Egypt's planning ministry signs cooperation protocol with ECOnsult to set sustainability standards for "Decent Life" projects

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Wed, 27 Jan 2021 - 11:15 GMT

FILE - Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala al-Said

FILE - Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala al-Said

CAIRO - 27 January 2021: Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said witnessed the signing of a cooperation protocol between the ministry and ECOnsult Design, an engineering and environmental consultancy. The protocol falls within the framework of achieving sustainable development in villages and rural communities and applying the best international standards in implementing projects within "Decent Life".

 

The protocol aims to prepare a report on the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the most disadvantaged villages and rural communities. It also aims to prepare a document that includes a set of "detailed instructions" on how to reach sustainable rural communities to enhance the development impacts.

 

The end purpose is to set goals covering all dimensions of sustainable economic, social and environmental development, provided that the content of this document is applied to the villages of the "A Decent Life" initiative as a pilot project. 

 

Ministry of Planning and Economic Development is committed to providing the required facilities and coordination with the state agencies concerned with the objectives of the protocol to implement its objectives.

 

During her speech at the signing ceremony,  Hala El-Said indicated that achieving sustainable development in its comprehensive sense requires strengthening cooperation between the government, the private sector, civil society, universities, research centers, and others. She added that this confirms the importance of concerting the efforts of the various main actors in the state to achieve these goals.

 

El-Said reviewed the state's efforts to achieve economic reform within the framework of Vision 2030. She noted that the government's implementation of many reforms, through the first phase of the national economic and social reform program since November 2016, has led to the achievement of overall stability and comprehensive growth.

 

This was reflected in the positive indicators that the Egyptian economy witnessed in the fiscal year 2019/20 and before the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

El-Said stressed the state’s interest in localizing development, or what we call “localization of the sustainable development goals,” to achieve the concept of “inclusive and sustainable growth and balanced regional development”, as one of the main pillars of Egypt's 2030 Vision. This aims to maximize the benefit from the comparative advantages of the Egyptian governorates and regions.

 

The Minister of Planning and Economic Development pointed out that the ministry is working in coordination with all ministries and relevant authorities to implement Egypt Vision 2030 in all its economic, social, and environmental dimensions. The implementation falls in line with the international effort to implement the UN goals of sustainable development.

 

In this context, the Ministry welcomes cooperation with ECOnsult by signing the cooperation protocol between the two sides.

 

Hala El-Said explained that cooperation represents a qualitative leap in the “Decent Life” initiative, by adopting the concept of “sustainable rural communities” for the first time. "It is the result of the Ministry's continuous efforts to evaluate the presidential initiative and the development impact of the implemented projects and interventions," she added.

 

On the objectives of cooperation between the two sides within the framework of the protocol; El-Said stressed that the two parties seek cooperation in support of the transformation to a sustainable rural community model, with a focus on the poorest rural villages and communities. 

 

The implementation of programs and policies would take into account the concept of "multidimensional poverty", because of its significant impact on the quality of life indicators, the minister explained.

 

This comes in light of the environmental changes taking place in the world and the country's interest in sustainable development and the trend towards a green economy following Vision 2030, and in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially the eleventh goal, regarding the establishment of "sustainable cities and communities."

 

El-Said added that the government is adopting a national strategy for the transition to the green economy. She added that work is underway to implement 30% of investment projects according to environmental sustainability and green economy standards.

 

In cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, standards for environmental sustainability have been set and have been approved by the Cabinet. Accordingly, work is underway to train cadres in various bodies to apply these standards, El-Said explained, noting that Egypt came at the forefront of the countries in the region that Green bonds issued on the international market.

 

El-Said added that the protocol aims to cooperate in setting up programs to design and implement green buildings in the neediest rural communities, enabling them to adapt to climate changes and achieve the necessary flexibility in this context. It also takes into account the different characteristics of these rural, geographical, demographic, economic, social and cultural communities. 

 

Dr. Hala El-Said stressed the importance of the report and the detailed guidance document in preparing the national reports to be submitted to the relevant international organizations, such as the voluntary national report on the implementation of the sustainable development goals.

 

It will also lead to the availability of information, to facilitate the follow-up of progress in implementing the sustainable development goals in the poorest villages and rural communities.

 

In the conclusion of her speech, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development affirmed the state's determination to move forward to complete the process of comprehensive and sustainable reform and development. 

 

"It requires years of serious and continuous work in cooperation between all development partners from the private sector and civil society with the government."

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