Mobilisation of the Dahshour World Heritage Site for Community Development Inception Workshop

10 Apr 2010

The Government of Egypt and the UN launch the inception workshop of the “Mobilisation of the Dahshour World Heritage Site for Community Development” Programme with a focus on developing the community while preserving the valuable cultural and natural heritage of the area.

Under the auspices of 6th of October Governor Dr. Fathy Saad, and with the attendance of Supreme Council of Antiquities Secretary General Dr. Zahi Hawas, Spanish Ambassador to Egypt Mr. Antonio Lopez Martinez, and United Nations Resident Coordinator Mr. James W. Rawley, the famous Sakkara Archaeological Site will witness today the launch of the “Mobilization of the Dahshour World Heritage Site for Community Development” Programme inception workshop.

The Programme aims at protecting the Dahshour pyramids area and its ecosystem while fostering tourism‐based sustainable development, sound cultural and ecological management, and creating greater opportunities for revenue generation, most notably among women and the most vulnerable groups.

The programme is a joint initiative between five UN agencies, namely: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Tourism Organization (WTO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The programme also brings together a number of national stakeholders; the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), the Ministry of Tourism, the Egyptian Social Fund for Development, the Industrial Modernization Centre, and the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA).

This pioneer initiative brings together for the first time national and international partners from the tourism, cultural heritage, and natural heritage sectors to work together with community members on poverty reduction initiatives. In fact, this UN Joint Programme is considered a model for human development as it combines cultural and natural heritage aspects, and community development components.

The Joint Programme attests to the growing interest in the area of Dahshour, widely known for its ancient pyramids and unique cultural setting. Home for approximately 40,000 inhabitants and situated in the south of Saqqara on the Giza Plateau, Dahshour comprises an integral section of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Memphis and its Necropolis.

The Dahshour Development Programme is premised on the notion that a planned large influx of tourists into the area could benefit Dahshour and its surroundings if the local stakeholders and population gain the necessary capacities to ensure their sustainable community development, particularly around tourism-related opportunities.

The first year of the project, which was launched in April 2009, was dedicated to the completion of baseline studies and surveys, and general preparation for poverty reduction initiatives. In collaboration with national stakeholders, the socio-economic profile and the Spatial Tourism Development Plan for the Dahshour area was completed, and partners are already working on developing an Environmental Management Strategy and Archaeological Master Plan.

The aforementioned strategic plans will guide the subsequent steps of the Joint Programme; tailoring capacity building activities at the community level, and engaging local stakeholders from all sectors in an interactive process of consultation and formulation towards the emergence of a shared vision and the setting of development objectives for the area.

The three-year programme amounting to US$ 3 million is part of the UNDP-Spain MDG Achievement Fund. The UNDP-Spain MDG Achievement Fund, established in December 2006, aims at accelerating efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals, and supporting UN reform at the country level. The Fund covers a variety of developmental themes including gender equality and women's empowerment; environment and climate change; culture and development; economic governance; youth, employment and migration; conflict prevention and peace-building; children, food security and nutrition; and development and the private sector.


Thus far, three Joint UN-projects in Egypt have been approved by the MDG Achievement Fund, covering the thematic areas of environment and climate change; development and the private sector; and culture and development.

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