Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1390, (19 - 25 April 2018)
Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Issue 1390, (19 - 25 April 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Preserving the Arab coasts

Young people from 14 Arab countries convened this month to find solutions to the dangers of climate change for coastal environments and marine ecology, reports Mahmoud Bakr

Participants cleaning the coast

The Ninth Arab Youth Forum on Coastal Environments concluded its activities last week in the presence of South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda. Held by the Arab Federation for Youth and the Environment with the participation of 200 young people from 14 Arab countries, the forum, entitled “Adapting to Climate Change on Arab Coasts”, aimed particularly to help raise awareness of the dangers of climate change for coastal environments and marine life. 

Together with experts in the field, the participants looked into means to preserve the Arab coasts and to use them to help achieve sustainable development. The young people present at the forum took part in workshops on how to deal with environmental problems, and the event as a whole discussed a unified Arab strategy for young people’s efforts in the field of the coastal environment, laying out plans to help overcome the effects of climate change on Arab coasts and marine life.

Papers were presented at the forum that showed Arab efforts to adapt to climate change and to achieve the sustainable management of marine preserves. Secretary-General of the Arab Federation for Youth and the Environment (AFYE) Mamdouh Rashwan said that the Authority for Preserving the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden had participated at the forum, providing videos and brochures on coastal environments. Experts on marine ecology had explained the repercussions of climate change on the Arab region, especially the Red Sea coasts, he said.

Participants cleaning the sea bed

The forum was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), Rashwan said. It took place in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, as well as in Tripoli in Lebanon, Aqaba in Jordan, and Port Sudan in Sudan. 

Sharm El-Sheikh was chosen as a location for some of the forum’s meetings to help acquaint Arab young people with Sinai’s treasures and to revive tourism in the peninsula, he added.

Salah Al-Gafarawi, the ISESCO representative at the forum, stressed that his organisation paid special attention to young people and Arab civil society organisations. ISESCO has supported the AFYE’s programmes over recent years, he said, including this year’s forum. ISESCO also supports the AFYE’s Green Tourism Programme, scheduled to be held in October, he added.

The latter is designed to help encourage environmental tourism among young people in the Arab region. Al-Gafarawi said ISESCO would also be supporting a programme in Egypt on illegal migration and that the present forum’s recommendations would be presented at the meeting of the environment ministers of the Islamic World that is hosted by ISESCO every two years. 

The Ninth Arab Forum for Coastal Environments recommended establishing a website that calls on Arab young people to care for their environment, also setting up alarm mechanisms for environmental degradation in the desert and creating models that will assist people in developing greater interest in the environment.

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