El Gouna, Red Sea governorate, hosted the Arab Environmental Investment conference, from 14 to 17 June 2014, under the umbrella of the Arab League and the presence of Arab Environment Ministers, Dr. Laila Iskandar, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Major General Ahmed Abdullah, Red Sea Governor, Dr. Amr El Samak, CEO of the Environmental Affairs Agency, and Ambassadors of Arab countries who are interested in preserving the environment and control pollution.
On the sidelines of the conference, an exhibition was held for environmental investment with the participation of many countries around the world, foreign donors, and civil society institutions. The first day witnessed a conference for the Council of Arab Environmental Ministers, while another exhibition was held for Environmental Investment, which includes clean technologies in the areas of the environment,especially in the field of automatic cleaner production, sources of new and renewable energy, and applications of green economy.
The conference further aims to take necessary steps to support the Arab investment in the field of environmental protection in order to exchange experiences and establish joint ventures to serve the various environmental fields, and encourage investment in the environmental field.
The conference also witnessed an introduction to introduce El Gouna initiative and efforts in using new and renewable energy towards a clean environment, which is considered first of its kind in Egypt and Africa. In the framework of El Gouna initiative,and after monitoring and measuring sources of greenhouse gas emissions, El Gouna City and Sawiris Foundation for environmental development have put together a robust plan to reduce emissions in the fields of technology, fuel combustion, waste treatment and wastewater. This plan will help reduce emissions with total of 67.3%.
“Choosing El Gouna as a venue to host this conference is a culmination for the city efforts in the environmental field, which was crowned by signing the agreement between the Egyptian and Italian ministers of environment and El Gouna city to help the city to be the first Carbon Neutral city in Egypt and Africa.” said Ayat Abdel Mooty, executive director of Sawiris Foundation for Environmental Development.
“El Gouna is one of the leading green cities in Africa, and is playing a leading role in the environmental economics in Egypt. El Gouna is on the track of a great achievement in the areas of environment and tourism, which enhances its image in the world.” added Abdel Mooty.
El Gouna has developed an action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which includes two phases. The first phase has three major dimensions, namely energy efficiency, street lighting, and solar water heating and sustainable mobility through using electric vehicles. As for the second phase, it will include solar PV, power generation and water desalination.
In this regard, Mr. Amin Serag, CEO of Orascom Development and Management commented: “El Gouna city will adapt clean energy alternatives, such as solar energy, wind energy which will be generated from Zaafarana station.” He further explained “Orascom Hotels and Development is a key party involved in the initiative of “Green Star Hotel” and most of the hotels in El Gouna hold a Green Star, therefore El Gouna is considered a vivid example of the green economy in the tourism sector.”