Environment minister meets European Bank senior official

Environment Minister Yasmin Fouad received Janet Heckman, Executive Director of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Khaled Hamza, Director of the bank’s office in Egypt, to discuss the expansion of green cities.

In a press statement, Fouad stressed: “The transition to green cities is necessary for achieving sustainable development, but before expanding the implementation of models of green cities, the strategic objectives must be clearly defined to be consistent with national development policies and procedures.”

“We have completed a project proposal for sustainable cities in Sharm el-Sheikh and are working to implement this in the Red Sea by focusing on biodiversity,” she added.

Fouad also pointed out that the transformation to green cities should focus on the expansion of electric transport, management of solid waste and biological diversity, management of natural reserves and eco-tourism.

The Ministry of Environment has prepared action plans in the Egyptian governorates in the field of waste management as well as studies in the field of protecting reserves and biodiversity, she said.

The two sides also discussed the importance of integrating the private sector into environmental projects. Fouad pointed out that achieving this requires developing experiences in that field and raising the awareness of the private sector about the importance of environmental projects and the magnitude of the economic return that can be achieved through environmental initiatives.

Heckman expressed her hope to cooperate with the Ministry of Environment to expand the transformation of cities, adding that the green cities program aims to apply to four Egyptian cities as leading models, namely: Central Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and Aswan. She added that the bank provides technical support and identifies the requirements for turning the city into a green city. She noted that the environment minister will be invited to participate in the London Green Cities Conference in July.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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