From climate change and plastic waste to global warming and animal extinction, we could go on and on with the challenges facing the planet that hosts and ties us to life. Numerous initiatives have been taken around the world, especially over the past few years, in efforts to save what could be saved. Here in Egypt, as unaware as we may be, NGOs have long existed and even newly emerged in an attempt to cope with all the new changes coming about around us.
Here we take a look at three Egypt-founded and based environment-saving organizations;
Those who have gone diving or snorkelling in the red sea, know just how much beauty the bottom of the water holds. Vibrant corals, magnificent marine creatures, such as coral reef fish, and clear waters; the reason why Project Azraq, a marine conservation organisation, was founded, to protect and further understand such forms of life.
Based in Dahab, Sinai, the NGO aims to educate and spread awareness of marine life, collect and preserve scientific data for further knowledge of the red sea ecosystem. It also works on reducing the amount of marine waste. Not only that, but Project Azraq holds workshops for education on the topic and diving, which was how it all started.
When the founders first found their passion for informing others about marine life conservation, back in 2017, and wanted to go into Dahab schools and start workshops on the matter for children. However, when that plan did not work out as planned, they regrouped in 2018 and decided it was about time for Project Azraq to come to life.
Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE)
As broad as the field of nature conservation can be, NCE has covered more and more aspects of the issue. Since being established in 2005, it has expanded to include various areas. Similar to Project Azraq, marine conservation is a part of NCE’s mission, however, it’s not only that. Renewable energy and biodiversity, responsible hunting, and responsible tourism are also in focus.
Some of its most recent projects include “Reducing Illegal Bird Killing along Egypt Mediterranean Coast”, as the act of hunting migratory birds in Egypt, especially in rural areas, has developed into a socio-economic activity, a significant decline in the number of migrating birds has become unavoidable. Despite Quails being the main target, other species are also involved in the act; the answer to why we need NGOs.
Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA)
In 1992, HEPCA was founded by an association of twelve divers, representing the diving community who were the first generation to discover the beauty of the unparalleled underwater eco-system of the red sea during the early 1980s.
One of the NGO’s most recognizable projects is its mooring project. The project was established early on, to create mooring points to protect the reefs in sight. This has been maintained throughout Hurghada, Safaga, and the Southern Red sea area, as well as being adopted by some neighbouring countries.