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MedWetCoast Quarterly Progress Report
Egyptian Activities in the MedWetCoast framework
Period covered : October - December 2002
Monday 24 February 2003, by Web Team

During the period from October 2002 - December 2002, all project’s resources were allocated towards completing the management plan first drafts- complete with mapping, and exploring different alternative livelihoods for the local communities in the three sites - with the purpose of strengthening their participation in the management process. Construction of the Burullus Visitor Center has also been completed.

I Management Planning Process

- Burullus Management Planning Document Finalized : Based on comments and feedback from the project’s management plan international expert, some minor revision of the document has been undertaken.
- Zaranik Management Planning First Draft Finalized : The Zaranik Management planning first draft has been completed.
- Omayed Management Planning Document Underway : The Omayed management planning first draft is expected to be completed by the end of January 2002.
- Wetland Database and GIS (Annex I): Progress in spacializing data in database and GIS according to MedWetCoast methodology is underway as planned.
- Implement Protected Area Infrastructure/Equipping of centers : Construction of the Burullus Protected Area Visitors Center has been completed in October 2002. Project resources will be allocated towards interior designing and equipping the center.

II. Communication/ Integration of target groups/local communities in process

A. Wise Use Incentive for Local Communities


-  Strategic Meeting with Dr. Emad Adly for GEF funding in project sites : A strategic meeting was held on Thursday 7/11/2002 with Dr. Adly, Dr. Al Kassas, Project’s Consultant; Dr. Bayoumi, UNDP representative; Dr. Elbadry, Project Manager; Ms. Sadek, Assistant Project Manager; Dr. Ghonem & Dr. Rihan, Sites Community Advisors. The focus of the meeting was different ways to provide wise use incentives for local communities for the three project sites, and potential partnerships between the MedWetCoast project and the GEF project.
- Case Studies on cultural values in Zaranik and Burullus for the COP8 : With the conviction that supporting and improving the economic conditions of people inhabiting wetlands could only be achieved through a certain knowledge of people’s social, material and immaterial cultural life, based on the recommendation of the RFU and with the technical assistance of SEHUMED, the project has undertaken an ethnological and cultural survey of Zaranik and Burullus. Based on the latter, two posters highlighting the cultural heritage of Zaranik and Burullus were produced and presented in the Ramsar Convention in Valencia, in November 2002, where the project manager participated.

Burullus

- Preparation for the workshop for Burullus stakeholders and NGOs for income generating activities : Based on the strategic meeting held on 7/11/2002, preparations are underway for a workshop for Burullus stakeholders and NGOs for income generating activities. At present all efforts are exerted by the Site Community Advisors to complete an informal survey with the aim of identifying key issues, key target audience, and potential alternative livelihoods based on local human and physical resources. The workshop is scheduled for December 2002 or January 2003.

Omayed Annexes II

During the past year, considerable efforts have been exerted by the Community Development Advisor for Omayed to help develop and target several conservation and social issues that the local communities of Omayed deemed as priorities:

- Illiteracy and Environmental Awareness Classes.
- Purification and Restoration of Roman Wells.
- Distributing Olive Seedlings.
- Identifying a fixed location for Tourist villages waste disposal.
- Teaching tricot inside one-class girls school.
- Developing traditional Bedouin handicrafts.

Zaranik

-  Analysis Socio-economic Survey completed : A final report- complete with analysis- concerning the economic, social and demographic status for the local communities within the vicinities of Zaranik was completed. It is worth noting that this was the first time any of this data was ever incorporated in any survey.
- Planting of acacia trees using participatory approach : An action plan aimed at the conservation and wise use of the natural plants which has been formulated by planting El-Akasia trees within the boundaries of the protectorate using the participatory approach to releive pressure on the natural vegetation within the site.The over-grazing activity and the daily cutting of shrubs for firewood will lead to the disappearance of the palatable species and the increase of unpalatable ones.Therefore planting El-Akasia trees will provide an additional source of fodder for animals and firewood for cooking.The planting season will be at the begining of march 2003.
- Close contact with the Hanns-Seidel Foundation for the eco tourism in Zaranik : Coordination between the Hanns-Seidel foundation and the MedWetCoast project is ensured regarding the development of the Bird Land eco tourism landscape plan and proposal document. Validation of the latter with all relevant stakeholders is planned before approaching potential donors for project funding.

B. Public Awareness Campaign Annex III

Towards mobilizing people on both the local and the national level, a public awareness campaign is underway, utilizing different channels.

III. Networking and Training

-  The first international Conference on Protected Areas in Sharm El Sheikh (Annex IV) : Within the project’s efforts for sustainable development, MedWetCoast took part in the First Egyptian - International Conference on Protected Areas and Sustainable Development, held in Sharm El Sheikh, on 23 - 26 October 2002, under the auspices of H.E Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak Egypt’s First Lady.
- Fieldwork training on monitoring environmental change : Within the framework of the National MWC training activities, Fieldwork training on monitoring environmental change, organized by the Albufera International Biodiversity group was held in Mallorca from 12-26 October 2002. Topics covered during the 10-day fieldwork included: Human and management monitoring studies; Fauna and flora survey with reference collections; habitat description and interpretation and education. Three Protected area manager s from the national component successfully completed the training.

ANNEX I

Report on the Database and GIS Teamwork

Maps
- A map for Zaranik Protectorates has been produced showing the decree points and their coordinates (longitude and latitude) to be included in the management plan documentation for Zaranik.
- A map for a proposed boundary for Zaranik around Lake Bardawil has been produced to be included in the management plan documentation for Zaranik.
- A modified version of Zaranik core zones map has been prepared after a request of Dr. El-Kassas and Dr. Khedr.
- Eleven selected maps of Burullus and Zaranik have been prepared to be included in the management plan documentation.
- 30 copies of the eleven selected maps have been prepared as a hard copy.
- A soft copy of the selected maps has been burnt on a CD.

Medwet Database

- The newer version of the Medwet Database (version 3.0.0) has been installed. Then, the old data has been migrated from the old version 2.0.0 to the newest one.
- The metadata about the newest maps, which have been produced through the management plan process, has been entered in the Medwet database.

Others

- Using the satellite images Landsat TM 2001, a report of core zones coordinates and areas of Zaranik Protectorate has been prepared to be included in the management plan documentation for Zaranik.
- Preparing a report about the following items : Additional descriptive material; Data-bases; Map coverage; Ground photographic coverage; Aerial and satellite photographic coverage, to be included in the management plan documentation for each protectorate (Burullus,Omayed, and Zaranik).
- Using the satellite images Landsat TM 2001, an estimation of the following has been measured : Burullus Inlet length, Burullus Inlet width on the Mediterranean Sea, and Burullus Inlet width on the Lake Burullus.

ANNEX II

Report on Community Development Activities in Omayed

First: Illiteracy and Environmental Awareness Classes

One new illiteracy class has been established in Awlad Gebril village, to which fifteen female students have been enrolled, the majority of whom are married women never engaged in any educational activity. Currently, a new female teacher has been erected in the village to assist in regulating study in this class. Thus, this will help in solving teachers transportation to the village; an essential problem hindering education continuity in the area.

Omayed villagers have submitted a request to the concerned Project demanding the opening of two girls-women illiteracy classes. Their request came as a result that the expansion area of the village would not allow brining together in one class all females interested in studying. Villagers submitted a list of thirty names of those interested in attending these classes regularly. Moreover, they showed their willingness in providing places, within which classes should be held, and participating in female teachers transportation problem from Al-Hammam town to the designated village. However, this improvement, in comparison to the great fluctuation witnessed initially by the Project, is a direct conclusion of dialogues conducted with the villagers on the importance of woman education and its consistency with religious values and tradition. Meanwhile, the success of the illiteracy pilot project has contributed in stimulating other villages, as well as enhancing villagers’ confidence in the MedWetCoast Project.

Second: Purification and Restoration of Roman Wells

Intensive dialogue and coordination with Underground Water Sector officials in the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources have lead to the approval of the Ministry on purifying and restoring four Roman wells, used in collecting rain water, without specifying maximum costs.

The four wells have been selected as follows, throughout different phases, taking into consideration the economical, social and technical aspects:

- A number of meetings have been held with villagers to enumerate wells founded in the area, and to identify wells needed to be purified and maintained in accordance with their ability to collect and preserve water.
- Specifying families and groups benefit from each well within the framework of dialogues convened with villagers.
- Excluding wells that are not useful except for a limited number of inhabitants, probably one family in the area.
- It has been agreed that the number of wells needed initially to be restored in accordance with the beneficiary standards is nine.
- Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources received a request to inspect these wells, purify and restore suitable wells pursuant to the technical standards. These standards are represented in: wells wideness, water quantity collected in each well in accordance with the surrounded area topography, purification and restoration economic (restoring costs in proportion to water quantity expected to be provided by a well), and wells technical efficiency.
- The Ministry has approved preliminary on restoring two wells, the costs of which should be included in the current fiscal year plan.
- The Ministry has sent technical experts in more than a visit to undertake initial inspection and identify wells site and construction.
- The inspection process has revealed that the number of wells fitted to be purified and restored in accordance with technical and economic standards are four.
- A new request has been submitted to the Ministry asking for the restoration of the four identified wells, whereby a large number of villagers can use in conducting agriculture and grazing works.
- The Ministry has agreed recently on subjecting the four wells to the purification and restoration processes.

Land legal owners, in which wells are located, have pledged to give the opportunity to all inhabitants in the area to benefit from the wells water after being restored. Moreover, the Ministry has agreed in coordination with the concerned entity in the area to utilize as possible the inhabitants in the area as a working force in undertaking the purification and restoration processes.

Third: Distributing Olive Seedlings

Olive seedlings distribution remains to be a continuous controversial issue between the villagers, Project representatives and the local administration officials. However, the extensive dialogues convened recently with the villagers has lead to the preparation of a list for each village separately. Each list includes the names of fifteen household family, except for Awlad Gebril the most needy village; where its list covers twenty family. They have been set up by the Local Councils, families’ chief heads in coordination with the protected area director. Thus, families have been selected in pursuant to the following standards established by the Project representatives in cooperation with the villagers:
- Person acquiring seedlings is required to have enough lands utilized actually in agriculture and sufficient to be planted with olive seedlings, without plowing new added spaces.
- He shall possess the ability to provide sufficient water to irrigate them.
- Selecting the most needy persons to acquire seedlings among those the abovementioned conditions are applicable.
- He shall pledge to cultivate, maintain and not to dispose them as well as to pay their prices in case of violations made.
- He shall pay P.T 25 per seedling. These total amount of money shall be used to fund the technical supervision conducted on olive trees and to meet some school needs, not included in the school budget due to students inability to pay their educational fees.
- Person possesses seedlings shall allow Project representatives to supervise and monitor such a process and to ensure the implementation of these obligations.
- Olive seedlings shall be distributed in January 2003.

Fourth: Identifying a fixed location for Tourist villages Waste Disposal

The Department of Solid Wastes has not yet undertaken its inspection for the proposed location to dispose tourist village’s wastes. This delayed inspection is contributed to what has officially said about the affiliation of this protected area to Alexandria Governorate rather than Matrouh. However, this issue has been settled, and the area remains under the jurisdiction of Matrouh Governorate. Consequently, the Solid Waste Department has studied the location inspection request, and it asked for the provision of some illustrated data. Meanwhile, the protected area director has prepared these data to complete the relevant study conducted previously.

Fifth: Teaching Tricot inside One-Class Girls School

In coordination with the educational department officials of that area, one class school-owned tricot machines have been repaired. In addition, newly resident illiteracy female teacher has agreed to teach girls how to use these machines, after she should undertake an intensive one-month training, January 2003, on the method of handling these machines. A suitable place has been found to be able to conduct the training.

Sixth: Developing the traditional Bedouin Handicrafts

Where as the offer received by the Project to support, enhance and market the traditional Bedouin handicrafts was of expensive costs that the Project cannot afford. Therefore, two alternative directions have been determined:

A)Negotiating on an offer much more suitable within a different organizational action framework. Dialogue is conducting now with the alternative part. B)The Project has been presented to the (German) Friedrich Ebert Foundation to finance the Projects activities. The foundation approved exceptionally to study the idea of the Project, whereas not to be enclosed in the framework of its programs undertaken in Egypt. The foundation’s representative is going to pay a visit to the concerned area and meet the villagers there. In case of the foundation preliminary approval to finance the Project, a detailed proposal shall be submitted.

ANNEX III

Quarterly Media Report

Conferences:

- On the central level, the project was represented in the First Egyptian - International Conference on Protected Areas and Sustainable Development, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on 23 - 26 October 2002, under the auspices of H.E Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak Egypt’s First Lady. More than 1000 people attended this conference. The project was also represented through a booth that carried its posters and publications.

Seminars & Symposiums:

- A seminar on Zaranik’s eco-tourism importance was held at Rafah Commercial High-School, on 22/ 12/ 2002. Around 15 students attended.
- A seminar titled "Youths’ role in environmental conservation" was held on 18/ 12/ 2002, in Burullus.
- A seminar titled "The role of NGOs and volunteer work in environmental conservation" was held on 11/ 12/ 2002 in Burullus. Many local fishermen and representatives of fishermen associations attended this seminar.
- A seminar titled "Disposing of and utilizing garbage" was held on 24 - 27/ 11/ 2002, at Nile Media Center, Burullus. Around 28 researchers attended.
- A seminar on "The role of educational institutions in serving the environment" was held on 13 - 16 / 10/ 2002, at the Nile Media Center, Burullus. Around 34 educators and educational staff attended the seminar.
- A seminar titled "The positive effects of environmental correction" was held at the Nile Media Center, Burullus, on 9/ 10/ 2002. More than 27 civil servants attended.
- A symposium on problems facing fig agriculture in Omayed was held in December 2002. Around 120 local farmers attended.
- A symposium on natural grazing areas in Omayed was held in November 2002, at Omayed protectorate’s scientific center. Around 250 locals attended.
- A seminar titled "Agriculture and environment: two sides of the same coin" was held in Omayed, in October 2002. Around 145 local farmers attended.

Lectures:

- A lecture on Zaranik’s importance in eco-tourism was given on 22/ 12/ 2002, at Arish media center. Around 150 students from two local high-schools (one for boys and one for girls) attended. The lecture was followed by a short competition on the topic, in which winners received publications on the project.
- A lecture on Zaranik’s importance for migratory birds, was given on 17/ 12/ 2002, at the Arish media center. More than 50 students from the Student Union of Damieta Governorate attended.
- A lecture on "Volunteer and civil work in the field of environment" was given on 11/ 11/ 2002, at Rafah media center, Zaranik. More than 30 people attended. Publications on the protectorate were distributed.
- A lecture on "Zaranik protectorate’s environmental and economic importance," was given on the occasion of Seminar on the Social & Economic Implications of October (1973) War, held at the Suzanne Mubarak Scientific Center in Arish, on 8 / 10/ 2002.
- A lecture titled "Burullus protectorate: past, present and future" was held on 6/ 11/ 2002, at the Municipal Unit of Baltim City. The lecture highlighted the role of NGOs in conserving Lake Burullus, particularly after the proclamation of the year 2002 being the year of NGOs.

Competitions:

- A competition on Burullus protectorate between a local girls’ high-school and local boys’ high-school was held on 20/ 11/ 2002.
- Another competition on Burullus protectorate was held between two local high-schools (one for girls and one for boys), on 23/ 10/ 2002.

Exhibitions:

- An exhibition on Zaranik protectorate as held at the occasion of the Duz Camel Festival, 20 - 25/ 12/ 2002, in Tunisia. It consisted of a booth containing maps, photographs and publications on Zaranik protectorate. The booth was frequented by many participants from various countries.
- Paintings and photographs of Zaranik protectorate were included in an arts exhibition, held on 23/ 10/ 2002, in Arish.

Field Trips:

- More than 50 students from the Student Union of Damieta Governorate visited Zaranik protectorate on 19/ 12/ 2002, where they also received publications on the project and the protectorates.
- Around 50 students from Khademya Secondary and High School received visited Zaranik protectorate and received publications on 2/ 11/ 2002.
- An orientation for 70 youths from a local youth center was held at Omayed protectorate on 21/ 12/ 2002.
- 130 youths from local youth centers visited Omayed protectorate on 16 & 17 / 11/ 2002.
- Sixty maritime scouts from the Governorates of Matrouh, Alexandria and Mansoura held a camp at Omayed protectorate on 11 - 13 / 11/ 2002.
- One hundred students from a local high-school visited Omayed protectorate on 12 / 10/ 2002. They attended a presentation and received publications on the protectorate.

Publication Distribution:

- Publications and maps on Zaranik were given to the El-Hasna educational board, in order for teachers in to direct students of 7 different schools to cover the issue in journalistic extra-curricular activities.
- Publications on Zaranik in particular, and the project in general, were donated to three local secondary and high-schools.
- Publications on Zaranik protected area were given to the Social Care Convoy to North Sinai, on 20/ 12/ 2002.
- Publications on Zaranik protected area were donated to the library of Sina School, a private language school in Arish.
- Publications on the project in general and Zaranik in particular were given to the Egyptian Convoy for Medical Analysis, traveling to Japan during 3/ 11 / 2002 - 7/ 2/ 2003, for distribution there.
- Publications on the project in general and Zaranik in particular were distributed in Training Session for the Youth Leaders of the National Democratic Party, held at Arish - North Sinai, on 23 - 26/ 10/ 2002.
- Publications on the project in general and Zaranik in particular were distributed in the 8th International Conference for the Physically Challenged, held in Cairo, 21 - 24/ 10/ 2002.
- Publications on the project in general and Zaranik in particular were donated to the Suzanne Mubarak Scientific Center in Arish, on 8/ 10/ 2002

Posters and Stickers:

- The project aided some NGOs in producing two posters on Zaranik protectorate.
- On the central level, two large posters were produced on the cultural heritage of Zaranik and Burullus. They were used in our booth at the Valencia convention Cop 8. 18 - 26 November.

Media Coverage:

- One article on Zaranik protectorate appeared in Al-Ahram national newspaper in December, 2002.
- North Sinai Radio Station covered events on Zaranik during December, 2002.
- Three articles on Zaranik appeared in Sinaa Al Mustakbal (Future Sinai) local paper, and on El- Gomhoreya & Al-Ahram national newspapers in November 2002.
- One article on Zaranik appeared in Al-Ahram national newspaper in October 2002.
- A radio program titled "Our duty towards Burullus protectorate" was recorded and aired on 25/ 12/ 2002 on the local Central Delta radio station.
- Central Delta radio station covered the seminar titled "The role of NGOs and volunteer work in environmental conservation" on 11/ 12/ 2002 in Burullus, and recorded interviews with participants.
- A radio program titled "How to preserve Lake Burullus against contamination" was recorded and aired on Central Delta station, on 13/ 11/ 2002.
- A new episode of the radio program titled "What do you know about Burullus protected area?" was recorded and aired on Central Delta Station, on 2/ 10/ 2002.







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