The Environment and Development Writers Association honoured the minister of environment
The Ministry of the Environment and the Society of Writers on Environment and Development signed a cooperation protocol this week to implement a host of programmes and activities to prioritise the protection of the environment and raise people’s awareness of climate change and ways of mitigating its repercussions.
Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad, who attended the signing ceremony, said the protocol was meant to leverage the media’s role in raising awareness of the importance of protecting the environment and explaining environmental challenges such as climate change.
She described Egypt’s role at the upcoming UN COP28 Climate Change Conference in the UAE, saying that the Egyptian and Emirati sides are coordinating in preparation for the conference and Egypt will be assisting the UAE with expertise and technical support gleaned from its successful holding of the COP27 Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in November last year.
The committee set up to oversee the Loss and Damage Fund at the COP27 Conference has held its first meeting with the countries participating in setting out the framework for the fund, Fouad said, adding that work on initiatives connecting the COP27 and COP28 is ongoing, with a focus on food and energy security, women and youth, and biodiversity.
She said that Egypt was the first country to establish a connection between the climate and biodiversity on the agenda of the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh last year.
Egypt has also been working with the UAE to put biodiversity at the heart of the COP28, Fouad noted, especially after the release of the biological diversity framework post-2020. Denmark is presently hosting a meeting between Egyptian Foreign Minister and President of COP27 Sameh Shoukri and the president of COP28 to help in the preparations.
Fouad said that hopes were being pinned on COP28 to come up with recommendations on three critical topics: the developing countries and adaptation to climate change; following up on efforts to restrict the rise in the Earth’s temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius; and following up on the Loss and Damage Fund established at COP27.
She said that Egypt had taken important steps to localise the technology converting waste into energy by signing a contract for the first plant to convert waste into electricity in Abu Rawash using international technology implemented by an Egyptian consortium.
The contractual arrangements had been drawn up through a joint project of the ministries of the environment, finance, electricity, local development, housing, and military production, she said, through a consultative process that had included the State Council and an international law firm.
Fouad honoured the winners of the second edition of the Award for Journalistic Excellence and Writing on the Environment and Climate Change named after late journalist Mohamed Abdel-Maksoud. The first edition of the award was held last year as a cooperative venture between the Ministry of Environment and the Environment and Development Writers Association.
The association comprises 75 journalists from different media and seeks to encourage more writers interested in environmental affairs to help in the implementation of the government’s development goals, increase environmental awareness, and raise the skills of journalists in the environmental field.
During this year’s event, the association honoured Fouad for her efforts in promoting the environmental sector in Egypt and her distinguished role during Egypt’s hosting of COP27.
* A version of this article appears in print in the 6 April, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly