In-depth: Environment and Energy

A man digging a water channel

Environmental Conservation: Thanks to UNDP’s collaboration with the Ministry of Environment on nature and wildlife conservation activities, Egypt has seen the establishment of ten natural protectorates across the country and UNDP has succeeded in introducing income generation activities to improve livelihoods, and secure local community engagement in conservation. For example, the Medicinal Plants Conservation Project in the St. Katherine Protectorate, South Sinai, was able to protect fragile and threated resources, sustain and expand economic opportunities for the local community, and reinforce and support the role of women as active participants in this programme. Altogether more than 350 direct and indirect jobs have been created as a result of the project, generating an adequate income for over 1,200 persons. The project received the prestigious Equator Prize in 2012 for local community sustainable development solutions.

Climate Change Adaptation: In the area of adaptation, UNDP supported the assessment of Climate Change physical and socio-economic impact on the most vulnerable sectors including coastal zones, water resources, and agriculture, in addition to developing recommended adaptation measures. UNDP is currently working on piloting soft engineering solutions for coastal zone protection.

Climate change Mitigation: In the area of mitigation, UNDP has helped the Ministry of Electricity and Energy to introduce and promote energy efficiency concepts that succeeded in reducing losses in transmission cables from 7% to 3.5% and in improving networking among the electricity power stations.  UNDP assistance has also resulted in preparation of a national code for energy efficient buildings and the introduction of energy efficiency standards and labels, as well as the establishment of an energy efficiency testing laboratory for home electric appliances; establishment of a loan guarantee programme with national banks to support the implementation of energy efficiency projects; increasing the market of energy efficient lamps by 20 times over five years, and the successful demonstration of energy efficiency projects in some governmental buildings that yielded 30-40% savings.

Environment and Energy: Challenges

A man carrying sugar cane

Environmental challenges in Egypt include air pollution resulting in smog episodes; water scarcity and lack of quality sanitation systems and water pollution where only 70% of the urban population have sanitation and as low as 4 % in rural Egypt; climate change risks including water resources, coastal zones and agriculture; land and coastal zone management; solid waste management; loss of biodiversity; and depleting oil and gas resources.