Friday, 27 August 2010

El Sallum, the first Egyptian MPA in the Mediterranean

Egypt's prime Minister declared the first Mediterranean MPA on 27 February 2010 in accordance to the Egyptian law for Natural Protectorates (102/1983) and at the request of the minister of state for environmental affairs Eng. Magid George. It is the 28th nature protectorate in Egypt but the first on the Mediterranean coast.

Located in the Gulf of Sallum on the western coast close to the border with Libya, the area is one of the last nearly pristine area remaining in the Egyptian Mediterranean. It includes exceptional biodiversity and a unique cultural heritage that are unfortunately subject to increasing pressures and threats from the rapid development of economic activities.

The process

The declaration process started in 1998 when the National Planning System of Protected Areas in Egypt first proposed to declare the Sallum gulf as a protected area. In November 2008, IUCN agreed to support the preparation of a request for a declaration document for the Sallum Marine Protected Area (MPA) on behalf of the Nature Conservation Sector (NCS) of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA). An Egyptian environmental consultancy firm (Environics) was contracted to provide the technical assistance required for the preparation of the declaration document.

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