Ministry of Environment announced on Monday the launch of the ‘Clean Blue’ initiative in Sharm El-Sheikh aimed at cleaning the area’s marine environment.
The initiative, which will run from 30 May to 3 June, was started by a group of 20 young divers. It has been set-up in coordination with the ministries of health and environment, and the Chamber of Diving and Water Sports.
Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad praised the initiative for reflecting the awareness among diving tourism workers of the importance of preserving marine life and biological diversity.
She added that the initiative also reflects the ministry’s successful programmes integrating those involved in marine activities, tourism and youth in preserving a diverse marine environment.
Fouad said the initiative aims to clean the seabed at a number of marine sites in the Sharm El Sheikh area. This will take place through diving tourism workers conducting dives, whilst also photographing beaches and underwater sites to prepare scientific material. The photos taken during the initiative will also be used in promotional material for the city.
The Ministry of Environment is ensuring the initiative accesses all beaches in the city, to ensure that the necessary material can be given media outlets to support the preservation of biological diversity.
Fouad added that the initiative is a first step in counteracting the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, after tourism and marine activities were halted to curb the virus’ further spread.
This first step will be followed up with further work in environmental, technical and precautionary aspects to create a set of new protocols to protect these activities during crisis conditions.
The Ministry of Environment is looking to expand the initiative’s objectives to include documenting marine environment changes in times of crisis to create studies and comparisons with previous time periods. It is also projected that a database on the state of aquatic life following a long-term suspension of marine activities will be created.