Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad has met with CEO of the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) Basil Rahmi to discuss issues related to financing environmental investment projects.
The Ministry of Environment has established a unit for environmental and climate investment that undertakes the task of facilitating the procedures for obtaining environmental approvals, instead of waiting for the investor for nearly 60 days to obtain environmental approval, as approvals now take only about one week, including tourism projects and communications.
Fouad emphasized that the Ministry of Environment tried to change the thinking of the environmental work system by presenting ideas for projects that provide income for the citizen and at the same time end environmental problems, for example, natural reserves in which small environmental investments have been implemented in proportion to their nature, such as Wadi El Rayan Reserve.
The minister pointed out that her ministry issues a permit to practice activity within the reserves, and opens the way for local residents to participate in activities within their reserve in order to integrate them into the reserve.
Fouad also referred to the Eco Egypt initiative, which is the first campaign to promote eco-tourism and to introduce 13 natural reserves as eco-tourism destinations, with the aim of shedding light on their importance in supporting ecotourism and preserving natural resources.
She added that the ministry is looking forward to greater cooperation with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency through a cooperation protocol that trains and raises young people’s capabilities and finances them to carry out sustainable projects within reserves that contribute to stimulating ecotourism.
For his part, Rahmi explained that the agency is financing many experimental projects, stressing that the agency is in the process of developing a database to achieve communication between customers and each other because many projects depend on each other to produce and provide the final product.