Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad and Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said, visited the Maadi Petrified Forest, on Wednesday, as part of the discussions on investment opportunities at the reserve.
The visit aimed to lay down the necessary procedural steps to assist in the master plan for cooperation on investment in the geologic reserve, as part of the Ministry of Environment’s measures.
These have been taken in cooperation with the concerned authorities to create a climate for private sector participation in investment in natural reserves, according to Fouad.
In a statement, the minister added that the field of ecotourism is attractive to private sector investments, and is consistent with the objectives of the sovereign fund and Egypt’s vision for sustainable development 2030.
She pointed out that one of the aspects of investing in the Petrified Forest is the establishment of an open museum for the history of fossils in the forest. The museum would tell the history of fossils in a similar fashion to the Museum at Wadi El Hitan in Fayoum governorate.
Fouad further noted that the fossilised forest is a rare geological relic that has no other parallel in the world in terms of its breadth and diversity of petrified wood. It provides geologists with a great opportunity to study and record the ancient life of Earth.
Moreover, Fouad pointed to the completion of developing the infrastructure and services provided to visitors in 12 reserves out of 30 protected areas across the country, stressing that the economic activities inside the reserve do not affect its biodiversity.
For her part, El-Said affirmed that there are several significant opportunities to attract investments in the environmental sector as one of the green investments that her Ministry seeks to increase during the next three years.
El-Said emphasised that there is an opportunity for cooperation in developing an investment plan for the Petrified Forest through The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE), and setting a vision for the private sector’s participation in these investments.