The MedOpen on-line training on ICZM attended by graduate students with specialization in coastal management at the National Superior School for Marine Sciences and Coastal Management (ENSSMAL) in Algeria, has been officially concluded. This is the first training course in the history of MedOpen organized for a group of trainees from the same country and from the same institution. The extraordinary group of ENSSMAL students has made this three-month training exceptional, dynamic and rich in interesting forum discussions on the ICZM issues.
The novelty regarding the practical part (the Simulation Game - SG) of this training was the inclusion of a real pilot site of the Algerian coast, the marine part of the National Park of Gouraya (NPG) - the future MPA, instead of the "imaginary" one so far implemented in the former MedOpen training courses. With great support of the NPG, as well as of the Commissariat national du littoral (CNL) and the Port authorities of Béjaia, three workshops were organized for students with participation of the local actors at the pilot site. The students had a unique opportunity to actively participate in the effective exchange process with real stakeholders discussing about a real project (the future MPA of Gouraya). Following this terrain visit, the final restitution conference was held in Algiers, with participation of representatives of the NPG, CNL and the Béjaia Port authorities.
This initiative to implement the practical part of the training at the terrain has already started producing effects, such as: a) the decision of ENSSMAL to reiterate this specific experience with the future Master students, and not only with those with specialization in coastal management, as well as to extend, in consultation with the NP management, the on-site training to two other national coastal parks - Taza and El Kala; b) the proposal to organize similar trainings, with the reduced contents and of a shorter duration, for the institutional actors dealing with ICZM; c) the decision of a group of trainees to add to their Master thesis dissertation, in consultation with their promoters, a chapter corresponding to their final essay elaborated in the frame of MedOpen; d) a firm and a repeated decision of the NPG actors to be at disposal for the implementation of all types of initiatives such as MedOpen.
For more details, see the PAP/RAC MedOpen 2018 Final report.
This extremely positive experience for both, ENSSMAL and PAP/RAC, as well as for the NPG, has created strong links between education and the initiatives at the terrain, providing a good example of what we should do to contribute to the promotion of ICZM at a larger, regional scale.