EPASP operates in four main capacities

1. Protected Areas Infrastructure Development Program

The Development Program at EPASP is a Planning, Research, Design and Construction unit acting as consultant and owner representative to the Ministry of Environment. The unit’s expertise is invested in a socially responsible and environmentally friendly approach to improving visitors facilities and infrastructure in protected areas (PA) of Egypt. Its interventions vary to include the upgrading of entrance gates, trails, campsites, sheds, benches, directional signage and informational panels.

Among the unit’s responsibilities is the planning and initiation of projects, starting from conducting baseline studies, environmental impact and needs assessment informing the scope of the project’s intervention. These studies are rooted in research of international guidelines and best practices, and result in the drafting of terms of reference for the projects proposed. Having been announced for tender, the unit then offers technical advice to PA management leading to the selection of contracting firms responsible for implementation. The unit ultimately manages, coordinates and supervises the entire timeline of the project till completion and hand over.

2. Management & Financial Sustainability Program

EPASP aims at remove or significantly reduce a wide range of barriers to sustainable financing of Protected Areas (PAs). The Management & Sustainability Program focuses on establishing regulatory and institutional frameworks that facilitate revenue generation, revenue retention, and other aspects of PAs financing and management systems. It defines priorities for PAs and enables the systematic assessment of financing needed to implement priority actions and of the viability of new revenue sources.

3. Marketing & Promotions Program

Marketing & Promotions focuses on raising environmental awareness about the importance of biodiversity and Protected Areas in Egypt. It serves as a bridge between the project and the general public that disseminates general information, scientific facts, and promotional materials. The program is also responsible for emphasizing the benefits of the EPASP project, the ongoing site developments, and community engagement ventures.

4. Local Community Development Program

The Community Development program aims at supporting Inhabitants of selected Protected Areas (PAs), involving them in the project’s activities and strengthening their participation in the PAs’ decision-making process. The program will focuses on economically supporting communities and enhancing women’s socioeconomic conditions. Support will be given through a series of activities that include, alternative income development, access to financial services, and access to productive inputs, logistical services, market linkages and awareness raising initiatives. Heads of local tribes and respected community leaders will be the main counterparts in linking the project objectives and activities to the needs of the people in the project area.

A pilot program was implemented in Wadi El-Gemal National Park (WGNP) in collaboration with its indigenous inhabitants. Community needs were identified, analyzed and prioritized. An action plan was developed to adopt activities ranging from direct material interventions to longer-reaching soft-skill development measures. These aim to immediately address some of the community needs, and on the longer run, strengthen the resilience of the local community in facing and adapting to future challenges posed by increased influx of mass tourism, environmental degradation, and the effect of modernity and urbanization on their traditional lifestyle and livelihoods.