Sustaining Egypt's Aquatic Riches: Crafting a Blueprint for Environmental Prosperity

Mon, 19-02-2024 15:00:00

Africa's abundant aquatic resources, encompassing coastlines, oceans, rivers, and lakes, hold immense promise for socio-economic advancement. However, these resources confront significant threats such as overfishing, pollution, climate change, and habitat destruction. In response, the African Union has devised the Africa Blue Economy Strategy, aimed at optimizing the benefits of aquatic resources while ensuring their sustainability.

Aligned with this strategy, the Arab Republic of Egypt is hosting a National Stakeholder Consultative Meeting from February 18th to 20th, 2024, in Cairo. The objective of this gathering is to craft a master plan and regulatory frameworks to bolster environmental sustainability and conserve aquatic biodiversity, particularly in light of challenges posed by marine and coastal tourism, oil, and gas exploration.

The workshop is centered on formulating a master plan for sustainable coastal and marine tourism and mining activities. Through presentations and plenary discussions, participants engage in interactive dialogue to address pertinent issues.
This consultative meeting represents a pivotal stride towards advancing environmental sustainability and conserving aquatic biodiversity in Egypt. By devising comprehensive master plans and regulatory frameworks, the country aims to ensure the responsible and sustainable utilization of its aquatic resources for future generations.


Egypt's economy heavily relies on sectors like oil and gas exploration and tourism. While these sectors fuel economic growth, they also pose threats to environmental sustainability and aquatic biodiversity. With the country possessing the sixth-largest proved oil reserves in Africa and boasting a flourishing tourism industry, it becomes imperative to mitigate the adverse impacts of these sectors on its aquatic ecosystems.

During the opening statement of the national stakeholder workshop, remarks were delivered by Dr. Ahmed Elbeltagy, representing the Director of AU-IBAR, Dr. Huyam Salih; Engineer Atef Megahed, the representative of the chairman of Lakes and Fisheries Resources Protection and Development Agency (LFRPDA) of the Arab Republic of Egypt; and Dr. Noah Samy Sayed from the Environmental Protection Agency in Egypt. Dr. Elbeltagy highlighted the significance of developing a national master plan and regulatory frameworks to enhance the conservation of aquatic biodiversity in Egypt, reaffirming AU-IBAR's commitment to supporting the country. Representatives from LFRPDA and the Ministry of Environment of Egypt expressed gratitude to AU-IBAR for selecting Egypt for support under this initiative.

This initiative falls under the Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity in African Blue Economy Project, under the auspices of the Animal Production Unit at AU-IBAR, with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).