|Overview : |
One of the issues to be addressed in the country is the cumulative impact on biodiversity and environmental resources caused by tourism investments and developments. In Egypt, tourism investments are evaluated on a case-by-case base through Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) which review every proposed development in the tourism sector. This approach has recognised limitations, particularly in overlooking the external negative effects that one investment may have on a wider scale or underestimating or missing cumulative impacts on biodiversity of several developments, thus affecting the entire tourism sector.
To address this, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is the best placed valuation process currently available to deal with policy, plan and programme level assessments; furthermore, it is capable of producing a more effective screening of tourism developments. SEA integrates the environmental dimension and sustainable use of natural resources into strategic decision-making and should be introduced before individual projects are evaluated and authorised through EIA. This instrument should afterwards support planners, decision-makers and investors in the strategic development of the Egyptian tourism sector.
In May 2022 the project finalized the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) focusing on tourism development in the south of the Egyptian Southern Red Sea Coastal Belt (Red Sea Governorate) from Quseir to Southern borders of Wadi El Gemal PA. The Red Sea SEA is expected to support the definition of a strategic policy for the sustainable tourism development for the Southern Red Sea Coastal Belt.
While the Red Sea SEA is currently on-going the project is interested to undertake two SEA studies focusing on Siwa Oasis and the North-western coast of Egypt.