Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad met with Ghada Wali, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on Wednesday to discuss bilateral cooperation in the field of confronting environmental crimes.
During the meeting, Fouad reviewed the outcomes of COP27, and the priority topics to work on in preparation for the upcoming COP28 in the UAE, which are waste, biodiversity, and deforestation, where the minister indicated the possibility of cooperation in advancing the two waste initiatives for Africa 50 by 2050, and nature-based solutions.
The Minister of Environment also referred to the cooperation with the presidency of the upcoming COP28 to complete work on the nature-based solutions initiative, which was launched at COP27.
For her part, Wali indicated her aspiration to cooperate with the Ministry of Environment in implementing the Nature-Based Solutions initiative, as the UNODC aims to help countries build systems to confront criminal activities by protecting the quality of life for societies, and this is linked to the effects of climate change.
Therefore, the program is concerned with capacity-building to support the legal systems of countries to raise awareness of environmental crimes, which may be linked to crimes resulting from displacement and the different quality of life. The programme is also concerned with protecting fishermen and limiting illegal fishing, especially in North Africa.
Furthermore, the two sides also discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of combating wildlife trafficking, where the Minister of Environment presented the experience of cooperation with Jordan in twinning the Jordanian Shelter Reserve model, by implementing the Sanctuary Reserve in Fayoum to include threatened animals that were traded illegally to protect them, within the framework of the national campaign to promote eco-tourism, ECO EGYPT.
The meeting also dealt with ways of cooperation in reducing marine pollution and oil pollution accidents, as the Minister of Environment expressed her willingness to support the program in establishing a centre to confront marine pollution in the Middle East, and to benefit from Egypt’s experience in facing oil spill accidents.
Moreover, Fouad listened to Wali’s proposal to cooperate in the field of environmental crimes to enhance expertise and the ability to properly assess this type of crime and tighten control over it, and establish specialised prosecutions in environmental crimes in Egypt.