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Egypt Environmental Profile

. General Information
. Environmental Governance
. State of the Environment
. Themes
. Indicators
. Systems and Networks
. Projects
. Environmental Management
. Sources of Information

General Information

Egypt lies in the northern corner of Africa. It is bounded by the international frontiers of the Mediterranean Sea in the North, the Red Sea in the East, Libya in the west and Sudan in the south.
Area: Total area of Egypt is approximately 1 million Km2

Capital: Cairo

Egypt is geographically divided into four main divisions:

1- The Nile Valley and Delta (approx. 33,000 Km2)
It extends from the North Valley to the Mediterranean Sea and is divided into Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, extending from Wadi Halfa to the south of Cairo and from North Cairo to the Mediterranean Sea. The River Nile in the north is divided into two branches, Damietta and Rachid embracing the highly fertile agricultural lands of the Delta.

2- The Western Desert (approx. 680,000 Km2)
Extends from the Nile Valley in the East to the Libyan borders in the west, and from the Mediterranean in the north to the Egyptian southern boarders.
It is divided into:
- The Northern Section: it includes the coastal plain, the northern plateau and the Great Depression, the Natroun Valley and Baharia Oasis.
- The Southern Section: it includes Farafra, Kharga, Dakhla, and El-Owainat in the far south.

3- The Eastern Desert (approx. 325,000 Km2)
It extends from the Nile Valley in the West to the Red Sea, Suez gulf, and Suez Canal in the East, and from Lake Manzala on the Mediterranean in the North to Egypt's southern borders with Sudan in the south. The Eastern Desert is marked with the Eastern Mountains that range along the Red Sea with peaks that rise to about 3000 feet above the sea level. This desert is a store of Egyptian natural resources including various ores such as gold, coal, and oil.

4- Sinai Peninsula (approx. 61,000 Km2)
Sinai has a triangular shape having its base at the Mediterranean in the North and its apex in the South at Ras Mohammed, the Gulf of Aqaba to the East and the Gulf of Suez and Suez Canal to the west. It is topographically divided into three main sections:
- The southern section: it involves extremely tough terrain that is composed of high-rise granite mountains. Mount Catherine rises about 2640 meters above sea level, thus making it the highest mountaintop in Egypt.
- The Central section: it comprises the area bounded by the Mediterranean to the North.
- At-Teeh plateau to the south: it is a plain area having abundant water resources derived from rainwater flowing from southern heights to the central plateau.

The Egyptian climate is influenced by the factors of location, topography, and general system for pressure and water surfaces. These aspects affect Egypt's climate dividing it into several regions. Egypt lies in the dry equatorial region except its northern areas located within the moderate warm region with a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean region. It is warm and dry in the summer and moderate with limited rainfall increasing at the coast in winter. The annual average day and nighttime temperatures in Lower and Upper Egypt is 20 and 25, and 7 and 17 respectively.

Water Resources:
Egypt depends on three main sources; the River Nile water, rain fall and floods in addition to ground water.

Mineral & Oil Resources:
Egypt is endowed with a fortune of important metals such as phosphates, raw iron and oil.

Development and the Environment:
Sustainable development entails a pattern of growth in which economic, social, as well as environmental conditions are equally considered and carefully balanced, leading to living standards for future generations which are no worse off, if not better, than present ones. In this respect, environmental protection and a balanced use of natural resources must constitute an integral part of the development process. In Egypt, as the available natural resources must support a rapidly increasing population, sound management of such resources, together with a continuous improvement of the protection of the environment are an evident necessity.

The Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs (MSEA) with its executive agency, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), meet this challenge by continuously striving for the integration of the environmental dimension into national policies, plans and lines of action. This is carried out with an immediate focus on the reduction of pollution and the conservation of Egypt's natural resources through effective environmental management.

Environmental Authority:
In June 1997, the responsibility of Egypt's first full time Minister of State for Environmental Affairs was assigned as stated in the Presidential Decree no.275/1997. From thereon, the new Ministry of Sate for Environmental Affairs (MSEA) has focused, in close collaboration with the national and international development partners, on defining environmental policies, setting priorities and implementing initiatives within a context of sustainable development.

According to the Law 4/1994 for the Protection of the Environment, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) was restructured with the new mandate to substitute the institution initially established by Presidential Decree No. 631 of the year 1982. EEAA represents the executive arm of the Ministry.

MSEA and EEAA are the highest authority in Egypt responsible for promoting and protecting the environment, and coordinating adequate responses to these issues.

Minister of State for Environmental Affairs:

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Environmental Governance

» Institutions

Principal environmental authority:
Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs
Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency
Web site:
Address: 30 Misr Helwan El-Zyrae Road, Maadi, Cairo
Tel: (202) 5256452
Fax: (202) 5256490

Other governmental institutions:

Egyptian Cabinet
Web site:

Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation
Web site:

Ministry of Awkaf (Endowments)
Web site:

Ministry of Civil Aviation
Web site:

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Web site:

Ministry of Culture
Web site:

Ministry of Defense and military production
Web site:

Ministry of Education
Web site:

Ministry of Electricity and Energy
Web site:

Ministry of Finance
Web site:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Web site:

Ministry of Health
Web site:

Ministry of Higher Education and the State for Scientific Research
Web site:

Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development
Web site:

Ministry of Information
Web site:

Ministry of Interior
Web site:

Ministry of International Cooperation
Web site:

Ministry of Investment
Web site:

Ministry of Justice
Web site: --

Ministry of Local Development
Web site:

Ministry of Manpower and Immigration
Web site:

Ministry of Petroleum
Web site:

Ministry of Social Solidarity
Web site: --

Ministry of State for Administrative Development
Web site:

Ministry of State for Economic Development
Web site:

Ministry of State for Legal and Parliamentary Councils
Web site: --

Ministry of State for Military Production
Web site:

Ministry of Tourism
Web site:

Ministry of Trade and Industry
Web site:

Ministry of Transport
Web site: --

Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
Web site:

Scientific institutions:

Academy of Scientific Research and Technology
Web site:

Agricultural Research Center
Web site:

Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Web site:

Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority
Web site:

Egyptian Meteorological Authority
Web site:

Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority
Web site:

Housing and Building Research Center
Web site:

Industrial Modernization Program and Industrial Modernization Center
Web site:

Institute of Graduate Studies and Research
Web site:

National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences
Web site:

National Research Centre
Web site:

National Water Research Center of Egypt
Web site:

Petroleum Research Center
Web site:

. List of NGOs working in the Environment field in Egypt (In Arabic)
. Egyptian General Federation of NGOs - Search for NGOs in Egypt (In Arabic)
. Middle East NGOs Gateway - Search NGO Database - by Country/by Area (In English and Arabic)

» Law

. Register of Multilateral Environmental Agreements to which Egypt is a Signatory

National legislation:
. Law Number 4 of 1994 and its Executive Regulation
. Law No 102 of 1983 for Nature Protectorates
. Law No 48 of 1982 for Protection of the Nile River from Pollution

» Policies and Strategies

. Environmental Policy in Egypt
. National Environmental Action Plan of Egypt 2002/17
. National Strategy for Environmental Communication (NSEC)
. National Strategy for Cleaner Production in Egyptian Industry
. Egypt National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation
. Egypt National Strategy Study on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

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State of the Environment

The "State of Environment Report" of the Arab Republic of Egypt (ARE) was issued for the first time in 2004 as a significant step in the political environmental commitment of the Government of Egypt (GoE). This comes in the framework of Egypt’s political leadership keenness on incorporating the environmental dimension in all fields for achieving sustainable development, and from its belief that protecting the environment has become a necessary requirement to protect the people’s health and empowering it to achieve optimum utilization of natural resources, and in application of Law no. 4/1994 on Environment Protection and its executive regulation, which stipulates in its Chapter Two on developing an annual "State of Environment" report to be submitted to HE The President of the Republic and the Council of Ministers, with a copy deposited with the People’s Assembly.

This report comes as an outcome of the efforts of many competent experts and those concerned with the environment in Egypt, as well as organizations, ministries, and line ministries that collaborated with the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs (MSEA) in developing this report. The scientific approach used in drafting this report is in compliance with the International Environmental Outlook Report, and includes a comprehensive analysis of all information and data collected from various environmental elements in Egypt.
(Quote from Egypt State of the Environment Report 2004)

. Egypt State of the Environment Reports

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. Environmental Information and Monitoring Program (EIMP) - Air Quality

Climate Change:
. Climate Change

. Ozone

Coastal Water:
. Environmental Information and Monitoring Program (EIMP) - Coastal Water

Protectorates and Biodiversity:
. Protectorates and Biodiversity

. The National Programme for Safe Use of Treated Sewage Water for Afforestation

Environmental Management:
. Environmental Impact Assessment
. Environmental Inspection (in Arabic)

. Industrial Unit

Solid Waste:
. Solid Waste Management Center - Country Data - Egypt

Hazardous Substances and Wastes:

Egyptian Hazardous Substances Information and Management System (EHSIMS)


The Coordination, Monitoring and Technical Information Exchange Unit for The International Conventions concerning Hazardous Substances (CMUIC)


National Implementation Plan Project of POPs Convention

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. CEDARE Portal: AEIN-North Africa Indicators Portal

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Systems and Networks

Monitoring System:
. Environmental Information and Monitoring Program - Air Pollution Monitoring Program
. Environmental Information and Monitoring Program - Coastal Water Monitoring Component

Information Networks:
. Africa Environmental Information Network (AEIN)
. Information Centers in Ministries and Authorities

Information Clearinghouses:
. Regional Euro-Mediterranean Programme for the Environment - SMAP Clearing House
. Clearing House Mechanism - CHM Egypt (Biodiversity)

Web sites and Portals:
. MSEA and EEAA web site
. MSEA and EEAA - Related Projects and Departments web sites
. Industrial Pollution Prevention Gateway
. Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program (METAP) - Solid Waste Management Centre Portal

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. Search Donor-Funded Projects Database

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Environmental Management

. Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines
. Pollution Abatement Guidelines

Success stories:
. Industrial Pollution Abatement Success Stories
. Environmental Protection Fund Success Stories

Environmental performance reports:
. Achievements
. Environmental Reports

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Sources of Information

Environmental Information:

»» Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs and Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency

Egypt Related Information and Lists of Institutions:

»» Information and Decision Support Center - Egypt's Information Portal

»» Regional Euro-Mediterranean Programme for the Environment - SMAP Clearing House

Links added to Resouces on the internet:

»» FAO Legal Office - Faolex Legal Database

»» Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE)

»» Egyptian General Federation of NGOs

»» Middle East NGOs Gateway

»» Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program (METAP) - Solid Waste Management Centre

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