The sixth environmental conference for university youth that highlights the importance of sustainable green economy began Monday night in Hurghada, Red Sea governorate.
“This is the biggest of all [environmental youth] conferences conducted in the government,” said the head of the Arab Federation for Youth and Environment’s technical committee Magdy Allam.
Red Sea Governor Ahmed Abdallah said that governorate’s environment is the most important aspect for tourism there. “We have a vision… that the Red Sea Governorate will become a green governorate.”
Emad Adli, head of Arab Network for Environment and Development, said out of the 350 environmental projects implemented in Egypt over the past 20 years, 10% were in the Red Sea governorate.
Meanwhile, addressing falling tourism rates in the area, the governor put the blame on foreign governments for “defaming Egypt”. To compensate for the low rates, he said direct flights to the governorate will be provided from different Arab cities such as Jeddah starting in May.
The governor meanwhile called on the youth of Egypt to join forces with scientists to “shape the future that we dream of.”
Youssef Kreshan, a representative from the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also emphasised the important role of youth participation and leadership in advancing the prosperity of their countries.
Kreshan added that the government should develop strategies to spread awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and face the dangers of misusing natural resources. “Current generations should have their social and economic benefits without violating the next generations’ rights to do so,” he said.
The media can also play a role in spreading values and lifestyles that are sustainable and environment-friendly, he said.
Adli asserted that this kind of lifestyle is not a luxury. Sustaining the environment is “not the role of officials,” he said. “It is the role of each and every person. Each person is a minister of economy in his or her own environment, whether in the house, in the street or any other place.”
The key to a better environment is sustainable production and consumption, he said.
Thirty-two universities from 16 Arab and African countries are attending the conference. The conference is a collaboration between the Egyptian Ministry of Youth, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Egyptian Authority for Tourism Revitalisation, and the Arab Federation for Youth and the Environment. It is slated to run from 14-19 April.