The environment ministry launched on Friday ECO Egypt, a campaign aimed at promoting nature reserves and ecotourism in Egypt, the ministry said.
The campaign targets raising public awareness about the importance of the environment, natural resources and environmental tourism.
Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad stated that Egypt is moving to a new stage in protecting natural resources and preserving their sustainability in conjunction with the economic and social development of the reserves, the local population and those working in the ecotourism sector to achieve sustainable development.
Fouad was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of ECO Egypt. The campaign kicked off in Ras Mohamed, declared a natural protectorate in 1983.
The oldest reserve in Egypt, Ras Mohamed is home to 220 species of coral reefs and 1,000 species of fish.
The ceremony was attended by Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Anany, State Minister of Media and Information Osama Heikal, along with 30 foreign ambassadors in Egypt, tourism and environment experts, and representatives of international news agencies.
Fouad said the three-year campaign will introduce eco-friendly destinations in Egypt for tourists to enjoy nature's creations, learn about the cultures of local communities, and have a diverse and rich experience.
The first phase of ECO Egypt focuses on promoting 13 natural reserves in Egypt, the statement noted.
The state is focused on enhancing the economic, social and cultural development of these reserves and maintaining Egypt’s biodiversity to preserve the environment and boost the national economy's capabilities to attract more investments to the environmental tourism sector, Fouad added.
Ecotourism is a broad concept that includes diverse activities, such as marine and Safari trips, she stated.
Migratory Bird Centre
From 700 to one million species of migratory birds pass through Egypt twice a year during the migration journey from Europe to Africa (Photo courtesy of State Ministry of Media and Information)
On Friday, Fouad and Heikal toured the Migratory Bird Centre in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Egypt is famous for its avitourism. It is the world's second most important pathway for bird migration, as from 700 to one million species of migratory birds pass through the country twice a year during the migration journey from Europe to Africa and back in the spring and autumn seasons, Fouad said.
Birds pass over Sharm El-Sheikh at this time of the year. At the Migratory Bird Centre, visitors can enjoy seeing migrating flocks during their journey, she added.
Fouad and Heikal
Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad and State Minister of Media and Information Osama Heikal tracking the flocks of birds at the Migratory Bird Centre in Sharm El-Sheikh on Friday (Photo courtesy of State Ministry of Media and Information)
Egypt has actively been fulfilling its international obligations to protect birds and integrate birdwatching into its ecotourism programmes, such as closing wind power plants at the seasons of bird migration, Fouad explained.
As a result, Egypt was awarded many international prizes, including the Energy Global Award in August 2020 for its efforts in protecting migratory birds.
The concept of responsible ecotourism achieves the preservation of biological diversity and natural resources, while preserving economic and social development and providing job opportunities, Fouad said, reflecting Egypt's concept of sustainable development the country seeks to achieve in its 2030 Vision.