Egypt’s Ministry of Environment launched on Tuesday the national campaign to raise awareness of climate change impacts under the slogan “Back to nature.”- press photo
CAIRO – 16 August 2022: Egypt’s Ministry of Environment launched on Tuesday the national campaign to raise awareness of climate change impacts under the slogan “Back to nature.”
One of the hurdles of combating climate change impacts was the lack of awareness of its gravity, so Egypt launched the Live Green Initiative, and other awareness campaigns, said Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad, noting that the national campaign aims at involving citizens in the processes of preserving the environment.
She added that several initiatives like ECO Egypt campaign, E-Tadweer, cleaning up of shore, getting rid of single-use plastic bags, etc. have been launched. “We launched the first national climate dialogue last March in Sharm El-Sheikh.”
Furthermore, Egypt set up a parallel action plan through cooperation protocols with Egypt’s Orthodox Church and Al-Azhar Institution to participate in raising awareness of climate change impacts, the minister continued.
"Nationwide, distributing ad placards on streets, posting infographics about the national strategy of climate change 2050 on social media platforms, and cooperating with celebrities are some ways that have been adopted to raise public awareness of Climate Change impacts," Fouad explained.
To raise climate change awareness among students, Fouad stated that an initiative was launched to integrate environmental concepts into education curricula, in coordination with the Ministry of Education.
Minister Fouad also stated that all Egyptian airports are set to present an explanatory documentary on climate change to deliver a message to tourists about the importance of preserving the environment. “This national campaign itself is considered a preparation for the COP 27 Conference,” she said.
What will be on COP 27 agenda?
“Green Africa” is one of the essential topics that would be tackled during the COP 27 Conference, where a session will convene to discuss climate change impacts on Africa, putting forward two initiatives for the continent: one aims at reducing waste in Africa by 50 percent by 2050, while the other focuses on climate adaptation in Africa. The latter has been called for by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
"Over three days, Egyptian civil society organizations will have a pavilion at the blue zones o show their experience," said Fouad. She further noted that the USAID and the Ministry of Environment are working on a simulation model of COP 27 at the Cairo University.
A total of 35 eco-friendly projects are ongoing in Sharm El-Sheikh in cooperation with all the concerned bodies of the state, the minister reiterated.
Regarding Egypt’s role in the first-ever treaty on ocean’s biological diversity, the minister said that Egypt supports and will participate in the general framework of the treaty. Additionally, Egypt will launch a new initiative on preserving marine life at the COP 27 to link climate change and biological diversity. This comes as per President Sisi's instructions, who launched the trio campaign of Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification in 2018.
When asked about the possibility that environmentalists and activists would stage protests, the minister said that they are free to peacefully protest and all people are free to express their opinions regarding the climate change issues and strategies.
CEO of Egypt’s Environmental Affairs Agency Ali Abu Sena said at the conference that topics that will be discussed in the COP 27 include energy, water, and the roles of civil society and the youth.
"Egypt launched an initiative to get rid of single-use plastic bags 3 years ago, and the state aims to reduce the use of plastic bags from 700 to 50 plastic bags per capita annually by 2025," Abu Sena said.
"To achieve the 2025 goal of reducing single-plastic bag consumption to 50 bags per capita annually, the state has adopted measures such as passing legislation banning the free distribution of single-use plastic bags in supermarkets, and providing financial incentives for people to invest in green alternatives," Minister Fouad replied to Egypt Today’s question on the ministry’s efforts to achieve its strategy regarding the single-use plastic bags.
In response to Egypt Today's question about the lack of coordination between the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Water Resources and irrigation on drying up Lake Fatnas in Siwa Oasis, the minister denied any lack of coordination, and stressed that Lake Fatnas is not a natural reserve; it locates 7 kilometers away from a national reserve. Fouad stated that the lake will be refilled again with water, as stated by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and the balance between tourism and the development of the lake will be discussed by the concerned ministries.
As for the phenomenon of shore erosion along the coasts of Mediterranean cities, Fouad said that the ministry is following up on the latest developments and studies concerning the reasons and the possible solution.