INTRODUCTION Background: Definitions Wetlands in Egypt Threats to Wetlands Wetland Services NATIONAL STRATEGY Mission: Goal Guiding Principles Objectives and Bases of Action Actions to Achieve Objectives NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION PROGRAMMES OF ACTION 1
We may recognize 14 generic types: 1. The Bardawil-Manzala-Burullus-Idku,Mareotis-Mallah of Port Fouad. These are lakes of North Egypt of different origins and ecology. They all are bird sites and have access to the Mediterranean. 2. The Matrouh lagoons, close to the Mediterranean, and receive their water through the narrow limestone barriers. 3. The Moghra-wadi Natrun Lakes. These are shallow depression in the northern sector of the West Desert. They receive water from underground seepage. It is the eastern lobe of the Qattara Depression and2 is lied on the western outskirts of the Nile Delta.
4. The Qarun-Wadi Rayan lakes. These are two depressions of the West Desert. Lake Qarun receives drainage water of the Fayoum area. Evaporation makes it hypersaline. Wadi Rayan depression was connected to the agriculture drainage system of the Fayoum Governorate. 5. A number of small lakes scatter in the Delta and its outskirts. Abasa in the east and Dahshoor in the west. Abasa accommodates a fish-farming research and training center. Dahshoor become reed swamps. 6. The Moses Springs site in south-western Sinai form patches of saline moist soil with small ephemeral ponds, reed and rush swamps. 3
7. The main channel of the Nile between Aswan and Cairo embraces numerous islands. 8. Lake Nasser is the Egyptian part of the Aswan High Dam reservoir-lake (496 Km long – total area 5000 Km2). 9. The Mediterranean coast outside the Delta provides little room for developed littoral salt marches. 10. The Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez has extensive littoral salt march formations all along the coast.
11. The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba coastal lands have extensive patches of mangroves (c. 400 ha). It is an elaborate ecosystem with rich biota. 12. The Red Sea coral reefs form long stretches parallel to the shore line, and comprise diversities of coral species with associated biota. 13. The Red Sea islands with the Egyptian exclusive economic zone comprise coral formation and volcanic islands. 14. The Suez Canal system includes a small Lake Temsah and a larger, further south, Bitter Lake. The whole system connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, and provides a causeway for migration of biota 5
Mission/Goal: Wetlands are recognized as ecological and national assets, and be managed for the benefit of present and future generations. This mission/goal may be outlined as: 1. Conservation of wetlands is considered a national priority, selected sites to be designated as natural reserves. 2. Certain former wetlands deserve to be reinstated, or -if damaged- rehabilitated. 3. Full ecological, economic and social values of wetlands to be assessed and protected. Plans for management of wetland should be an integral part of national plans for development. 7
4. Social, cultural and economic values of wetlands should be considered by private and public sectors during their planning for their activities especially those that may have impacts on wetlands. 5. The principles of ecologically sustainable development of natural resources will be observed in designing plans for management of wetlands and their outskirt territories. 6. Plans and programmes for conservation of wetlands should respond to national needs and to regional and international interests (Egypt is a contracting party to the Ramsar Convention and its amendment protocols and to several other regional and international conventions on biodiversity issues).
1. Establishment of the national council for wetlands. 2. Survey of wetlands in Egypt. 3. Selection of sites for wetland nature. 4. Research programme in representative wetland sites. 5. Programme of studies for formulating management plans for each of the selected sites. 6. Programme for materials for education. 9
7. Establishment of national wetland databank.
8. Programme for training manpower capacity building.
9. Programme for inventories of cultural heritage and indigenous knowledge of wetlands of Egypt.
10. Consolidated national law for wetlands.