the reserve's potential UNESCO status.

The Aqaba Marine Reserve is renowned for its unique biodiversity, hosting 300 species of hard and soft coral reefs, 512 species of various fish, and three types of seaweed communities.

It also features two primary types of shallow seaweed at depths ranging from half a meter to 40 meters and coral reefs that demonstrate resilience to climate change effects.

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