Mon, 09 May 2022 - 08:38 GMT
Mon, 09 May 2022 - 08:38 GMT
Egypt’s Agriculture Minister El Sayyed El Qusseir participates in the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Côte d'Ivoire- press photo
CAIRO – 9 May 2022: Egyptian Minister of Agriculture El Sayyed El Qusseir said on Monday that constructing giant dams should not be an obstacle to the equitable distribution of the waters of transboundary rivers to combat desertification, prevent land degradation and preserve food production.
The Egyptian Minister’s comments were given in his speech at the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will take place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, from 9 to 20 May 2022.
The Coronavirus crisis has taught the world to cooperate and integrate to address difficult challenges, said the Minister on behalf of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, adding that there is no danger comparable to the risk of desertification and drought due to their negative effects on the food security.
“Egypt is also looking forward to reaching a binding legal framework to implement the Global Drought Initiative, which was launched during the COP14 in India to reduce the impact of common climate change impacts besides desertification to enhance the resilience of ecosystems at risk,” he said.
Al-Qusseir added that Egypt, during its presidency of the United Nations Conference of Parties on Biological Diversity in Sharm el Sheikh in 2018, has called for unifying efforts to implement the three Rio Conventions - on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification, to provide the financial funds necessary for the implementation of national action programs and the proper utilization.
The Minister reviewed the Egyptian government’s efforts in combating desertification, as follows:
1- Taking decisive measures and binding legislation to prevent the encroachment of building on fertile agricultural to prevent land degradation.
2- Launching an integrated program for lining and rehabilitating irrigation canals, besides adopting a national plan to shift from the flood irrigation system to modern systems to reduce water losses and raise the efficiency of water use.
3- Adopting an ambitious plan to develop valleys in rainfed farming areas. The plan included gathering rainwater, developing the valleys, improving natural pastures, improving the productivity of grazing animals, and developing Bedouin communities.
4- Adopting a national plan to neutralize land degradation and reclaim desert through the implementation of national megaprojects for horizontal expansion of agricultural crops.
5- Adopting a national program to develop agricultural varieties with high productivity, early maturity, resistance to drought and adverse environmental conditions.
The Minister calls for facilitating the access of the Parties to the necessary financing resources that enable them to continue implementing programs to prevent land degradation and adapt to drought in order to achieve a world free of desertification.
Qusseir added that Egypt is looking forward to seeing all the participants at the conference to attend the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (UNFCCC COP 27) due to be held in Sharm Sheikh city in November 2022.