Egypt launches Blue Economy Roadmap to advance marine conservation and eco-tourism

Mahmoud Bakr , Monday 19 Feb 2024

Egypt has recently launched the Blue Economy Roadmap, a collaborative effort with CEDARE, UNEP, and the EU, to promote sustainable marine practices and foster economic growth.

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Launched during an event in Cairo, the Blue Economy Roadmap was developed in collaboration between the Ministry of Environment, headed by Yasmine Fouad, the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE), the United Nations Development Programme (UNEP), and the European Union (EU).

The roadmap signals Egypt's commitment to advancing sustainable marine conservation and eco-tourism practices.

The launching event was attended by Sylvie Fontaine from the European Union Delegation to Egypt, Luc Reuter representing the United Nations Environment Programme, Hossam Allam of CEDARE, leaders from the Suez Canal Authority, and representatives from various ministries and organizations.

The Blue Economy Roadmap, tailored to Egypt's priorities and strategic objectives, serves as a guiding document for promoting sustainable coastal and marine practices. It lays the foundation for fostering the blue economy — a concept that emphasizes the sustainable utilization of ocean resources while preserving marine ecosystems.

Aligned with Egypt's 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy and the Ministry of Environment's objectives, the roadmap focuses on sound natural resource management, pollution reduction, and ecosystem protection. It also reflects Egypt's commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goals 12, 13, and 14, which address sustainable consumption and production, climate action, and marine conservation.

Developed through a participatory approach involving key stakeholders from government entities, academia, and civil society, the roadmap outlines four pathways for enhancing sustainable practices and promoting the blue economy:

  • Aligning ecotourism with marine conservation and biodiversity protection.
  • Diversifying ecotourism offerings and improving existing infrastructure.
  • Utilizing ecotourism for climate resilience.
  • Empowering communities and preserving heritage through ecotourism.

With its extensive coastline, unique natural resources, and diverse ecosystems, Egypt holds immense potential for sustainable economic development in the marine sector.

The Blue Economy Roadmap seeks to capitalize on these assets by creating millions of sustainable job opportunities through eco-tourism, fishing, and recreational activities, thus benefiting local communities and contributing to national prosperity.

The initiative is part of the SwitchMed II project to accelerate the implementation of blue economy, circular economy, and sustainable consumption and production. 

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