The Opening Ceremony – Wadi Degla & The Petrified Forest

The Ministry of Environment, together with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Egypt’s Protected Areas Self-Financing Project (EPASP) have been working on establishing a development plan for both Wadi Degla and the Petrified Forest Protected Areas in Cairo, making them ready for the public.

Following the rigorous development interventions that started last April 2017, an opening ceremony was held today at the Petrified Forest and Wadi Degla in the presence of the Minister of Environment Dr. Khaled Fahmy, members of the parliament, UNDP representatives, Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives, universities, governmental bodies, press, partners and collaborators, as well as nature lovers and the general public.

The Petrified Forest will be open to the public for the first time, marking the petrified trees areas (the Open-Air Museum), building a new walking trail, installing information panels, directional signs, information points, tents, camp sites, and seating areas. Building the right facilities was integral to ensure the inclusion of the persons with disabilities, along with advancing the park’s infrastructure and all visitors’ facilities (water stations, bathrooms, information centers, and administrative offices).  

Parallel results have been achieved in Wadi Degla Protected Area with the installation of new information panels, border signs, creating a games area, installing signage for mountain biking lanes, local handicrafts market, a demonstration garden, park trails, and an expanded parking lot. This, along with improving equipping the administrative offices with the necessary supplies, and improving washrooms and toilet facilities.

In this demanding environment, EPASP supported by UNDP, executes the necessary interventions and underpins the Ministry’s plan to develop and conserve the Protected Areas in Egypt. The project is committed to raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity in protected areas, improving management and financial structures, supporting the local communities, and advancing the parks’ infrastructure.