FILE – A beach in Sharm El-Sheikh, January, 2009 – Flickr/WomEOS
CAIRO – 7 August 2018: Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said that the South Sinai city of Sharm El-Sheikh is set to be declared an environment friendly city during the United Nations Biodiversity Convention in November.
In a press conference on Monday, Fouad called on Minister of Education, Tarek Shawki, to involve environmental science in the curricula of various educational stages to provide students with information about environment and ways to preserve biological diversity.
Sharm El-Sheikh will host the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 14) slated for November 17 – 29.
Biodiversity is defined as the diverse types of living organisms existing in an ecosystem. It defines the degree of variation. The community is considered more stable when larger number of diverse forms exists in it.
Concerning Sharm El-Sheikh city, Fouad earlier expressed hope that the EU supports the efforts exerted to declare the city located in South Sinai a green city.
In July, Fouad said that a number of projects will be carried out to turn Sharm El-Sheikh into a green city, including waste recycling, reuse of water and the use of environment friendly technology for renewable energy. She also revealed that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) supports the project by $5 million, which represents the project’s budget.
This came during the minister’s participation with South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) Minister Edna Molewa, in the side sessions of the Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Conventions at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.
During a press conference on launching the media campaign of the COP 14 in August, Fouad said that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's sponsorship of the convention marks an important historical stage of the political leadership's support for environmental issues.
Sisi follows up on conference preparations
In a meeting between Sisi, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, and the ministers of housing, local development and environment in late July, Fouad reviewed the preparations for hosting the Biodiversity Convention, which will reportedly receive over 5,000 attendees from different member states.
The decision that Egypt will host the 14th meeting of the conference was taken by the participants in the 13th meeting of the conference in Cancun, Mexico, in 2016, during the term of former Environment Minister Khaled Fahmi.
Egypt is the second African country to host the conference. Kenya hosted the event in May 2000.
Fouad succeeded Fahmi last June to become the third female minister to serve as the environment minister after Laila Rashid Eskandar and Nadia Makram Ebeid.
She has served as the acting director of the Center for Economic and Financial Research and Studies since 2014.
Fouad represented Egypt in a number of international conferences within the framework of the Green Climate Fund. In addition, she headed a committee that managed to get a fund of $54 million to support Egypt's environmental program for renewable energy.
Additional reporting by Walaa Ali, Egypt Today staff