Ashtum Al Gamil Protectorate - Mohamed Kamal Wikimedia commons
CAIRO – 20 October 2017: In an initiative by the government to help protect Egypt's natural protectorates and under the patronage of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, the prime ministry forwarded a proposed law to manage nature reserves to the Parliament. Over the next few days the committee of energy and environment will start discussing that law.
The law states a set of very specific rules that will assure the safety of nature reserves from any violation, and stipulates very strict punishments for those who violate them. As the law establishes a public authority for protectorates which manages nature reserves and supervise them, by setting the laws and environmental conditions to benefit from these reserves, and by giving it the right to establish contributing companies which help manage and protects the reserves.
The law specifically dictates the jurisdictions of the aforementioned authority which will be responsible for setting any rules and regulations necessary to allow actions and activities which are meant to prevent the violation or destruction of nature reserves or harm wild life, sea life, plant life or nature generally. The authority will have a chief executive who will be assigned by the president based on the recommendation of the concerned minister.
Coral reef in Ras Muhammad nature park - Wikimedia commons
As for the lands of reserves owned fully or partially by a person, under the law they will continue to own or benefit from that land as stated in their property contracts. The government retains the right to confiscate such lands and compensate its owners if its acquisition is done for the sake of the public good. Such acquisitions fall under law No. 10 for the year 1990 for expropriation for the common good. In such a case the concerned minister is to form a complaints committee to study the complaints which are issued as a consequence of this law.
As for the items concerned with preventing the violation of nature, the draft law sets strict sanctions for a number of crimes which could be committed against nature and to prevent them. The accused could face prison sentences ranging from five to seven years and a fine of no less than LE two million ($113,000) and no more than LE five million ($283,000), or one of these two sentences for any person who collects, possesses, transports or trades in fossils of any kind, or changes its appearance in anyway if it is within the nature reserve. Same goes for trading in wild animals or endangered plants, or growing them outside their natural habitats as stated by the executive regulations.
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