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General Forum >> Petition on the Lake Qarun Protected Area in the Fayum, Egypt
||Petition on the Lake Qarun Protected Area in the Fayum, Egypt
from Surrey, UK
| Posted 24-05-2011 at 17:01  |
Please consider signing the following petition to the Egyptian
Government, stressing the importance of the region north of Lake Qarun in the Fayum as a natural and cultural landscape of global importance
Excerpts from the petition (please read full text online):
In December 2010 Egypt’s Tourist Development Authority (TDA) sold 650
acres in the Lake Qarun Protected Area in Fayum to the Amer Group, the
Egyptian real estate developer responsible for the massive Porto
Marina and Porto Sokhna tourist developments. The Amer Group paid a
meager sum for this land (an annual fee of USD 0.01 per square meter).
This is the first development of such huge proportions to be
authorized in an Egyptian protected area.
Gebel Qatrani, where the development is to take place, is a desert
area of outstanding natural beauty north of Lake Qarun. It has been
proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it contains one of
the world’s most complete fossil records of terrestrial primates and
marshland mammals and remains critical to our understanding of
mammalian--and human—evolution. Just last year, excavations there
revealed the complete fossil remains of a prehistoric whale, new to
science. In addition to its priceless fossil deposits, Gebel Qatrani
is brimming with other prehistoric and Pharaonic treasures, including
the world’s most ancient paved road.
Porto Fayum and other planned tourism developments in this area will
also destroy bird habitats around Lake Qarun, which is a BirdLife
International Important Bird Area (IBA).
Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE) and the signatories of this petition
are calling on the Egyptian government to:
1) Rescind this illicit land deal and return this land to the Egyptian people.
2) Abolish all TDA jurisdiction in the Lake Qarun Protected Area and
return the land to the Ministry of Environment’s Nature Conservation
Sector, responsible for Egypt’s Protected Areas.
3) Declare the northern part of Lake Qarun Egypt's to be first UNESCO Geopark.
4) Take steps to protect this area’s rich natural and cultural
heritage by developing the Geopark’s management and infrastructure,
turning it into a genuine ecotourism attraction for Fayum oasis and
5) Undertake the necessary measures and procedures to declare the
Gebel Qatrani Geopark as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to bring
recognition to this area of global importance.
(with thanks to Moonwitch)
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