Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad inaugurated, on Sunday, the 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Construction and Project Management (ICSCPM 2021) under the title “Integrated Management of Smart Cities”.
The conference has been organised by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, and will take place from 20-22 June 2021 at the Housing and Building Research Center (HBRC).
During the inauguration, Fouad stressed the conference’s importance in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The global health crisis has changed global trends in the development sectors, including construction, and created international political momentum towards reconstruction and green recovery.
She said that the Egyptian Government has, for the first time, adopted domestic standards for sustainability. As the environment is integrated into the state’s investment plan projects, 50% of the country’s projects, starting from 2021, have become green projects that take into account the integration of environmental dimension.
Additionally, the minister pointed to the private sector’s involvement in the waste management system and transforming waste into energy. This can have a direct relationship with the construction sector, by taking advantage of waste urban communities to produce clean energy.
With the expansion of smart cities, and the increase in e-waste that can be reused, the government helped a group of e-waste recycling factories reconcile their conditions with a building block for the e-waste recycling system.
Fouad added that the past period has seen vigorous efforts by the Ministry of Environment in preparing the national strategy for the management of construction and demolition waste. This is through the National Solid Waste Management Program, and in cooperation with the relevant ministries.
She noted that quick steps were taken, including the adoption of 16 specifications for the reuse of demolition and construction waste in roads, in cooperation with the Housing and Building Research Center.
The minister stressed the need to take quick steps to shift towards green construction. She said that the international construction sector consumes 36% of energy, and has led to an increase in polluting emissions during fiscal year (FY) 2017/18 by 2%.