German development company GIZ is allocating $50m of European Union (EU) and German government funds for green [environmentally friendly] construction and sustainable community projects in Egypt, according to the company’s programme coordinator Gunther Wehenpohl.
Wehenpohl spoke to Daily News Egypt on the sidelines of the first Arab Forum on Sustainable Communities and Green Buildings (AFSCGB’14) on Tuesday in Cairo.
He said GIZ will work with the Egyptian government in 17 projects, which started in July 2014 in cooperation with NGOs, the private sector, and local authorities.
“The first phase will be developing Ain Shams and Ezbet Al-Nasr regions in Cairo, and Warraq and Jazerat Al-Dahab in Giza. The second phase is developing three regions in Qaliubiya,” added Wehenpohl.
Wehenpohl said that GIZ is very interested in developing informal areas in Egypt as a step towards creating green constructions and sustainable communities. He expects to finish the two phases by the end of 2018.
Faisal Al-Fadl, Chairman of Saudi Green Building Forum (SBF) and one of the speakers in AFSCGB’14, told Daily News Egypt that the trend towards green construction and sustainable development is needed because of climate change.
“Saudi Arabia is seeking to implement about 300 projects in the field of green construction at a cost of $40bn,” said Al-Fadl.
“SBF is an Egyptian–Saudi initiative under the sponsorship of the UN [United Nations] to provide technical assistance to investors in all Arab countries in field of green building. SBF is a non-profit organisation that aims to organise and coordinate between Arab countries and strengthen cooperation in implementing green building projects,” added Al-Fadl.
Director of UN-Habitat’s regional office for Arab states Mostafa Madbouly has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Green Building Forum (SBF) and the Egyptian council for green buildings, launching the first Arab Network for Green Buildings in December 2013.
He went on to claim that the forum would be very important, not only Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but for all Arab counties.
In addition to providing studies and data in the field of green building, SBF conducts research in investment opportunities and obstacles facing green urban or alternative industries.
“SBF’s source of funding represented in holding conferences on green economy and sustainable development, continuing education and training of experts from the countries, and providing studies and strategies for the countries in terms of green building and renewable energy projects” explained Al-Fadl.
The AFSCGB’14 is held for the first time with the participation of Joan Clos Executive Director of UN Human settlements programme (UN-HABITAT) and Minister of Housing and Secretary of Egyptian Green Building Council Mustafa Madbouli.
Attendees also included the ministries of urban development, and environment, as well as international development agencies, and experts and academics in green building and sustainable development.