As part of its impactful initiatives during European Union (EU) Climate Diplomacy weeks of 2021, the European Union Delegation in Egypt organized a Nile Clean-up event at Qursaya Island in Giza. The “Clean the Nile” event concludes a series of activities that the Delegation has organised to raise awareness on climate change impacts in Egypt in several governorates including Luxor, Alexandria and Aswan.
Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, said: “Climate change is one the biggest perils to this planet and to our existence. We need to join our forces, resources, and work together to counter climate change. The European Union and its Member States are stepping up climate action worldwide”. He added that the EU-Egypt bilateral cooperation focuses on climate friendly projects.
“Fighting plastic pollution is at the heart of the EU Green Deal. Every year, thousands of tons of plastic enter the Nile and reach the Mediterranean Sea, increasing the amount of plastic in the Sea day after day. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues of our time and has a direct effect on our economy and our health. We are proud to collaborate with Very Nile and contribute to the reduction of plastic waste. This is a drop in the ocean but an important clean drop,” he added.
The “Clean the Nile” event was co-organized with Very Nile, which focuses its quest to promote and raise awareness on environmental issues, ultimately consolidating eco-friendly behaviour in individuals, communities, and institutions.
Organised by the EU Delegation in Egypt as part of a global campaign, the EU Climate Diplomacy weeks offers innovative solutions to persevere the environment and reduce pollution in marine or fluvial environments through a financial-sustainable approach and empowering local communities to become key actors in improving the environment and raising their quality of living.
The Clean the Nile focuses mainly on three mechanisms of support; financially supporting the event to allow Very Nile to grow its project “Reviving Cairo fishermen” to sponsor the removal of 5 tons of plastic waste from the Nile. Also, increasing awareness on plastic pollution challenges while highlighting possible solutions as well as providing additional revenue for the women of Qursaya Island through purchasing their designed recycled and eco-friendly products.
The Climate Kids Hub initiative, Cairo Water week came in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, and World Cities Day in cooperation with the Ministry of local development and UN Habitat.
The EU has also been promoting sustainable clean transport through the TransMEA agreement signature with the Ministry of transport and panel discussion.
Abating industrial pollution in Alexandria through EU-funded Egyptian Pollution Abatement Prgramme in its third phase demonstrates that the private sector could play an important role in climate change and pollution reduction by implementing cleaner production cycles.
The European Union shared the highest level of ambition at Glasgow, as declared by Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and participation at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) was one of them.