Frequently Asked Questions 

General

What does biodiversity mean?

“The variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.” - cited.

What is the aim of (MBDT); Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Egypt’s Tourism as a project?

The project aspires to mainstream sustainable practices and the conservation of biodiversity are of vital importance for the productivity and continuity of the tourism sector in Egypt. Therefore, this project is divided into three main components:

  • Firstly, the project aims to make sure that the direct adverse impacts of tourism infrastructure development on biodiversity are avoided, reduced or compensated.

  • Secondly, the project aims to reduce the negative impacts on biodiversity caused by inappropriate practices from tourists and tourist establishments.

  • Thirdly, the project aims to strengthen the existing PA system and its management in three target regions with high levels of biodiversity that are exposed to tourism development and activities.

What is the most efficient and effective methodology that the project follows to acquire the needed results and effects?

A bundle of tools and techniques will be applied throughout the mainstreaming process to achieve the project goal, objectives, outcomes and outputs that includes dialogue creation, working groups and scenario planning exercises.

What are the main impact threats and root causes of biodiversity loss?

“Biodiversity is under serious threat as a result of human activities. The main dangers worldwide are population growth and resource consumption, climate change and global warming, habitat conversion and urbanisation, invasive alien species, over-exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation.” www.biodiv.be

Sustainable Tourism Development

How can the project implement Sustainable Tourism Development?

The project can implement sustainable tourism development through offering suitable practices proposed and addressed where the direct adverse impacts of tourism infrastructure development on biodiversity and land/sea-scapes (primarily loss and severe degradation of critical habitats in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems) are avoided, reduced or compensated in at least the c. 10,000 km of ecologically sensitive areas (including c. 2324 km inside protected areas) exposed to development pressures.

Protected Areas Management

What are Protected Areas (PAs)?

A protected area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or

other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values. (IUCN Definition 2008) https://www.iucn.org/theme/protected-areas/about

How many PAs do we currently have in Egypt?

In Egypt, we currently have around 30 protected areas declared which constitute more than 15% of the country’s total area.

How can we increase management capacities in Egypt’s PAs?

We can achieve increased management capacities through better staffing, control and enforcement; as well as the provision of trails and interpretation facilities for tourists operators and local populations to indicate regulations and good practices in tourist activities.

What are the dangers of over tourism in PAs?

In highly frequented areas the sheer numbers of visitors leads to habitat disturbance, such as at the dive sites in

Ras Mohamed National Park. Over tourism can also cause an increase in water consumption, air pollution, litter

and waste in sensitive ecological areas.Therefore, this project is committed to developing visitor management plans for each protected area which will include prescriptions for interpretation facilities for sensitizing tourists, operators and local populations to regulations and good practices in tourist activities and souvenir shopping, fees,

infrastructure design and development.

How are we working with local communities to improve livelihoods inside PAs?

The project will be working closely with the local communities considering them a main pillar in enhancing livelihoods inside the PAs through:

  • Engaging them in any touristic program in the PA they live near.

  • Promoting their handicrafts to all types of tourists and hammering on their authentic value as they are not just materials to buy yet heritage to cherish.

  • Increasing their income and benefits throughout promoting the hidden treasures of Egypt; PAs to all types of tourists.

What is community-based natural resource management (CBNRM)?

CBNRM is a management system that will empower the local community to work together with the Nature Conservation Sector (NCS) to manage and conserve natural resources found in PAs.

What are the project's main target areas?      

The project is intended to enact on-the-ground measures in three carefully selected target regions containing five existing4 and five candidate5 protected areas:

(1) the southern Red Sea coastal belt between Qosseir and the northern half of Elba National Park to Shalateen towards the Sudanese border (350 km);

(2) the north-western Mediterranean coastal belt between Omayed Biosphere Reserve near El Alamein and the Libyan border (400 km); and

(3) Siwa Oasis with its protected area as a key representative of the Western Desert ecosystems.

What is Eco Egypt?

ECO EGYPT Basic Concept.

ECO EGYPT concept aims to reconnect adventurous travellers with Egypt's countless ecological sites and protected areas. With the goal of prompting natural rediscovery and boosting the importance of ecological conservation, the ECO EGYPT Experiences Concept sheds light on all the wildlife, plant diversity, and natural landscapes on offer throughout Egypt. The concept encourages sustainable, responsible tourism for travellers seeking unique, out-of-the-box experiences. By centring the voices, experiences, and customs of local tribespeople, from Nubians to Bedouins, EcoEgypt advocates support for both the tourism sector & local livelihoods by giving a platform for the unique practices, traditions, and crafts of local communities. From camping to diving, stargazing to birdwatching, Egypt's ecological sites promise unparalleled experiences for the curious, young and old. Get a taste of everything Egypt's ecology has to offer and start planning your environmentally conscious, once-in-a-lifetime trip now!

 

What We Do. To ensure creating an ecotourism model for promoting Egypt as an Eco-destination and hammering on the essential application of Eco-tourism practices all over Egypt destinations and hidden treasures; Protected Areas. Most importantly, creating an enabling environment for businesses to adopt & upscale this model.

 

What We Aspire. By 2030, Egypt would be positioned as one of the best - well conserved Ecotourism destinations in the world.

ECO EGYPT brand and concept are owned by the Ministry of Environment (MoE). ECO EGYPT campaign is part of LiveGreenاتحضَر للأخضر  campaign which is executed under the auspices of Egypt’s Prestigious President | Mr. Abd El-Fattah El-Sisi.

Sustainable Tourism Practices and Operations

What are tourism service providers?

Tourism service providers encompass those business that cater to the visitors needs such transportation, accomodation, activities and catering companies

What are tour operators?

A tour operator combines tour and travel components to create a packaged holiday.

What are activity operators

An activity operator offers in-destination activities directly to consumers or through other channels including

tour operators.  These businesses generally specialize in providing a single type of activity, for example diving,

and are locally based.

How can tourism service providers and operators become more environmentally sustainable?

There are variety of ways in which tourism service providers and operators can become environmental sustainable: 

  • Adhering to a voluntary sustainable grading criteria (such as Green Star Hotel or Green Fins)

  • Educating customers about the environment and culture of the place they are visiting and suggesting that they support local business

  • Providing customers with conservation resources for the environment that they are visiting or promoting sustainable activities and locations such as hiking tours or protected areas while they are there.

What is Green Fins?

“Green Fins is a UN Environment initiative, internationally coordinated by The Reef-World Foundation; it is a

label which aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkeling tourism industry”

 

The Egyptian Ministry of Environment is the Chamber of Diving and Watersports’ (CDWS’) main counterpart in

the implementation of Green Fins Egypt.

 

Green Fins Label has been adopted in September 2019. Egypt has become the first country in its region and the

11th worldwide Green Fins member with several dive centers in Egypt already certified Green Fins operators. Participation in Green Fins is highly encouraged so as to ensure the sustainability of marine tourism activities and operations.

To find out more about Green Fins click here:  www.greenfins.net

For more details on Green Fins Egypt click here: https://www.greenfins.net/news/egypt-launch

How to become a Green Fins Dive Center?

“Dive and snorkel centres operating in active Green Fins locations can become members by signing the

membership form and pledging to follow the 15 environmental practices of the Green Fins Code of Conduct according to each and every country instructions and guidelines. Active Green Fins members are then trained, assessed and certified annually by qualified Green Fins Assessors, following the membership process outlined

below.” www.greenfins.net

What is a Green Star Hotel?

The Green Star Hotel (GSH) is a national green certification and capacity-building program managed by the

Egyptian Hotel Association (EHA) under the patronage of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.  The GSH program

offers an opportunity for hotels operating in Egypt to be internationally recognized for raising their environmental performance and social standards while reducing their operational costs. https://www.greenstarhotel.org/

What is the project doing to enhance sustainable practices amongst service providers and operators?

Our goal is to strengthen the legal, policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks at national and

sub- national levels used to plan, license and oversee tourism activities and developments in Egypt

as means to enhance sustainable practices among service providers and operators.

An activity operator offers in-destination activities directly to consumers or through other channels including tour operators.  These businesses generally specialize in providing a single type of activity, for example diving, and are locally based.