MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region
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MWC Egypt: Pasture-Land: A Treasure of Biological Diversity and A Source of Livelihood
Saturday 30 July 2005, by Web Team

The degradation of pastureland in Omayed and Zaranik protectorates was an urgent problem threatening biological diversity in both protectorates, and baring negative impact on locals for whom grazing and herding is their primary and often sole source of livelihood. Thus, MedWetCoast - Egypt decided to resolve this problem through a four-axis plan.

The first axis was surveying all the degraded areas and rehabilitating them through re-introduction of threatened species. This process starts with the collection of seeds, implantation in green houses and their later introduction into pasturelands.

The second axis is decreasing pressure on pasturelands through a project to supply alternative fodder to Bedouins at cost price, and at installments. This ambitious project is being implemented by four Bedouin non governmental organizations NGOs in Omayed and two in Zaranik. MedWetCoast-Egypt had helped set up and train these six NGOs which are now executing the fodder project. Furthermore, it funds the fodder project through a grant to these NGOs, run as a revolving fund. MedWetCoast-Egypt also provides them with the technical support, in the form of a specialist in animal fodder and another in financial management. The fodder project is currently in its pilot stage, which will be followed by a full operation stage.

Under the same axis "providing alternative fodder, to alleviate pressure on pasturelands" comes planting Acacia tress that are very valuable in nutritional value, provision of shade, and fixing of sand-dunes. In fact, 40,000 trees have been planted in Zaranik and another 10,000 in Omayed. They were all planted outside protectorate boundaries in order not to upset the delicate ecological balance of biological diversity through the introduction of an alien species.

The third axis is improving economic return of livestock, to decrease the need for more heads of stock, while alleviating locals’ economic status. This is being conducted through the provision of a fodder specialist in both Omayed and Zaranik. This is in addition to the provision of veterinary care, through veterinary campaigns and the establishment of a veterinary clinic in Zaranik.


The fourth axis is the placement of a program of sustainable management of pasturelands that endorses rotation to ensure that pasturelands are not exhausted. This program is placed by specialized experts in consultation with the locals, to ensure that it is followed by locals under tribal / common laws.

Through this ambitious plan, MedWetCoast attempts to combine environmental conservation with development needs. Furthermore, it mostly relies on locals to execute it, which would guarantee its continuance and sustainability after the project’s lifetime.

Webteam for Injy Galal, National Information Officer, MedWetCoast- Egypt

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