World Wetlands Day 2002: Egypt


FROM: Injy Galal - National Information Officer EGYPT

SUBJECT: World Wetlands Day

The World Wetlands Day WWD was celebrated in Egypt, this year, for the first time. Since the project's policy is grass-roots' involvement, special emphasis was put on celebrating that day in its protected areas. Following is a report of activities held at each protectorate, in celebration of that day.

I ) Zaranik:

- A clean-up of the Protected Area conducted by local volunteers.
- Speeches by both the Project Manager and the Governorate's Secretary of the National Democratic Party NDP, on the issue of the importance of wetlands in general and Zaranik in particular, followed by a presentation on the protectorate. More than 600 people attended the event, at the protectorate visitor center.
- A presentation on the importance of wetlands' related handcrafts, and the launching of a handcrafts competition, was conducted by North South Consultancy; a firm concerned with developing rural handcrafts and marketing them.
- A folkloric performance by a local children's group, including songs and dances, was held on the lake's banks in the protectorate.
- Another presentation on the protected area was held in the evening at Rafah Media Center (a local publicly administered media center), followed by a contest on the topic of Zaranik protected area.
- Announcing the winners in the Zaranik Public Service Competition, a competition aimed at choosing the party with the highest record of public service to the protected area, whether it be youth centers, Non-Governmental Organizations or City Councils, etc.. .

II ) Omayad:

- A public seminar on wetlands, attended by around 500 people, was held at a local school. Speakers included the Protected Area Manager, the Socio-Economic Development Specialist and one of the local tribal Chiefs.
- A beach clean-up by local volunteers followed.

III ) Burullus:

- Around 500 locals attended a public seminar on wetlands.
- General knowledge quizzes on the issue of the Burullus protected area, were held.

IV ) Media Coverage:

- Media members, representing local television, radio stations and newspapers, were invited to cover the events in each protected area, according to their respective governorates.
- Press releases were issued and published in all important national newspapers.
- An interview with the project's National Information Officer with the Nile TV International channel, was recorded and aired twice on the occasion of WWD.

V ) General Notes:

- Coordination with local mosques was rendered to include the issue of environment and wetlands conservation, in their Friday prayers preaching, on Feb. 1st.
- T-shirts and stickers for that special occasion were produced and distributed.
- The Project Assistant obtained sponsorship from Pepsi Foods, in the form of crisp bags and soft drinks, distributed on the attendees on the WWD.


Injy Galal
National Information Officer
MedWetCoast - Egypt

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