Egypt, UNIDO sign $3 mln project to mitigate emissions, preserve biodiversity in Hurghada tourism industry

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Mar 2024

Egypt's Ministry of Environment and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have signed a $3 million project to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and preserve biodiversity in Hurghada City to develop its tourism industry, according to a ministry statement on Tuesday.

Fِile Photo: A beach resorts in Hurghada. AFP


The “Green Hurghada” project, aka “Greening the Tourism Industry in Hurghada" as called by the UNIDO, aims to promote a green recovery in Hurghada's tourism, energy, and transportation sectors, the statement said.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF), a multilateral fund dedicated to preserving biodiversity and addressing climate change, has funded the project.

Spanning five years, the project aligns with the COVID-19 recovery plans and aims to implement sustainable technology applications and encourage green investments in Hurghada’s tourism sector, according to a social media post by UNIDO Egypt.

Additionally, it will raise awareness about biodiversity conservation.

The project aims to develop a more resilient tourism industry in Hurghada, invest in environmental, economic, and social sustainability, and encourage sustainable tourism practices, Patrick Gilabert, the UNIDO representative of the Regional Office Hub in Egypt, emphasized during the signing ceremony.

It will also address policies related to the impact of tourism and fishing activities on biodiversity.

In addition, the project will conduct a strategic environmental assessment and mitigate the effects of climate change and air pollution, Gilabert added.

It also includes implementing a dedicated programme for technical assistance, technology development, and investment incentives.

The ministry will establish the Project Steering Committee (PSC) and oversee the project’s implementation activities.

Furthermore, it will coordinate the involvement of other Egyptian ministries and entities in the project and provide essential strategic support to achieve its goals, Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said.

The GEF and UNIDO will contribute to the preparation of project monitoring studies and necessary reports, Fouad added.

She stressed that the project builds on the successful experience of transforming the resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai into a green city.

Egypt aims to transform Sharm El-Sheikh into a green city by 2028 as per a GEF-funded project implemented in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

In recent years, Egypt has implemented eco-friendly initiatives in Sharm El-Sheikh, including switching to electric vehicles for its transportation network, requiring hotels to obtain green certificates, and declaring the city free of single-use plastic bags.

Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh are Egypt's most important tourist centres on the Red Sea coast, attracting millions of tourists from around the world each year.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa revealed that both cities collectively received around seven million tourists, out of the total 14.9 million tourists welcomed by Egypt, in 2023.

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