CAIRO – Egyptian Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s project of mainstreaming biodiversity into developing the Egyptian tourism sector is considered among most important projects the ministry has been working on.
During a meeting Sunday with head of the project’s evaluation committee Mohamed al-Atoum, to discuss the implementation of the project’s objectives, the minister said the environmental sector was restructured to forge an all-out vision to upgrade the natural reserves’ file, with a view to making optimal usage of all natural protectorates.
The project is being launched by the Ministry of Environment in co-operation with the UNDP.
Fouad lauded the project’s success in linking tourism activities with visiting natural reserves, spreading awareness on the importance of such natural areas, thus highly contributing to invigorating the tourism sector.
She also accentuated the necessity of launching new ventures that would help outline concepts of sustainable development and its key role in deepening the link between the tourism and the environment.
The UNDP project is designed to mainstream biodiversity conservation into tourism sector development and operations in ecologically important and sensitive areas.
It also promotes existing planning and regulatory framework, through strategic environmental assessment to identify key areas, habitats and ecological processes and assesses their vulnerability and guidelines for the existing environmental regulations specific to biodiversity, as well as links them to a mechanism for developing a monitoring programme to track the impacts of tourism on biodiversity for conservation management purposes are all among that project’s key objectives.
It also aims at engaging the tourism industry by developing reliable tourism grading, promoting Egypt as a global destination for ecotourism and developing community-based systems to manage resources sustainably.