|Overview : |
This 4-year project is designed to mainstream biodiversity into the Egyptian tourism sector and government. It comes at a critical time in Egypt’s recent history with the political changes that are currently underway to make government institutions more accountable and to develop the economy, both of which are resulting in considerable changes in the way that both tourism and biodiversity resources may be managed in the future. Therefore, the project will work on two levels:
The first level will engage directly with the industry and government to fill gaps in the existing planning and regulatory framework, namely a Strategic Environmental Assessment to identify key areas, habitats and ecological processes and assess their vulnerability and guidelines for the existing EIA regulations specific to biodiversity and linked to an offsetting mechanism and developing a monitoring programme to track the impacts of tourism on biodiversity for conservation management purposes.
The second level will engage the tourism industry by developing Responsible Tourism Grading and promoting Egypt as a global destination for ecotourism and developing community-based systems to allow those closest to the resources to benefit and manage them sustainably.
The project will also create one new protected area and increase the size of two more while building management capacity and developing these and four more protected areas for sustainable tourism. All of these areas are currently under threat from tourism development. Because of the uncertainty and dynamic nature of the challenge and because the tourism industry faces an adaptive challenge and to a lesser extent a technical challenge, the project will be guided by a scenario planning exercise as a means to bring about the individual and institutional behavioral changes and to ensure that the project is highly adaptive.