Egypt seeks to establish wildlife shelter in Fayoum in cooperation with Jordan: Environment minister

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Feb 2023

Egypt seeks to establish a wildlife park in the Wadi El-Rayan reserve in Fayoum, south of Cairo, based on Jordan’s Al-Mawa (“shelter”) for Nature and Wildlife, announced Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad on Monday.

Egypt s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad visits Al Ma wa for Nature and Wildlife reserve in Jordan s Jerash. Ministry of Environment


The announcement came following a visit by Fouad to Jordan’s northern city of Jerash to inspect the Al-Mawa for Nature and Wildlife, which is in charge of protecting at-risk predatory animals, the Ministry of Environment said in a statement.

The joint project, named “a safe haven for wildlife in Wadi El-Rayan reserve in Fayoum,” will help generate ecotourism in Egypt, Fouad said.

The Wadi El-Rayan reserve spans nearly 1,800 square kilometres, including a pair of lakes joined by waterfalls. It is home to a number of different wildlife species including the Egyptian gazelle, foxes, as well as rare species of resident and migrant birds.

The proposed project aims to resettle animal and plant species that are endangered or extinct in their natural environment, thereby protecting biodiversity as well as supporting adaptation to climate change, said the environment minister.

The project, which is the first of its kind between Egypt and Jordan, is aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the field of the preservation of natural life and biodiversity, Fouad asserted.

Fouad, during her visit to Jordan, aimed to learn about the project, including how to integrate the surrounding community and, very importantly, to offer incentives for private sector involvement, Fouad confirmed.

The Jordanian shelter contains bears, lions, tigers and hyenas amongst others who were brought from conflict zones or areas where they were in need of specialised care, Fouad said, adding that they are currently residing in the shelter with excellent health.

Their environment in the reserve is also comparable to their natural environment, she asserted.

The spacious Al-Mawa for Nature and Wildlife was established in 2011 through a partnership by the Princess Alia Foundation with the Vienna-based global animal welfare organisation Four Paws to provide a regional solution for rescued wild animals.

The visit came under the larger framework of the environment minister’s visit to Jordan for the purpose of strengthening bilateral ties as well as lay the foundation for cooperation between the two countries in the field of nature protection.

Fouad also met with her Jordanian counterpart, Muawieh Khalid Radaideh, on Monday and the two discussed means of boosting bilateral investment in nature reserves, maintaining ecological and biological diversity as well as exchanging expertise in the field of climate issues and waste management.

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