Egypt eyes wildlife center to attract tourists

The Egyptian government is waiting on a draft scheme by Vier Pfoten, a Vienna-based institution, for the establishment of a wildlife protection center. The project is envisoned to be built on 3,000-5,000 feddans.

Amir Khalil, an international expert, said the project will be carried out through coordination with the Egyptian government, and will be submitted to the cabinet for approval.

During a tour at one of Vier Pfoten’s projects in South Africa, Khalil, who manages the organization’s projects in the continent, said the plan aims at protecting hundreds of species of Egyptian wild birds and animals from extinction. If given a green light by the government, the project will be financed by Vier Pfoten along with other  donors interested in the protection of wild life.  

He stressed the project will be the biggest of its kind in the Middle  East, adding that it will be supervised by the ministries of environment, agriculture and local development.

Khalil said the new plan will create over 3000 jobs, attract more than 3 million tourists and include restaurants and luxury hotels. He noted that the center will be built either on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road or the Cairo-Fayoum road.

Khalil described Vier Pfoten's South African project as a microcosm of the plan intended for Egypt.

The head of the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends (ESAF), Ahmed el-Sherbiny, said the project is designed to spare the state the burden of funding such high-cost undertakings. He pointed to an increase in the number of wild animals confiscated by veterinary and environmental monitoring authorities, which, he stressed, necessitates extra funds for protecting these animals.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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