Environment Minister Yasmin Fouad announced on Wednesday that the ministry completed 50% of the first comprehensive ecological survey along the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba to identify the habitats and/or species that exist within the area.
The survey was conducted in cooperation with the Protected Areas Financing and Management Systems Project (EPASP) funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNEP), within the framework of the ministry’s plan to manage and conserve natural resources and biological diversity.
Fouad explained that the marine survey aims to build an ecological database for the state of natural habitats in the entire coast of the Gulf of Aqaba and the extent of its response to the pressures of natural and human threats. The survey will also be useful for setting an appropriate environmental management plan in the Gulf of Aqaba and its coasts, in addition to setting future monitoring programmes.
EPASP aims to ensure biodiversity and nature conservation by establishing a sustainable protected area through a financing and management system in Egypt. Among the five targeted Protected Areas, Wadi Rayan will be considered a model for the successful development and management of other protected areas.
The minster pointed out that the survey includes setting a topographical and biological description of the beach’s geography and its coastal zone. This will help better able the ministry to monitor marine activity and make more effective measures in its protection. The ministry will also assess the state of marine organisms in the coral area lying between the beach line and the reef’s edge. It will also be monitoring the effects of climate change and restrict the number of fish in the site and their species.